Acting workshop in Bali, Indonesia


Bali Taksu (Transformation)


June 15-30, 2014


 Every artist in Bali strives for TAKSU. The Balinese define it as the moment when the artist completely surrenders to the form of his or her craft and God appears. This energy has many names and is present in every culture. The Indians call it Rasa and American Athletes call it The Zone. It is this divine performance energy that will be explored under the supervision of Master Teacher Aole T. Miller and Micha Espinosa in collaboration with the Master Teachers of Bali. The Bali Taksu workshop is a 15-day acting workshop focused on activating the ultimate performance energy of the body. Participants will work daily from 7am to 6pm training in Balinese Dance, Kecak voice, Gamelan, Mask work, Michael Chekhov, Clown, Grotowski and Fitzmaurice Voicework. All activities and housing will take place at the Bali Purnati Center for the Arts.


Mask Work

Masks show the important connection between Body and Voice. The Latin word persona means mask. The persona was a sonically projected image through the voice. Training in masks is an essential component to this workshop. Masks unlock the deep knowledge of the physical and emotional body. Activating the energy of Taksu opens and frees the imagination to move past the pedestrian linear experience of average thought rooted in personality or the ego driven self. Lead by Aole T. Miller


 Michael Chekhov


Many of the ensemble exercises are influenced by the work of Michael Chekhov who developed his techniques out of Buddhism and the philosophic spiritual practices of the East.


Lead by Aole T. Miller & Micha Espinosa


Grotowski & Fitzmaurice


Jerzy Grotowski and Catherine Fitzmaurice Voice work are combined in this workshop, offering performing artists a safe environment where they can tap into parts of themselves that they haven't yet dared to release because they are afraid that they might be foolish, boring, stereotypical, ugly, embarrassing, offensive, or even worse, absolutely brilliant. It's about releasing the parts of the artist that is continually held back when performing.


The release breath work of Fitzmaurice Voicew ork is influenced by the work of Alexander Lowen's Bioenergetic Tremors, yoga stretches, and shiatzu. It is in the combination of these physical release postures where actors are introduced to the energy of breath. They will begin to experience the power of a free torso while discovering the different passageways of breath throughout the body.


 Participants will be guided through a moment-to-moment flow of consciousness where actors surrender to their images and inner voices. By channeling and fully engaging with their inner landscape, by giving it a body and a voice, actors begin to tap into powerful impulsesthat they have not yet harnessed in their acting.


Lead by Aole T. Miller & Micha Espinosa




Delve deeper into your physical awareness while rediscovering your uninhibited and innate playfulness. Understand the actor's imagination and the 'energy' it creates and experience the simple pleasure and ferocious generosity of performance. Clowning is about finding a unique character within that delights in the laughter, chaos and lunacy of being human. Clowning will ignite your spirit whilst at the same time emphasize the importance of a generous stage presence and a rich humanity. We will pursue the clown together in all of its messy and hilarious beauty. Your relationship to all other forms of drama will be enriched by the openness and reckless abandon that the clown requires. Receive your clown name.


Lead by Aole T. Miller


 Kecak Voice & Gamelan


Kecak is probably the last form of vocal chorus with a close resemblance to the ancient Greek chorus. It is a 5-part vocal chantthat invokes the deep cellular vibrations of the primordial traditions of Balinese ritual. Participants will train in Kecak and deepen their connection to tempo/rhythm while finding the vocal spaces of trance.


 Gamelan training will accompany the tempo/rhythm training of the body. The gamelan is tuned to the bodies chakra system. Thetones and vibration will continue to support the physical open of the performers energy body. Having to keep the time and precision of gamelan music will continue to balance out the Thinking, Feeling and Will body of the participant.


Lead by Ida Bagus Anom & I Wayan Sumada


 Balinese Dance


Like the mask work, the Balinese dance training is fundamental in the pursuit of TAKSU. Its metaphysical gestures provide a strong container for the cosmic energy released in the full commitment of this dance’s form.


Lead by Ida Bagus Alit


Gunung Agung


The workshop begins at the foot of Gunung Agung—a 10,000ft mountain that will challenge you, break you and embrace you, all at the same time. Gunung Agung is a volcanic mountain, which last erupted in 1963. It is known to be the holiest mountain on the island, and is the home to the thousand-year-old Mother Temple Besakih, the largest and holiest temple in Bali.


