Testimonials

“Training the body is about knowing and owning your body for the purpose of acting and performing. An effective training methodology for actors and performers is one that manages to transcend style and form. The purpose of the training is purely to challenge the body with new experiences so that the trainee may obtain a more complex and visceral relationship with their physical self. The result of the physical training is a residue that lies deep in the body, ready to support any style of acting and performing. This is evident in the performance work of Emma Louise Pursey. Her strength lies in her ability to utilise her physical training in the most discreet and sophisticated way, to empower her work from the most naturalistic form through to the highly stylized.” – Lisa O’Neill, Independent Artist & Director of the Bachelor of Acting & Performance program at TAFE Brisbane and University of Canberra

“Emma Louise Pursey is a world class actor and performer with extensive experience in the Suzuki Actor Training Method. Emma has trained in Japan with the Suzuki Company of Toga, and with Ellen Lauren from the SITI Company, New York. Emma’s ability to work in diverse performance styles – from heightened, dance-theatre to film – means that she is able to relate her physical understandings for actors and dancers of all backgrounds and interests. Having performed and trained with Emma in Oz Frank Theatre, and directed her in a production at La Mama Theatre, I can vouch for Emma’s high level of professionalism.” – Dr Jo Loth, Head of Drama, University of the Sunshine Coast

“Emma Louise Pursey is an actor with a ferocious talent and a teacher of powerful sensitivity. I have worked with Emma on a number of occasions as her director, peer, and student, and in each circumstance I have been deeply impressed with her flawless vocal and physical technique, which allows her access to a profound stage presence and the ability to communicate powerfully to her audience. I know that Emma’s inherent talent has been honed by many years of rigorous training, particularly as a master of Suzuki training, and this commitment has yielded striking results on stage. I wholeheartedly recommend her training process as an invaluable addition to any performance medium.” – Kat Henry,  Theatre Director / National Artistic Team, Queensland Theatre / PhD Candidate (Performance), Monash University

“I have been in awe of Emma Louise Pursey since the late 90s; from her days with Frank Theatre in Brisbane. Over the past two decades, Emma has continued to develop her craft through practitioners from New York, Japan and Australia, affording her a diverse set of skills. She is fluent in numerous acting methodologies which, combined with her extensive Suzuki training, make her a formidable talent, a sought after mentor and a blessing to an ensemble cast. Emma is a transformational physical actor and voice artist. Her choices on the floor are organic, centered and controlled, informed and inspired. She communicates with ease and intentional clarity that delivers an astonishing attention to detail. Emma Pursey is a consummate professional whom I long to work with again in the future.” – Dirk Hoult, Actor/Director, Tilted Projects / Lecturer VCA

“Emma Louise Pursey is a great teacher. She knows the body and how to internally connect the skills learnt in the training to performance on stage. She has an amazing history working with the artistic body and is a great actress. Not just anyone can do what she does. Her classes are for very serious students, and will give you some scale and flexibility on knowing how deep and amazing you can be as a performer. She has a natural presence on stage that is both sensitive and powerful, with the capacity to create very evocative and emotional performances. With regards to her training she is very disciplined. After all, she is the daughter of a soldier and a teacher. As a general rule, really gifted actors aren’t always suited to teaching, however that doesn’t apply to Emma. Okubo Noriaki, Actor / Teacher / former Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT) Principal Actor

“Emma has an energetic clarity as a performer rarely seen on Australian stages. Her specificity and control partnered with a rich inner life and vocal precision make her a force to be reckoned with. Her experience with the Suzuki method is evident but her sensibilities allow her to transcend the often (ill) perceived limitations of the training.” – Steven Mitchell Wright, Actor / Director, The Danger Ensemble

“In her training, Emma proves time and again her deep understanding of the body. The concentration on understanding the connection between movement and voice, control and release, is so vital to a performer. Emma links this ongoing work that integrates the body, mind and voice directly to performance, to the creation of character, which is the key link other teachers and methods often leave unclear. Her own presence on stage should be proof enough that this method is powerful, but this training is about more than just ‘acting’. It’s about commitment to self, to self-discovery, and the recognition that we are always capable of more than we think we are.” – Narda Shanley, Performer / Executive Director/Co-CEO, St Martins Youth Arts Centre

“Emma’s Integrated Actor Training brings a dimension to performance that usually lays dormant in most actors. Her understanding and dedication to this process brings a formidable level of artistry to her classes.” – Peter T Nathan, Film & Television Director

