Four of us. Small classes rock. Janet doing a working audit… welcome. Michael when you get her Email please forward this to her and thanks again for bringing a friend.
Michael as a parole officer dealing with Black Jesus. Janet as the confused/curious girlfriend dealing with Michael/boyfriend who’s pondering Black Jesus. Marco as the cocky guy breaking up with his girlfriend who’s found true love elsewhere.
Marco… welcome back… A little rusty. A little under prepared. But the lesson was obvious… When you’re ready… “Leap and the net will appear.” The net is your prep, and your talent… and LISTENING. When you put the script down you have to listen and respond. You were a bit loose on lines… at 80% and doubling up on a lot of lines. You need to be at 90%… and sitcoms and some shows require line perfect work. You have a natural ability to absorb lines and respond. Trust that part of your talent but put in that extra 30 minutes of work after you’ve “got it” and that will get you to a solid performance prep that will allow you to forget the script and just jump into the life of the scene. We talked about doing it drunk or stoned as an exploration. And we created a more cocky character from the things she said about you and his vocabulary and stage directions. That’s something you need to focus on… a scene is not just your lines but the other character’s interaction with you. I described it last night a la Jack Nicholson… “I say my lines so the other actor can say their lines.” Certainly that’s a simplification but the idea here is you have to get more from the script and the interaction with other characters… The script clearly pointed to a more well defined cocky character in our workout last night but I think your focus was just on learning your lines and not the life and character in the scene. Now you took that direction easily but if you find that in your prep and bring it to the audition you start at at higher level and can show set ready work in your first take.
Janet… Welcome… Your talent and training are obvious. You are ready to work… but you do need to be less careful ! It is the opposite of creative. Just some movement loosened your body and your personality and expressivity. I thought your first take was fine… but careful… and I think you saw that. I would describe your first take as more FOB in your character… at least that’s what I took from our conversation last night about you casting experience. As you loosened up… the play and intelligence and impulses and the humor came forth. She was more a cool American chick… rather than an actor trying to do what they want. That looseness allowed you to be different and fresh each take… impulse derived from listening. Now I’m not saying you should dump your backpack out in every audition… But you should explore the physical life in your prep and show us the life in the material that defines the WHERE(of who what where). In this class I call it the vocabulary of behavior that helps you tell the story. If you are grounded in movement and place then our audience bodies can empathize more and lift your performance out of the ditch of being an actor in a casting office trying to get a job…. And instead you can create a character who’s in a definite place doing something that we can relate to. I came down a bit too hard on your former training… apology. But standing still for the camera is an anchor around the actor’s neck that is taught in too many classes. You are an artist and CD’s expect you to come into the office and live though the scene and allow us to watch you. There are so many Don’ts connected to auditioning classes. So many that we get driven into a corner and stand still and that just isn’t alive or interesting to watch. But you took the direction and implemented it with ease and that exploration and flexibility was impressive. Your commentary was supportive and insightful and your work was delightful. I hope you’ll join us. Next week is the last class of November and all the classes this month are on me…. so join us again next week as we head into xmas.
Michael… I really do see much growth in your talent… the actor’s ability to be in the scene, in the life, in the character’s shoes. The sincerity and depth of your “Love” lines were perfect and they set the believability and significance of this character that we’ve never met. And they set you up to be the comic foil for Janet. I agree that sitting was a much better reflection of his psychological state. So that even though you never moved… the inner struggle/confusion was the movement/search for clarity that drew us into the story. You added some physical gestures to the later ‘love’ takes and some of them worked and some didn’t. Like last week… My instinct is that they are not connected to impulse when they don’t work so you do them and they don’t really express your inner life. I love big gestures but they have to come form impulse… the need to move and express. But I encourage you to continue to try movement and gesture and add to the things you can do in a scene. This is something new in your work and I want you to do more. Pace… you picked up cues in the last take and it came in at 1.5 min which is the same time that Janet hit in her audition. Before the pace note it came in at 1.6 or 1.8 and just that little lean into pace made a palpable difference… comedy ! And you can easily justify the pace because he wants to understand and is pressing on his words and thoughts to find an answer. And its comedy ! Mostly… the growth I’m seeing… is more clarity of diction, thought and expression of ideas. You’ve had a huge growth in you talent… let that give you confidence and permission to play.
What a fun night. There was some good work and you guys took adjustments and played and produced believable characters and set ready work.