Patrick’s Acting Class Notes: 1/31/17

Six of us counting me. Dana the publicists with her green client. Rob as the aspiring actor with a sexy partner. Jean doing a scene from Good Will Hunting. Campbell as John Sin the newly named and very determined actor in an audition scene from a play he’s writing. Casey doing a cold read as the reluctant new author.

Dana…

I had a flash thought. Well I think this may be a version of going after what we think about as a dry sarcastic tone rather than a character… a character tone rather than a scenic tone. Remember how Ally went after the tone of that scene last week. Last week you said something I thought very insightful… something like “no matter what the period of time the characters are just talking.” Something like that… and I think it applies here. I want to see what Dana would say and how she’d react in that situation. Your approach tonight trapped you into a much too small range of reactions and vocal tones. Dana can be dry… don’t we know it. So unleash that beast and let her rain a torrent of publicist disdain for green authors upon his head. It’s clear to me now that a little of the fog is lifting that publicists have an professional attitude just like actors or any profession has for those it works with. Find that attitude and the character will emerge. I think this is a foundation for a character that is perfect for you. She’s not a bitch but she’s got a lot of attitude.

Jean…

Welcome back. This is good material for you. You’re handling the language well and Though you say you’re nervous you seemed comfortable in your body. I’d love to see this scene again and I have some ideas that may help you with feeling more comfortable. Activities are a great comfort to actors and I think we can find something here which will work on that issue. But I think you have to up your anger and disappointment in Will. He’s everyone’s hero, the one chance for them all to feel like they’re a part of a winner. It’s really a scene about a friend trying to talk another friend out of doing something stupid. And when he tells you he’s about to throw away this opportunity you just can’t believe it. Sometimes being away from class for a while brings about a change and I see that. You seem much more grounded Rob was right that you need to let it breathe a little. Just take moments to think about what you’re gonna say. That’s why I gave you the table so you could move and sit or get up and walk and then talk. Try rehearsing this as you do something like cleaning your kitchen. You’ll naturally take break in the activity and find time for thought.

Casey…

Great cold read and you used the script effortlessly. I think you should try some script in hand auditions and see what happens, Now that doesn’t mean go in less prepared… but try using the script… if nothing else to make the CD’s relax. Rob suggested a little more stillness in your approach. A little more aw shucks seemed to work especially at the top of the scene. But I think that he’s amazed at his success(and getting laid) and even a little scared of the crowd. That’s a type of aw shucks but a little more just overwhelmed at the life that he’s been thrust into. So a year ago he was a late 20 something shoe sales man writing at night, being rejected and in a few months he’s the toast of the town. So it’s some aw shucks but perhaps more “Holy Shit how did this happen?”

Rob…

I think we were mainly searching for character. We came up with Mathew Broderick and a couple of other suggestions for a usable type. But this can’t be a youthful version. So he’s not so much innocent as gob smacked that life has lead him here.n Maybe a little shell shocked that life is such a battle and that he’s lost and struggling. It could be he’s a guy who’s maybe even a little burnt out who could say “I wanna Fuck you’re brains out” like he’s had a couple of dozen one night whoopees in his life. I picture him a least late 20’s early 30’s and he’d have a touch of been there done that in him that could produce some humor. Maybe he’s even a little unsure and sarcastic about all this artsy fartsy actor crap. Just thoughts.

Campbell…

Wow. I don’t know if it was my sickness or what but your approach to this material overwhelmed me. I saw it as an avalanche of anger and I think we all agreed that won’t work. We talked about a guy who wants so badly to be good that he’s willing to be endure a gay honeymoon. And that could be funny if he really thinks that’s research and good acting technique and not angry about it. Maybe he’s proud. And then out of this green innocence comes real inspired performance. There’s real choice here… he’s either bad or good when we finally get to his performance/audition… last night most seemed to think good. If he’s an young struggling actor then his ‘research’ would be funny. I think too the CD was overly rude and could be reigned in a bit. I think we saw a lot of the author in this work last night and we need to see more of a character… but that is what working your scripts in public is about.