“The training was tough. Physically and mentally. I felt worked and really wired after every class, and felt my mental stamina and tenacity improve each week. I’m looking forward to the next round – there is something addictive about the training. Your teaching is persistent and hands on, which at times is challenging but also gave me a sensory understanding of the adjustments I needed to make.”  Sarah Clarke, Actor

“Having been enrolled in mostly theory based classes in the past six months, I was looking for something different and on your feet, which is exactly what I found in Emma Pursey’s Integrated Actor Training. It was extremely physical and very challenging at times but it opened up to me the restrictions and harsh critique I place on myself as an actor. It taught me that I need to accept mistakes in performance but not be defeated by them. I very much look forward to future study with Emma, as I believe there is more to be gained through the process of the Suzuki-based Integrated Actor Training method.” – Ani Priyo, Actor

“Thanks for teaching in a clear, direct and disciplined fashion. It’s what I need.” – Sanjay Parbat, Actor

“After working with Emma for two consecutive blocks of classes, I began to really connect with my centre, my breath and the floor. This allowed me to ground myself and become less caught up in my head, which is something I habitually have fallen into with my acting. Emma’s direct and hands-on approach really allowed me to realise my body and connect it to my voice in speech.” – Jacqui Essing, Actor

“I absolutely love working with Emma! The class is both physically demanding and mentally challenging, and has allowed me to discover many new things about myself and my acting craft. I have found this work to be hugely influential in developing my voice, mind and body connection. Emma is an excellent teacher and I highly recommend this class to all actors!” – Jessica Martin, Actor / North of Eight Company Member

“Emma’s class was extremely challenging in the best possible way. Her intensity as a teacher is invigorating. After a 5 week course, I felt more in tune with my physicality and had so much more awareness. I know where I am more solid and I know where I need to improve. The classes are a high focus environment and Emma is a leader.” – Amelia Newman, Actor/Writer/Director

“Emma’s work is outstandingly focused and diligent, both as a teacher and performer. Her work exudes passion, energy, truth and courage. The way in which Emma teaches this unique craft brings a level of centred awareness that I have previously found hard to find. Emma’s teaching takes the work to a whole other level that’s both exciting, fulfilling and incredibly rewarding as an artist.” – Ashley Sawko, Actor

“Training with Emma was hard and pushed me beyond my limits. Each exercise was challenging and required the utmost attention. At times it was difficult to continue, but I learnt the most by pushing through the tough parts. The experience overall was rewarding as I have progressed an incredible amount as an actor and have further developed my technical ability. Emma challenges you to push yourself, demands focus and leads by example. Studying with her has made me a more equipped and trained actor.” – Abhi Parasher, Acting Student, Film & Television Studio International

“I have learnt so much from working with Emma on Integrated Actor Training. The first few weeks I struggled with the movements, as it is quite physically demanding, but as I got used to the repetition and focus of the exercises, I began to see results in my performance work. Due to my work with Emma, my scene work in class seemed to have more purpose, and I could effectively apply the discipline and focus I was learning at Integrated Actor Training to charge the energies and objectives of my class work. I have even found in everyday life I walk with more purpose, and am more calculated/give reason to every movement I undertake, as a result of learning purposeful and sustained movements with Emma. I also found that Integrated Actor Training assisted me in the blocking of my scenes, as I adapted to taking movement directions quicker with the sense memory of Emma’s classes-I could move through blocking in a defined and confident manner. I would definitely recommend Emma’s classes to anyone wanting to find a greater purpose in their work, and who seek to create strong, focused, and energised performances.” – Isabel Dilena, Acting Student, Film & Television Studio International

“The experience of your training was really challenging at first as I didn’t know what to expect. I really respected your direction as you spoke with purpose and discipline. Learning the different steps and stages was hard, but in a way fun, as it was teaching me knew things and slowly making me stronger. What I received out of the ten weeks was the fact I had no knowledge of my centre or pictured myself as a 3D whole. This has now helped me in my meditation practices and for some reason I can look at things from a different perspective. The focus you have put into the class has not been unnoticed. I feel as though my lungs have gotten stronger and my voice can carry further! Also, I’ve noticed the class’s aura and my own has gotten brighter/stronger or on a level of a deeper frequency, and the vibe/vibration in class has changed slightly. I give you 10/10 as a teacher! As you have made me reconnect within myself and I feel as if I have evolved slightly. Thank you.” – Ben Lindsay, Acting Student, Film & Television Studio International

