Hinson is an assistant teaching professor in the Theatre Department at the College of Arts, Media and Design at Northeastern. He holds a BA in Theatre from Oglethorpe University and an MFA in Acting from Brandeis University. A professional actor, movement consultant, and violence designer, Hinson works with numerous local and regional theaters including New Repertory Theater, The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theater, Stoneham Theatre, Berkshire Theater Group, Georgia Shakespeare, and Actors’ Shakespeare Project where he is a member of their Resident Acting Company.
As your teaching role involves working with undergraduate students who aren’t necessarily majoring in Theatre, what has been your favorite part about working with non-theatre majors and why?
I am an actor, and I love collaborating and training with actors, but I have found a deep joy in working with students who do not initially self-identify as actors. These students gravitate to the Theatre Department seeking to develop skill sets relevant to their studies that are also at the heart of good acting: fully-realized vocal and physical presence, emotional intelligence, empathetic listening, performing with a sense of ease, and connecting meaningfully with audiences and colleagues. In the end, my hope is that they discover and embrace the actor within themselves. When they do, it’s tremendously moving. It’s the reason I do what I do.
What courses will you be teaching at Northeastern and how will you tie your personal experience into them?
I’m slated to teach Introduction to Acting, The Professional Voice, Improvisation for Entrepreneurs, and a new course entitled The Actor’s Body in Motion which will focus on extreme physical acting fusing elements of Suzuki actor training and stage combat. I bring the point of view of a professional artist to all of my teaching endeavors. If something happens to me in rehearsal the night before teaching, then I won’t hesitate to use that experience to illuminate something we are working toward in class. I invite students to believe that Theatre is a living thing evolving rapidly to meet the needs of artists and audiences alike.
“…my hope is that they discover and embrace the actor within themselves. When they do, it’s tremendously moving. It’s the reason I do what I do.”
What advice do you have for students studying theatre?
First, allow yourself to fail and don’t beat yourself up about it when you inevitably encounter failure. Difficulty and obstacles are actor fuel. Second, remain present to your scene partner and what is transacting between the two of you from moment to moment. The moment you choose to go inward or try to play an emotion rather than an action is the moment that everything falls apart. Finally, there are no good or bad acting choices, only strong and weak ones. Challenge yourself to make a strong, active, generous, specific choice that serves the storytelling.