What students say about Avner’s workshops

I had the privilege to be part of two of Avner’s Master Classes in Barcelona. Without any doubt, those were the most powerful workshops I have done so far as a Clown/Visual Comedian. They allowed me to reach with ease my next level, giving more confidence and impact on stage.

Through simple words and pragmatic principles, Avner helps you to create real magic with your act. You do the same, but the result is not the same. It is better…so much better that it looks different “Same, Same but Different” as an Indian would say!

Avner’s teaching might be considered as magic! It consists of “pearls” which, when applied, create the quality and difference we all need on stage. Therefore with his long white beard, I now I call him: Merlin The Magician!

Avner’s talent does not limit itself to teaching. He is a pure delight for any spectator. Assisting his live performance, my mind totally disconnected, allowing my body to laugh and cry at the same time. Few artists are able to touch people with such intensity.

When you are also a performer it is not always easy to fully appreciate and acknowledge other’s work. For Avner, it imposes by itself.

However he performs silently, his show goes beyond words. Thank you Avner for sharing your path with such wisdom, pedagogy and inspiring next clown and performers generations.

You are definitely a true master, inspiration and a living legend.

PS: My testimonial might sound as if it is coming from a totally “freaky fan”. To be honest, I do not need to find other words to speak about the magic of Avner because his work has a real impact. Go and experiment with his show and/or workshop…then let’s create together an Avner’s Fan Club.

Michaƫl Gueulette
Barcelona, Spain, 2010

Thanks for a great workshop at the Celebration Barn Theater! The Eccentric Principles make me more authentic as a performer. I have gotten plenty of new tools to work with my show and my character. No other workshops have given me so many directly applicable techniques to fuel the development of my art. I will be back!

Henrik Rasmussen
Malmö, Sweden
Celebration Barn, 2015

I learned more from your class than most of the workshops and classes I have taken in the past five years combined!

Rick Osann (high school drama techer)
Maine, 2011

I took my first workshop with Avner and Julie when I was 16. In two weeks of classes, I got one laugh. I found that one laugh encouraging enough to come back again. And again. And again. In the Eccentric Workshop’s core principles and experiential exercises, I found that my freedom and joy on stage the grew tremendously and its continued to richen with time. After spending several years performing in a touring ensemble, there reached a point when creating a solo show was the natural next step. I came to Avner with show based on a strong comic character and a premise full of audience interaction, but I needed direction to both define moments and to strengthen the overall arch. Avner is not afraid to ask big questions. He encouraged me to experiment with every bit, to take big risks, and go deep into the place of “not knowing.” With our shared language from the Eccentric pedagogy, we were able to make great progress together over a short period of time. As a result, The Soiree is an evening of theater inspired by clown, full of improvisation, and in a voice that is my own. Avner, thank you for helping my notes find their song!

Mandy Huotari
Maine, 2009

Avner has been a very warm and ingenious teacher. Very clear and well thought-out. The workshop was fascinating.

Mikaela Clark
Cleveland, Ohio 2008

An incredible teaching experience. One of the best teachers I’ve ever had.

Erik Johnson
Cleveland, Ohio 2008

Thank you for a wonderful workshop! Your teaching and coaching really helped to open up to new possibilities from where I’ve been a bit stuck. I definitely got what I came for in that I reawakened and refreshed my clown being and reconnected with the stimulus! And new insights and shifts in perspective. And further tools and exercises to work with to spur things. Thank you for your gentle, friendly and generous spirit which made for a safe atmosphere to work within. It was a truly great experience.

Anna Zastrow
Celebration Barn 2008

I have started to use the things you thought me in my [magic], close up and on stage and the results are amazing. The expressions on people’s faces can be classed as “before” and “after” the workshop.

Ori Ashkenazy
Israel 2007

I want to thank you yet again because there has truely been a before and after and I will never be the same on stage again.

Caroline Dream
Barcelona 2006

Avner’s workshop was like coming home! I learned so much and so much I had already learned and loved was validated in a very supportive and safe environment that had no bullshit.