“My very first session of Integrated Actor Training was extremely difficult but as we continued throughout the 10 weeks I began to see improvements in my acting ability and personally as well. It really does test your physical strength as well as your ability to remain focused, which I think is invaluable, especially in acting. Controlling our breathing and maintaining a strong voice through difficult physical activity has helped me become more grounded in my performance and strengthened my vocal ability by bringing everything to my centre. After our session, I always went to my acting class more focused and energised which had a direct result in my performance and I noticed the same of everyone who attended Integrated Actor Training. Emma was a great teacher, extremely kind but also disciplined – encouraging me to push myself especially when it was difficult to continue. Always telling us not to take the easy way out encouraged me to work harder in acting and other aspects of my life, and has proven more rewarding in the long run. Thank you Emma for challenging, motivating and inspiring me to work harder and for helping me improve on the foundational tools that make me a stronger actor.” – Ashley Stocco, Acting Student, Film & Television Studio International

“The training was so good. It helped me a lot with stillness and balance, and most of all finding your centre, which is important. Emma herself is a fantastic teacher and very disciplined. She helped me a lot and I cannot thank her enough.” – Vincent Falvo, Acting Student, Film & Television Studio International

“Emma is such a dynamic and graceful performer, it was a pleasure to learn from her and to experience this unique form of mind and body connectivity. I had always admired Emma’s control and confidence on stage, having worked with her on a past theatre production and I am so glad I had the opportunity to learn more about the Suzuki method. A must do for all Melbourne performers!” – Tamiah Bantum, Actor / Dancer

“Again, thank you. Awesome class, awesome teacher. You are actually a teacher that cares. So impressed…you’re one of the greatest, most dedicated teachers I’ve met.” – Nicholas Politis, Actor

“I have worked with Emma as a fellow actor and have also participated in her training. Emma brings so much experience and absolute discipline to both practices, with each one informing the other. Her training has really enabled me to develop my focus, energy, as well as my awareness of the body and the body in space. During sessions the work has allowed me to embody text more effectively and develop a greater connection with my audience. I would highly recommend Emma’s training to all performers who are wanting to develop the connection between voice, body, text and mind.” – Lisa Dallinger, Actor

“I was curious about Suzuki training after I watched Emma’s performance in ‘Terminus’ by Mark O’Rowe–a very demanding piece that relied on the sheer skill of the actors for it to be staged successfully. Her performance was an embodiment of raw talent, energy and dexterity. This was what got me curious about her method and what led me to her classes. Suzuki-based training shows you how to achieve body control, concentration and sustained energy levels, highlighting the relationship between body, focus and space – a must for all performers. Seeing Emma’s performance made it easy for me to comprehend the benefits and objectives of Suzuki-based training and how it easily applies to a diverse range of performance spheres, provided one is dedicated to it. It is not easy, but the results are visible if pursued and practiced diligently. Anyone serious about the craft of acting would benefit immensely from this method of training. That’s the reason I am pursuing it.” – Cherian Jacob, Actor / Producer, Cicero’s Circle Theatre Company

“I’ve known Emma Louise Pursey for nearly two decades and I’ve always been mesmerized how her performances are suffused with the sort of presence that can be traced to an energized stillness.  Whether she plays a charged medium in Rashomon or a subdued, reflective Joy Hester, Emma Louise Pursey takes on-stage honesty to a new level. She broke my assumptions about what I thought an actor was to supposed to deliver; I never thought ordinariness could come at the audience with such charm and mystique. The turn of her head, the move of her hand were not ‘fill in’ gestures. These movements were integrated with speech and posture that kept her character charged with an emotionality that could be vulnerable and dense, light or foreboding. Emma’s performances are in no way reactive, but in every way responsive.

As a witness to her national and international performances I thought she must be using a trick like a magic wand backstage that transformed her. Later she told me it’s a lot of hard work, but with the right guidance anyone can achieve this ability to move an audience. As it turned out such humility had some truth to it.

Emma had developed a way to transcend her daily persona –  leaving it behind for performances that are clipped with intrigue and that oozed with audience accessibility. Her understated mastery is a combo of her innate gifts and her capacity to assimilate and sustain the training methods that channel the core of her being; readying herself for a diversity of character roles.

Having frequently observed Emma as she worked with the actor-trainers, she really does understand the actor’s trajectory. Her sensibility to respond to others in a training procedure is uncanny. Emma can foresee the moment when the actor-trainer needs to adjust and ‘shift’ the body core. As a witness to her skill, she offers the actor earlier ‘actor epiphanies’. This process aids the actor-trainer towards their fertile creative space, so boosting confidence in the know-how of what it means to act. And given the depth of her knowledge of how the actor-body best resonates with an audience, it would be difficult to seek out another Emma Louise Pursey that owned a similar skill set.” – Peter Berkahn, Writer / Dramaturg