Direk Rahyan teaches Chubbuck Technique
DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) - April 13, 2013 - 12:00am

On any given Monday, film and television director Rahyan Carlos can be found holed up in a room on the 14th floor of the ABS-CBN compound’s ELJ building, where he spends five to six hours teaching the network’s up-and-coming stars the basics of the craft. There, in the Wellness Room, direk Rahyan puts new actors through their paces. At first glance, it looks like any other acting workshop, but the most important thing is one that cannot immediately be seen: A new technique that will revolutionize the way acting is taught in the country.

He begins by asking the new actors a series of questions. “What is the overall objective of your character? What is his or her scene objective? What obstacles prevent your character from achieving them?” These questions are at the core of the Chubbuck Technique, which is being taught in the Philippines for the first time. Direk Rahyan, who has been an acting coach for 14 years, and with ABS-CBN for a little over five years, is the only Filipino licensed to teach it.

Developed by American acting coach Ivana Chubbuck, the acting technique is the cornerstone of Star Magic’s new training program for its artists. Direk Rahyan flew all the way to Los Angeles last year and stayed there for three months. “Basically, yung technique niya is script analysis,” direk Rahyan says. “It starts there.”

The Chubbuck Technique has been used even on award-winning Hollywood actors like Brad Pitt and Halle Berry, who have all sung its praises. According to direk Rahyan, the Star Magic training program has been completely overhauled in favor of it, and even its summer workshops (which are open to the public) will be built around it. “This technique really fits what ABS is trying to do,” he says.

He says the Chubbuck Technique involves going over a script from beginning to end, and doing so carefully. It also involves something that he calls “karga,” which are the organic elements an actor brings to the scene: Raw thoughts, feelings, emotions and experiences that will help them act out a scene. He explains: “Sa pagbasa mo ng buong script, ikaw bilang artista, kailangang maintindihan mo kung ano yung overall objective ng character mo, or kung ano yung gusto niya ma-achieve by the end of the movie. Yung scene objective naman, each scene in a movie, may sariling objective na tutulong para ma-achieve nga ng character mo yung overall objective niya,” he explains. “Meanwhile, yung karga, yun yung tinatawag ni Ivana na ‘substitution.’ Yun yung mga bagay in your real life na pwede mong gamitin so you can feel the scene. Kaya ‘karga’ yung tawag ko kasi I ask my students kung sino o ano yung kinakarga nila papasok sa eksenang ginagawa nila.”

It took direk Rahyan three whole months of intensive training before he was deemed qualified — by Ivana herself — to teach the Chubbuck Technique. Direk Rahyan is also the only Filipino to receive that distinction. That he achieved it in such a short time is no mean feat, especially when you consider the fact that Ivana let direk Rahyan cram what was supposed to be six months’ worth of learning into three, because now he’s sharing his knowledge with the stars of tomorrow.

Among the newcomers who have tried this technique are Alexander Diaz of Star Magic Circle 2013 and comebacking Star Magic talent Nicole Angela. Already, direk Rahyan has seen changes in the young talents he is working with. “Sa totoo lang, tuod na artista yang bata na yan noon,” he says of Alex. “But masipag kasi siya, eh. Nung natutunan na niya yung Chubbuck Technique, ang laki ng improvement niya as an actor.”

Alex himself realizes the impact the Chubbuck Technique has had on him. “It has helped me let go because I always tend to map out my scenes which hinders my performance, but now I’ve learned to get lost in my character rather than simply act as the character,” he says.

Direk Rahyan hopes the Chubbuck Technique will change the way things are done in showbiz. It may be too early to tell, but at least it’s a start. It gives new actors a guide post that will show them the way to becoming better at what they do.


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