Julia Baldassari-Litchman
San Francisco 2006

The workshop was amazing. Now, everything is different on stage, it is a new feeling…wonderful. Yesterday I played on stage, with a new philosophy. Now I have time on stage, time I can share with the audience. It gives me much more fun and the time to find the new moments in the theatre. Thank you very much for this skills.

Peter Leonhard
Germany 2006

I’ve just finished performing The Merchant of Venice where I played, among other parts, the Prince of Arragon. I received very notable praises from the critics as well as my fellow actors. I put a large part of my success to my Eccentric acting training.

Jeremy Rubenstein
Celebration Barn 2005

Last night I had to perform in a gym with no air conditioning for hundreds of adults and kids in my hometown. It was my first big show since returning from Maine and I was not expecting great things because I’ve never done well there before. All of my major fears were represented. However, I just tried to establish the complicity and use the “I Know!”, the breathing, the don’t rock, weight on the bottom, etc. I’m sure ya’ll are not surprised that it worked wonders! One teacher came up and said that it was amazing how much I had improved since last year and that I must keep adding tricks and working on it all the time. I just nodded and thanked him, but the truth is that I have not added any tricks. In fact, I have actually taken tricks out of my act! What’s changed is the presentation and I have both of you to thank for that.

As further evidence, our Cirque du Monde Coach sent me an e-mail this week saying that she didn’t quite know how to put it because I had always been funny and a good performer, but now I had a glow about me and seemed much more at ease.

I want to thank you for giving me so much more than I expected. It was an experience I will never forget!

Ron Anglin
Celebration Barn 2005

I found your intensive workshop to be…immediately applicable. I am continuing my exploration of the topics that you discussed and incorporating new elements into my performance as a result.

No one has ever illuminated to me with such clarity the importance and effects of breathing from different points of origin within the body and the how these changes affect the audience.

I found that I gained more directly applicable knowledge from working with you for three or four hours than in other places where I have spent years learning.

Benjamin Corey Feinblum
Motionfest 2003

I learned more in these two weeks than in any other theatre workshop I have ever taken.

Jane Nichols
Celebration Barn 2005

I just wanted to thank you for opening me up to an amazing way of working, and helping to recognize the simplicity of it. Its impact has been huge on my work. I came back to the states and concieved, produced and performed my own clown show. Throughout the process I kept refering back to ... London and your show, and your generocity and vunerability. The idea of breathing, that simple concept has informed and opened up so much for me.

Thank you! Thank you so much.

Lucas Caleb Rooney
London International Mime Festival 2002

I have received more direct benefit in performance, and in life, from your class than from any other.

Mandy Dalton

Thanks, Avner, for the incredible investment you’ve made in my performance through your teaching. Learning at Celebration Barn Theater in 2002, and now for a second time with you at the Minneapolis workshop in Jan 2007, has given me an entirely new vocabulary, confidence and comfort on stage. I’ve found your teaching is not only insightful, but immediately applicable and liberating. Though I’ve been performing since the early 80’s, and have attended numerous professional training events, I’d say that none has had such a powerful effect upon me professionally and personally, and consequently also upon my audience. My deepest thanks!

Randy Christensen
Willmar, Minnesota

I was so inspired by the work we did that I decided to do some of it with elementary students at a school in Oakland where I work part time. I wasn’t sure how it would go but knew I was excited about it. The response was amazing. We did the indoor/outdoor breathing exercise and then the Lecoq hand gesture with breath, then to this with waving hello/goodbye to our friend arriving on the boat. The students were engaged excited about the communication. Some of them were more engaged them they’ve ever been with me. But I don’t think it was just the material, it was me and how I had been affected by the work. As I was teaching I stood tall and grounded to the spot, and I told them what you said about communicating you discomfort to the audience by shifting around. You could see a difference in them. It was exciting.

Frank Turco
San Francisco Clown Conservatory 2006

Avner and Julie are very generous teachers, taking the smoke and mirrors out of a magical profession, they offer wonderful new ways of seeing why what works works. I’m still reeling from the creative blocks I have been able to move with this course.

Tim Holland
Bellyacres workshop, Hawaii, 2007