Your first task as an ensemble will be to climb this mountain. The journey will take approximately 16 hours (8 hours to the top and 8 hours to return). It will be extremely challenging physically and mentally. You will need to prepare. It is highly recommended that you exercise rigorously and regularly at least one month prior to coming.


The journey is arduous and the reward is beyond explanation. You will experience of the breaking down of the ego and the empowerment of your will. This is an absolutely imperative element in the journey towards Taksu. 




We will attend a series of special private performancescelebrating the music and dance Bali’s finest artists.


Bali Purnati Centre for the Arts


The Purnati Centre for the Arts is the international hub for prominent artists from around the world to work and is the same facility where Robert Wilson developed and rehearsed his famous production of “i La Galigo,” and where the Kronos Quartet performed in May 2009. It is a securely guarded full service arts complex, with two training halls, an amphitheater, and a swimming pool, hidden away in the village of Batuan on the banks of a sacred river where the Balinese retrieve their holy water. All fresh organic meals are prepared daily by the center’s executive chief. The rooms are two to three single bed dwellings that are prepared daily by the staff. There will be an extra charge of S$1,000 (Singapore Dollars) for single rooms.


Recommended Book List:


A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle


The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, Debbie Ford


Training of the American Actor, Ed. Arthur Bartow


For The Theatre and Its Double, by Antonin Artaud


The Power ofMyth, Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers




Mahabharata, Translation by William Buck


Because the Balinese understand life through the Mahabharata, in fact, the entire island is based on it; each student is required to read this ancient poem.


 AOLE T. MILLER is the Head of Voice and Speech at Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore. He is a Certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework and a UNESCO Designated Teacher. He has been an actor-director-writer-teacher in the United States, Denmark, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, India, Indonesia since 1992. He is the first African American Ceremonial Mask Dancer of Bali and the first teacher to bring Fitzmaurice Voicework to Denmark, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. He coached Michelle Williams for her Academy Awardnominated performance in Ang Lee's movie Brokeback Mountain. He teaches Mask Work, Fitzmaurice Voicework, Michael Chekhov, Clown, Viewpoints, and Grotowski. He has been on the faculties of The Chautauqua Theatre Company since 2004. He has taught at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Yale University, The Actors Center, Wayne State (MFA), The New School(MFA), SUNY Purchase College, University of Southern California, The Bill Esper Studio, Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts, The National Theatre Institute, Howard University, Western Michigan University, The National University of Singapore, The Queensland Theatre Company, Curtin University (Perth) and the Michael Chekhov Conference 2002. Directing credits: Romeo & Juliet (Curtin University, Perth), Proof (New Moon Rep, Los Angeles), I Kreon (New Moon Rep, New York), Voices of Juarez (New York Fringe 2003). He coaches voice for KLPAC (Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center). He holds a B.F.A. in theatre from NYU TischSchool of the Arts. He is a member of VASTA and SAG. He was the Executive Director of the International Antonin Artaud Fringe Theatre Festival 2008.  He was a featured presenter at the International VASTA conference in Mexico City 2010.



MICHA ESPINOSA is an Arizona-based artist, activist, teacher, and vocal coach. She has performed, lectured, and taught voice around the world since1992. A member of SAG/AFTRA (and a local Arizona board member), Espinosa has performed in film, television, and regional theatre. She is a master teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework and a trainer for the Fitzmaurice Teacher Certification, as well as a certified yoga instructor. Currently, Espinosa serves as Assistant Professor of Voice and Acting at Arizona State University's School of Film, Dance, and Visit US ON FACEBOOK



TUITION: $2,200 (U.S Dollars) ($2,700SGD)

 Tuition Covers: living accommodations and training facilities at Bali Purnati Center for the Arts, teacher fees, all classes, materials & supplies. AIR TRAVEL, PRIVATE TOURS, LUNCH AND DINNER ARE NOT INCLUDED. Average costs of a meal is $8.00 – $10.00.


 1st payment: To secure your space, a Non-Refundable deposit of S$300 must be paid. (Because of limited space, upon acceptance, students will be admitted on a first come basis).

 2nd payment: $600 March 18, 2012

3rd payment: $600 April 18, 2012

4th payment: $700 May 18, 2012

Different payment schedules may be arranged

 Mail and make all checks payable to:

 Micha Espinosa

 For more information or to schedule an interview contact:

Aole T. Miller +65 9725 4411; Email: