Casey limping in after a hospital stay and doing an arrogant brother for a Christian film. Karen as the wife of a drug dealer making a deal. Marcalo doing a cold read as a flare gun shooting party guy. Grace as the werewolf bartender. Andres as the detective dealing with an unsolved bombing.
Six of us. Marcelo and Karen… welcome.
Sorry this too so long to get out.. Busy Week.
Karen… Welcome. Your training and talent are obvious. What we dealt with last night was just developing a physical presence in the room… and you should also include it in your self tapes and on the set. This kind of workout will allow you to see and explore a vocabulary of behavior that works on camera. You’ll try stuff and see if it works and you’ll watch fellow actors and steal what you like. That way we all grow together. Knowing that you are trying to curtail that “Latin” thing of over expressing with the hands and face was the key to your holding still. Now that the pendulum has swung all the way in that direction… it’s time to come back to the center. I don’t think you should ever enter an audition thinking about what you should hold back of not do… and never should you think about what they want. I’d be glad to see you for privates but I also think a month or so in this class would open you up to braver choices and a wider range of behaviors that you would be comfortable with in auditions.
Marcelo… First of all I apologize for the confusion around the script… and the repeated Text alert. None the less your focus and talent were apparent to all of us.. You took direction with ease and developed the scene very quickly from cold read to two believable characters. There was some line issues but that would improve easily with a little more time. I watched tape again and I did like the first younger character better. That’s a good type for you. The uncooperative witness. The guy with an attitude. After editing … I thought the last take even with the faster pace was well done. Interesting that you knew how you were off in the second to last take. When you find yourself there(and we all do) just listen. I don’t know your training or what you’re looking for but I hope you’ll join us… at least as long as the good surfing holds out.
Casey… Be Well. Your health was such a factor… so obvious. Like a sprained ankle on the court… you can’t hide it. It just made me think about how much energy is involved in performance. And I’m well aware that if this had been a job you wold have mustered the energy level but there is a reason we’re tired after a day on the set or rehearsing. This was a cold read. So all we got to was an initial run thru. We talked about contempt rather than anger. Be careful when you make a strong choice like anger… which was in the stage directions… that you don’t just jump into anger mode and spit out the scene. Anger usually comes form hurt and these are brothers and there’s the church stuff… lots of reasons to be hurt and thus angry. I’m sure you’d have evolved that way if you had time. These religious films… the writing is usually so bad that it’s not really good material to work on. I’ve know my share of evangelicals but I can’t remember any of them having the habit of quoting scripture… especially in a heart to heart on a curb. If you’re gonna audition for these kinds films just pick someone from your Texas past and do them. Pick some physical attribute and use it to slip into their space. Trying to get inside their religious psychological beliefs and structure is too long a trip. Just do an imitation of someone whose physicality pulls you into their space. Cold reads suck.
Andres… Good to see you. I mistakenly cut your first listening take but kept the second. You needn’t worry about listening. As Casey observed… you have the gravitas to stand and listen… think. Because when you are listening as the character that is thinking. I’m glad you feel like you learned something from it but listening is something you do well. Karen was right it was easier to do this scene because you already had the character. I love working on audition material because now you have your detective and you can just drop him into any scene, You may have to adjust it for some specific writing but this is a pocket character that you can just drop into other writing. I use physical things… clothes/shoes/stance/the way a character looks at people. All are little physical things that key in the character. I think his sense of humor should be more sarcastic, cutting sometimes, making almost-mean fun of someone else, but always edgy. And the aphorism of the week is… ”Speak thoughts not words.”
Grace… This was character work. Your inner werewolf. I don’t know how you get there. Maybe go watch wolves in the zoo. Maybe watch bad movies… Wolfby Jack Nicholson was my fav. I have no need to tell you how to be sexy because you took that terrible direction and achieved it so quickly. And for all of us… being sexy is achieved in spite of our upbringing. None of us are taught how to be a werewolf… much less a sexy one. But sexy is a frame of mind/being that actors should be able to turn on like a light… and you did that ! The best of sexuality is when it’s an invitation. I can see that you are using those exercises I sent you. They are the part of the process of auditions that you do at home. They’re just rehearsal tools. In class we work on the performance part. You are absorbing lots of ideas and this whole process very quickly. Be aware of repetitive verbal phrases that you build into your performance. Try opposites. If they say she likes him… try not liking him. Or she’s angry… try loving. Any large adjustments that you do will break up patterns and produce happy accidents. The growth in your presence and way you’re using language is impressive.
Good workout tonight. Loved the supportive and insightful commentary. No matter how many times I say something… often “the bell is wrung” by someone saying something just a little differently. And the is a widow in a communal approach.