"A fortnight in Moscow to explore the Demidov technique (in English) with master teacher Prof Andrei Malaev-Babel was life-changing as an actor. This extraordinary approach, unlike any I've encountered before, empowers the actor to work more organically and with greater understanding of their unique creative process – physically, vocally and psychologically. By using simple, practical Demidov "exercises", as well as offering the opportunity to observe others at work, the course gave me tools to access instinct, impulse and emotional energy. I came away with the means to take ownership of my craft, to hone skills with independent practice, to assign lines in Demidov style and truly connect with other actors, to give characters spontaneous life. The teaching is intense, sensitive, personal and demystifies notions of what each actor may bring to their work and to the shared collective experience. I'm so grateful for it all. There's no turning back as my journey continues - book a place and go!"
Theatre and film actress, London
"Working with Professor Andrei Malaev-Babel has been the most revelatory artistic experience of my life. Being introduced to the Demidov technique completely changed my approach to, thinking about and experience of acting, directing and to theatre - and in fact to life in general. The technique is a certainly a profound approach to acting, a way into the secrets of the affective creative state, but it is also an incisive window into the psyche, consciousness and spiritual development of the human being. In meeting and working with this technique, it was as if everything I had been travelling towards intuitively was opened to me by a genius who had already blazed the path. Professor Malaev-Babel is a true master of this technique and it is a privilege to learn from him."
Director, Demidov Studio London Teacher,
Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
"I am now participating in my second Demidov Summer Course. You can say a lot about the technique, you can argue about it or defend it, but one thing is certain: the technique works. Even before meeting Andrei Malaev-Babel, I came across Demidov’s book The Art of Living Onstage and realized that this unknown man writes of what I thought about and what I wanted to accomplish during the entire time of my theater practice. Now I think that this is the only technique that is concentrated on the actors and their talent, on liberating this talent. There are a lot of great schools that are focused on the actor playing a particular role (in fact, most of them work on that), but there is only one school for the actor of any role, focused on strengthening and developing the most important thing – actor’s freedom. Thanks to all teachers! Thank you for allowing me to soar and break out of my comfort zone! Thank you for loving the actors and believing in them!"
Theatre at Chaynaya Laboratory actor,Odessa, Ukraine
"The decision to take the Demidov Summer Course was spontaneous. At one moment I just though – I must do this! I followed my impulse and sent an application. Doing theater in Germany for a long time – as an actress, director and teacher – I was missing something in the practice and understanding of the nature of living onstage. Many techniques, genres, philosophies, theater schools give a lot of space for creativity and experiment, but at the same time get you off the road; you lose the focus and the truth that was the reason for doing it all. I would describe the Demidov School as “going back to fundamentals.” In 10 days you can feel the “first sprouts” of something new and honest. The leader of the course, Andrei Malaev-Babel, is an incredibly sensitive and responsive teacher, who guides the student all through the course, finding an individual approach to everyone. I personally felt like I was in good hands. Special thanks to the organizers for the perfect timing and quick and easy communication. The Demidov School made my summer. Thank you."
Berlin Summer course participant
"I have been performing and acting on stage since I was nine. I began learning and practicing the Strasberg method when I was around twenty. Thirty plus years later, I am teaching and practicing Strasberg and am having, what many would call, a “successful” acting career. Then 2020 and the pandemic stopped everything.
To pass the time I decided I would finally get back to training for myself instead of training others. The ability to gather online, and the want to, suddenly coalesced in the world. Venturing out into the planet-wide community introduced me to Demidov. Prior to 2020, I was all Strasberg all the way all the time. I knew then and still do know there are some issues and flaws with Mr. Strasberg’s approach, but I hadn’t found anything to fix them. Suddenly, I was face-to-face with the reality of, here is not a patch, not a support, but a near replacement.
I had taken a few introductory Demidov courses with someone who I later realized shouldn’t be teaching Demidov. After that, and reading The Art of Living Onstage, I wanted to study with Andrei. Quite honestly, I want to drop everything I am doing and study with anyone in the Demidov Association that will have me for at least the next three years. However; I also want to remain married.
Someone recently asked me, “What’s the big deal with Demidov?” I replied, “Imagine you could, in a way, hypnotize yourself and have all of your blocking, lines and circumstances for any given piece just downloaded into you and then the director says, “action". Would you like that?” “Imagine being ready to play any character all of the time.” I am just getting started with Demidov and every day I am enjoying it more and looking more and more forward to using it in my acting and hopefully … one day … when I am properly trained and ready … sharing this with as many actors as possible.
Studying online directly with Andrei Malaev-Babel during this “too short” Summer-intensive focused on acting for camera, has been a life-changing event for me. I can count these events on one hand still but, this event is definitely on that one hand. He guides you, informs you, prepares you and encourages you while gently calling out the BS when it rears its head."
Jayson Warner Smith
"Having taken part in 3 of Andrei Malaev-Babel’s online courses, I’m hungry for more. After nearly 50 years as an actor, director and teacher, this has been a Damascene experience for me; it’s what I’ve been waiting for. Demidov’s approach seems so uncluttered, compared with most of the better-known practitioners. The work seems rich in humanity and relies so strongly on the ensemble, on perception, on sensitivity towards one’s scene partner, on a freely instinctive non-intellectual approach, and particularly on a state of calm in the actor. Andrei’s vast knowledge of Russian theatre and his passion for Demidov’s teachings combine with a constantly supportive approach to make him as good a teacher as I have ever known. He is also a brilliant lecturer, speaking with great clarity, wit and conviction. Having spent a total of 75 hours in Andrei’s company and having seen what it did for my fellow participants, my only sorrow is that I didn’t find this work many years ago. This is such an important contribution to actor training."