Meet Christiane, Studio Director of Rogues West
Throughout a professional career spanning over thirty years, Christiane has studied extensively in Vancouver, LA and is an Alumni of New York’s prestigious, HB Studio. As Co-Founder of Company of Rogues Actors Studio (est. 1993) Christiane has taught and mentored thousands of actors to date. Under her training, many of these artists have won Genie, Leo and AMPIA awards, and continue to enjoy successful careers both in Canada and Internationally. She is also an Alumnus of The Women in the Directors Chair Program, where she is often invited to fulfill the role of Mentor Actor – empowering the actor/director relationship. As Co-Founder & Studio Director of Rogues West, Christiane has returned to Vancouver to inspire a new generation of actors through her classes and workshops.
As an actor, Christiane Hirt’s credits include the Lead Roles of ‘Lil’ in For the Moment starring opposite Russell Crowe, ‘Hannah Peale’ in Lonesome Dove the Series, ‘Jennie’ in the feature-film, Heart of the Sun (AMPIA award winner for Best Actress), ‘Lori LaRoche,’ in CBC’s Skate! – Gemini nomination for Best Actress, and numerous Guest Star appearances including DaVinci’s Inquest and Intelligence. See her IMDB for complete list of credits.
Christiane is also an award winning screenwriter for If You Really Knew Me – recipient of the AMPIA Award for best screenwriter, 2013. Through her company, Philosophia Films, Christiane has several original screenplays in development.
Professional affiliations: ACTRA/CAEA
Words From Christiane
“My acting training began at the ripe old age of 13, in the year 1981. Having never taken an acting class before, my first exposure to training was in the Meisner Technique through Sanford Meisner’s student June Whitaker – an Alumni of The Neighbourhood Playhouse since 1968. In keeping with the tradition of passing Sanford Meisner’s legacy on to others, Ms. Whitaker taught with Meisner’s blessing. This was evident from their many correspondences. Where the letters pertained to the craft, June shared some excerpts with our class. Through listening to his words, I vividly remember feeling Mr. Meisner’s devotion to the Craft and his profound dedication to his students- an experience that was both humbling and richly inspiring. It is with that same dedication, devotion and humility that Ms. Whitaker taught her students The Meisner Technique.
A great teacher not only inspires her students but truly wants the best for them. She patiently demands, class after class, year after year that the students rise to their potential. I am deeply indebted to my Mentor, June Whitaker, and to Sanford Meisner for imparting to me not only the tools which advanced my career, but more sweetly – a way of life that has shaped the very foundation of what I cherish most: Telling the truth, living imaginatively, trusting my instincts and my inner life, and above all “Doing the Work Simply for the Joy of Doing the Work.”
Acting is a muscle and it must be worked, and so all great acting comes from “The Doing”. “The Doing” forges strong actors. The actors’ musculature evolves over time, relentlessly working from their guts, heart, inner life and imagination time and time again. By exercising these muscles, actors permit the development of a personal technique that works for them. The work cannot happen alone. The work happens in the classroom – a safe haven where the molecules of discovery, failure and success meet. Not only does the classroom provide a physical space where actors put techniques to the test, but the class creates a community of emotion: A place whereby each individual process becomes another’s inspiration – elevating, accelerating and discovering what works through understanding what doesn’t. The classroom is the place where confronting a problem can lead to an epiphany, or that a ‘mistake’ is in fact a magical moment because there is no such thing as perfection, getting it right, or one correct way. There are many ways and many paths.
I believe that the Craft of Acting asks only one thing of the artist: that we express the human condition – the good, the beautiful, the bad and the ugly of it, by truthfully serving the extraordinary circumstances of the Story.”
“From the first time I worked with Christiane, I knew she would guide me to become the actor I wanted to be. She spoke in a way that empowered me as an artist and a storyteller. Her respect and passion for the art of acting is deeply seeded within her and she invests that into each student she works with. Working with Christiane I feel capable, powerful and vulnerable; free to take risks. Perhaps for me, being the perfectionist that I am, the greatest thing she taught me is “there is no right or wrong, only truth”. The freedom I find in acting is something all actors should have and I cannot say thank you to Christiane enough for helping me find that.”
– Caitlyn Sponheimer, Toronto Based Actor
“Working with Christiane Hirt is among the wisest moves I have made as an actor. Acting classes and personal coaching can be rough terrain. Insecurities are brought to the surface, moulds are broken and egos are shattered. Change is a scary thing, in general, for actors. Why put myself through the stress when I’ve already got it all figured out? I thank you, Christiane, for the gentle, enlightening message: you don’t.”
– Jared Keeso, Vancouver Based Actor
“Christiane’s thorough knowledge of Meisner, deeply perceptive observation and astute honesty distinguish her as a true purveyor of his method: helping students discover their best work through authenticity.”
– Lanie McAuley, Vancouver Based Actor
Belly (Short) – Produced, Written, & Directed by Christiane Hirt
If You Really Knew Me (Reel) – Directed & Co-Written by Christiane Hirt
Zach, 16, smart and well liked, silently struggles with crushing depression. We follow Zach’s journey which leads him to life-altering choice.
**AMPIA Award, Best Screenplay