What can I expect from this workshop?

An empowering experience, a journey of creative discovery, new tools for developing character and working on scripts.The workshop is intensive, experiential, and very hands-on. The atmosphere is one of trust and great good humour – participants interact with others in a creative, collaborative way – it often leads to partnerships for new projects.

What will I get out of it?

Opportunities to explore, experiment and play – to reconnect with your skills and develop your potential in an excitingly different way. The great thing about the CBI Process is all the fantastic tools it offers participants, whether creating a character, working on scripts or prepping for auditions.

Who’s going to be there? How many people on the workshop?

This is a small-scale, intimate workshop designed to give each actor one-on-one time and each director maximum experience of the actor’s work and the process. Generally, there are no more than 10 actor participants and up to 4 director participants. (Note: some of the workshops commissioned by drama schools, industry groups, and acting studios are tailored for their student needs and feature larger groups.)

How does it work having actors and directors together in one workshop?

Having both in a CBI workshop is practically unique and is great for breaking down any barriers and fears. Directors have described how valuable it is to connect with actors away from the stresses of auditions or filming – and for actors, with directors watching them all the way through, seeing their skills applied and work build, it’s like doing a live showreel!

How is the workshop structured?

The workshop starts with a full explanation of CBI process, then actors start to create their own characters from scratch. Relationships are formed; improvisations become more complex – there is always a drama template running underneath the work! – and it builds to an unexpected conclusion.

What’s the secrecy people talk about? (Or don’t talk about!)

The improvisations use the unexpected to trigger character discoveries, and secrecy in a particular form – a secrecy that’s designed to ensure the fidelity of the actor’s work – is an important element. The actor knows no more than the character would actually know. Robert stresses there is no tricking the actor!

Are all workshops the same?

The creative journey within the workshop varies significantly from person to person. There’s no predicting the base character an actor might choose and each group of characters relate to each other in their own unique way – so the creative journey is different each time. Every character has to deal with their own individual challenges – often making unpredictable decisions (the power of the actor’s imagination is wonderfully on display here!) – and these lead to exciting discoveries about their own skills and the value of the CBI process.

Why are workshop rates different in various countries?

Pricing depends on several factors like local currency rates, venue costs, and other expenses. These differences impact the overall cost of running the workshop, leading to variations in pricing.

For Actors

Who should apply?

This is a workshop for actors with professional experience – the level of experience can vary within a group and it’s not a problem: it’s not unusual to have mid-career professionals take part alongside younger actors not long out of drama school. If you believe you can still grow, make discoveries and add tools to how you work, this workshop is for you.

What kind of actor is it for?

Actors who wish to expand their acting range or refresh their approach; who are looking for tools to help with auditions and rehearsals; perhaps who want to nudge themselves from acting habits they tend to fall back on. Actors often rediscover through these workshops just how good they are!

Do I need to have had previous improvising experience?

Not at all. This is a very practical, easy-to-understand process which will complement your existing acting skills.

Do I need to have a character before I start?

Before the workshop begins Robert will discuss with you what kind of character you might develop together, but decisions are often made as the workshop starts.

What if I’ve got a character in mind?

Robert will discuss with you beforehand your aims and intentions and how your character can be further developed through the workshop.

I have a character in a script I’m working on – can the workshop help?

Definitely. Robert takes actors who have been cast in a film (often consulting with the director) and together they explore the character in a way that increases the character’s potential.

Do I need to be paired with a director?

The actor’s work will be seen by all of the directors on the workshop.

I’ve had trouble with preparing for auditions in the past. Will this workshop help me in this area?

Yes. The most consistent feedback we get is from actors describing how the tools revealed in the workshop were of direct and immediate benefit in their next audition.

For Directors

Why would I use the CBI Process?

To road-test characters for an up-coming project; perhaps to investigate relationships and scenarios that may have an impact on a script-based project. Equally important, to improve communication with actors; to cure any ‘actor-phobia’ the director might have!

Do I have to have a finished script to do the workshop?

Not at all. In fact the workshop offers developmental possibilities to a director (and writer) at any stage of their project. In some cases an earlier stage of development is beneficial, since the process looks first at character and relationships; but participants have come on board with a finished script and made discoveries about performance, mood, tone, style and interpretation. One director commented that some of the scenarios explored in the workshop gave her strong visual ideas for her film!

Is this workshop a way of trying out scenes in my script?

The focus is on the characters and their relationships: the script is quarantined, often being treated as an event up ahead in everyone’s lives and for the purposes of the characters in the workshop ‘unknowable’. This is a very effective way to work with character without being locked in to the script. By the end of the workshop the director and the actors are ready to ‘step into’ the script and begin rehearsals.

I have had problems connecting with actors in the past – will that get in the way if I do this workshop?

One aspect of the process is the way it provides improved communication between director and actor. For once, directors are able to see actors at work in a truly open environment – it’s a relaxed atmosphere, away from the stresses of the audition