100% true and practical speech. It is 9 a.m. at 5 Allée des Peupliers, and the singing lesson has barely begun. 30 1st and 2nd year students from the Atelier Rive Gauche, an actor training, form a circle and begin to do vocalizations, lying down, running, dancing, walking. « Uiuiuiuiuiuiuiiii they repeat in chorus. An ordinary Wednesday.
There was, in Bordeaux, a real demand for concrete and professional training which did not exist in the formula that we propose.
At the origin of the Atelier Rive Gauche: Bérangère Nicolle, former casting director, and Émilie Granier, actress and screenwriter. Both arrived in Bordeaux a few years ago, they began by providing casting preparation courses. In view of the positive feedback from the trainees, they came up with the idea of creating a three-year course, combining practice and theory.
“The desire was already there. We both wanted to accompany and transmit. It was in itself ready to hatch, the trigger was the return of our trainees! We then matured the project, took the time to think about a teaching method », says Emilie. The Atelier Rive Gauche thus hatched in 2021. From 18 students, they grew to 36 in the space of a year. “There was, in Bordeaux, a real demand for concrete and professional training that did not exist in the formula that we offer”believes Bérangère.
After warming up your vocal cords and body, it’s time for the improvisation class. The students, whose age varies between 18 and 57, had to imagine for this Wednesday, from a synopsis, a scene of madness, for some of drunkenness. “This exercise is intended to push them to be ridiculous, to do too much”, explains Emilie. In pairs, the students take two minutes before their visit to share their ideas. Emma and Jean-Michel open the ball. The passages are linked in a benevolent and light atmosphere. “Have five years in your head!” »laughs Bérangère. ” Have fun ! », adds Emilie, all smiles. Students encourage and congratulate each other. “At the Atelier, we are a family, it’s not the factory”specifies Lily-Rose, in 1st year.
Practice, practice, practice
Like this improvisation course, students are immersed in practice. The courses are organized into different modules. For example, acting in English module, stunt module, voice dubbing module, theater module. Professionals in the trade, such as Raphaëlle Agogue (actress) and Rodolphe Lauga (director and screenwriter), also testify to their experience during masterclasses.
In addition to the 12 hours of weekly lessons, 10 hours are devoted to filming in professional conditions with partners, such as the 3iS School and the Ecole du 7e Art. In other words, to play in a film or a series. The third year is, for its part, intended for the creation of a project. This third year allows them in particular to have work when they leave their training. “Lately, we took care of the staging of the one-man show of one of our former students. We carry the students in a concrete way, even after their visit to the Atelier »says Emilie.
We have access to all facets of the profession. We are not told: “you will see, you will be on TV”
So practical there is, Bérangère and Émilie do not throw away the “ powder in the eyes » to their students. “In France, we still believe, and wrongly, that an actor is born and knows how to act. But this is false. It’s a lot of work”, corrects Emily. These values are also felt by the students. “We obviously approach the game, but also a lot of information on the reality of the job. We have access to all facets of the profession. We are not told: “you will see, you will be on TV””says Sandra, in 2nd grade.
Three hours of improvisation ends, everyone feels appeased, although some are not satisfied with their performance. ” I am not well… “said a student, laughing, feeling ridiculous. “Stop being afraid of being ridiculous. The ridiculous is sublime! », adds Emilie. Bérangère and Émilie give advice to their students to improve: “Train your body”, “Be more attentive to your partner”. It is on this note of complicity and equality that this bitterly ridiculous day ends for the students of the Atelier.
Background of the founders:
Bérangère Nicolle: EShe follows the Alain De Bock comedy classes and those of the conservatory of the 15th in Paris. Preferring to stay behind the camera, a fine career as a casting director followed, lasting 14 years. She thus directs castings for flagship series and units (Boulevard du palais, Dame de feu, Dame de ashes, Julie Lescaut, Foster family, L’Affaire Courjault, Longue Peine, etc.). She then manages a pool of actors for advertising, working in L’Agence Dynamite in Paris. Having become obvious, directing actors is a passion she has shared with her student actors since 2011.
Emilie Granier: Trained at Cours Florent, she notably took Acting in English classes given by Lesley Chatterley. She continued her training at the Actor’s Laboratory with Hélène Zidi Cheruy. She began her career in 2004 with the Coeur Océan series. She then goes on, for 15 years, the series (Cut, Joséphine guardian angel, Paris 16, l, Profiling, Under the sun…). At the same time, she gives theater lessons in English at the Compagnie des Aléas. In 2017, she co-wrote “The March of the Monkey”, a medium-length film in which she starred, awarded at the CINEKOUR Festival (Prix du Public) in 2018. Since 2019, she has been developing a science fiction series MUTATIO. On the strength of her experiences, Émilie has been transmitting them since 2020, as an actor coach.