RANCHO SANTA FE — Fun and laughter filled the Rancho Santa Fe Senior Center on Oct. 20 during Monty Silverstone’s improvisation class.
The quick delivery of lines was the goal at the complimentary class.
Students were provided with an index card with one word — a word that served as the trajectory for a scene with a partner.
Silverstone, the father of actress Alicia Silverstone, is a Rancho Santa Fe resident who has been teaching acting classes, particularly improv courses, throughout San Diego County. He is also on the board of directors at the Rancho Sant Fe Senior Center.
Silverstone shared that seasoned and beginning actors come to his improv courses. He’s hosted these classes for more than a decade at the senior center.
Silverstone said he had a penchant for acting when he was a young boy, but had to shelve that passion.
“It was my dream to be an actor when I was a little boy,” Silverstone said. “I never got to do it because my parents had restaurants and I had to go and help them.”
Silverstone’s career eventually evolved into real estate.
What Silverstone likes most about the classes is his ability to help people.
“A lot of them (students) are in plays at their church or community theatre,” he said. “I would say 40 percent of the people that come to my classes over the years get jobs.”
Many people who attend Silverstone’s class aren’t professional actors. What they look for is more self-confidence when speaking.
Silverstone said the three keys to communicating with others is to look at the person speaking, listen to them and react to their words. Keep the mindset in the moment and not elsewhere with other ideas. It’s a challenge, Silverstone said, but it can be done.
Silverstone wants people who aren’t actors who attend his improv classes to make new friends, get a job advancement or feel more at ease with public listening.
As far as Silverstone is concerned, everyone can act because they have been acting all their lives.
“If your hair looks horrible and you ask someone how they like your new hairstyle they may tell you it looks quite nice,” said Silverstone, laughing.
The executive director of the Rancho Santa Fe Senior Center, Terrie Litwin, describes Silverstone as an excellent teacher.
“He has helped many people that didn’t think that they had any public speaking skills,” she said. “Many of them have gone on to perform in community theater and other places. Monty has been a real asset to the Senior Center.”
Beginning on Dec. 9, Silverstone will offer a six-week series of acting classes from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Rancho Santa Fe Senior Center.
For more information on cost and space availability, call the Senior Center at (858) 756-3041.