Behind a great actor lies a great drama teacher

Delighted to be back at Le Régent College, Vincent Perez arrived early today to welcome the pupils as they were being dropped at school, an amazing surprise for the children and parents alike! The teachers and their students then gathered in the library to view three pre-selected scenes of Fanfan la Tulipe, a 2003 cloak-and-dagger film starring Vincent Perez and Penelope Cruz. After each viewing, the actor faced his audience and, displaying genuine interest and heartfelt complicity with the children, answered lots of engaging questions about acting in general and his filmography in particular. Replying to the last question -“how did you become an actor?” – Perez concluded the insightful Q&A session by demonstrating how true the saying is “when there is a will there is a way”. Indeed, born in a family with no ties to the movie industry whatsoever, acting was a young boy’s dream. Determined to make it come true against all odds, Perez studied long and hard and realized his ambition. A powerful lesson for us all.The rest of the day hinged on two workshops ran by Vincent Perez. His mission: inspire creativity as Le Régent College is getting ready to stage its first school production, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Drawing on his experience as a stage actor (he recently finished a tour playing the protagonist’s role in the theatrical adaptation of Les liaisons dangeureuses), and as a film director (he will soon release Alone in Berlin), he guided the pupils brilliantly. He was introduced to each young actor, was given a script and the children played the given scene. Perez then pulled up his sleeves and set to work. The air filled with “OK, let’s start again”, “much better, can you feel it?”, “and go”, “keep that energy”, “don’t lose the momentum”. Very passionate about his teaching, he snapped his fingers, clapped his hands, twitched his face, gesticulated with arms and legs to better convey his message, and enthusiastically demonstrated attitudes and facial expressions. Our young actors were exhausted at the end of the rehearsal process but greatly inspired and bubbling with excitement and enthusiasm. Eager to visit the masterpiece of the campus, our “parrain de coeur” was shown around the Senior School, which clearly amazed him, and he looks forward to being back on 9th and 10th September for the inauguration.

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