Patrick’s Acting Class Notes: 4/25/17

Five of us. Rob doing a plaid pants character for Limoney Snicket.  Aaron reworking a lawyer for a pitch.  Jean as a stoner high on a brownie talking to the cops.  Casey working on a scene from Fargo for his scene class.

Rob…

This was one of your typical workouts…. we went from cold read to ready for performance.  That was a great example of how to find variation and colors.  Your first takes were just yelling, loud, garbled diction.  We used the script’s notations and the person with whom you were gossiping and found lots of variation.  Most important was watching the previews on line.  The style of this show is so out there that you really have to think of style first.  Just cliched character tweaks(hair, shirt buttoned) made it possible to believe the performance.  But breaking it out of the yelling of the first take was the key.  And that should be a red flag for all of us.  Whenever we rely on one tone/emotion/choice for a longer scene we are taking a shallow dive.  When you find yourself leaning into one singular tone you must look for variation, impulse, arc.

Casey…

The accent was the key and it came easily to you.  Not unlike the Irish thing you did. Just cutting loose with the accent made them both work… and using it in your daily life and letting it rip in performance is a good guide to approaching accent or strong character work.  I always try out that kind of work on people who don’t know me.  Rob’s note to add the desperation was spot on and could have even been a bit more present. I won’t dwell on the choice of doing well know movie scenes.  IT SUCKS !  Its just lazy and uncreative.

Aaron…

This is a great lawyer scene for a pitch.  We found the arc from intense discussion to anger and really (in that last beat) disappointment in him… without loosing the lawyer identity or your humanity.  I think the take away from this scene is that she’s a strong chick and a worthy opponent.  I’ll be interested in how your agent reacts to this piece.  I’m sorry the video quality prevented us from being able to submit this but the work should translate into a nice little lawyer piece for your reel.  This may be a random thought but your first takes of late have seemed to be overly careful.

Jean…

You stoner you.  I always worry about pace when we do stoners.  Certainly the expectation is that being stoned makes you dull and slow but when we added his enthusiasm and joy of being stoned… it quickened pace and really took off… and you could have leaned into that even more. The concept of things popping into your thoughts is also a classic stoner meme.  And being confused and forcing yourself to listen and understand are frequent elements.  Really the best way is to do some research.  That is… just hang our with some stoned friends and take mental notes.  And while your at it… watch their bodies, posture, movement and see if you can find physical hooks that tie you in.  Your work the last two weeks has risen to a new level.