Corbin Abernathy-Teaching Artist
I am a Music and Theatre Teaching Artist based out of Philadelphia, PA. With over 28 years of experience in the field, including several regions of the US and the UK, I've helped thousands of students improve their overall performance capabilities whether as an actor, singing actor, or public speaker.
My belief is that integrated performance training is the key. This is the guiding principle behind my work. During the early years of my career, I could never decide which to pursue...Music or Theatre. One led me to the other and I soon came to find that both disciplines shared an enormous space of technique and best practices. So, I trained extensively in both. At the time it was very difficult to find a truly integrated program. I was lucky enough to have come across two degrees which suited my needs perfectly, and currently, I hold a B.M. in Musical Theatre from the University of Miami and a M.Perf.A. in Drama from Oklahoma City University.
University training programs in both music and theatre teach their students to sing and act respectively; however, not enough (although this is changing) specifically train the performer to integrate the two disciplines. Students are made to "Figure it out" or "Put them together" on their own while rehearsing a show. I found this attitude to be shortsighted. Realization that all performance required a sort of juggling act on the part of the performer (e.g.- coordinating facial expression, body gestures, vocal intonation, emotional impulse responses, etc.) caused me to look for others who felt the same. I was fortunate to find the work of H. Wesley Balk and continue to grow in his teachings.
After college, I also sought out shorter training programs in specific areas of both Music and Theatre, while teaching and performing for about 15 years, in numerous elementary, middle and secondary schools in both the US and the UK. I found a vast array of techniques, points of view, performance styles and practices being offered by fantastic artists in every place I've ever lived. I can always find something in every workshop or masterclass to use in my private practice. Consequently, I utilize these disparate training techniques from these two interrelated worlds, as well as the world of speech communication, with all of my students resulting in a more dynamic and solid performance.
As an example, I may work with a voice student using a technique from Laban Movement practice to free areas of tension in other parts of his/her body, thereby producing a richer vocal timbre. I may help an emotionally blocked acting student who is steeped in Stanislavskian technique by spending some time utilizing a Brechtian technique designed to incite a sense of whimsy or even cynicism, which may, in turn, produce an emotional response the blocked student wasn't aware was available. When I teach Opera singers to more fully integrate acting into their performances, I use Shakespearean oratorical practices to get the singers more connected to the meaning of the text and how to convey it. These are just a few examples of how it all works together!
I am thrilled to be working independently with such wonderful artists of all levels both in my private studio and workshop/masterclass sessions. I've presented workshops at the Educational Theatre Association National Conference and Senior Theatre USA National Conference. Some of my clients have included Swagelok Penn, The Walnut Street Theatre, Philly ASAP, Philly Senior Stage, The Georgia Ensemble Theatre, The Minuetto Music Festival, and The Continuo Arts Foundation. Also, I continue working as a professional actor/singing actor based out of Philadelphia, PA.
I invite you to come and study with me in a safe, professional environment here in my home studio, online, or in the comfort of your very own home. I carry full liability insurance for your peace of mind. My current students range in age from 16 to 96 years old and I am happy to tailor my instruction to your individual needs and learning style.