Patrick’s Acting Class Notes: 9/3/13

Just three of us. Tracy as the lawyer concerned about his client’s ball…. or is it balls?  And Aaron bringing back Chloe…. my favorite fairy.
Oh! the summer doldrums! At least that’s what I hope it is.  And we got to talk…. a lot…. maybe too much. But that’s what happens when you get two “older” actors in a room telling war stories. You were very patient, Aaron… thank you. Thanks for a good workout.


This is a clear reinforcement of last weeks lessons.  Lawyer stuff is word-centric.  You have to be nearly work perfect.  And that means thought perfect… cause that’s the only way to get this legalese into your brain.  No uhms…. no clutter… just their words and thoughts.  I find the inclusion of the third person a most useful tool.  Here it gave you the opportunity to expand the room to your client, find a little humor, and set up the last line as a punch line.  It was a perfect moment that shows us how you can be conscious or unconscious of the humor in the scene.  Both you and Aaron had lines that begged for multiple takes and we all love that process….. and it’s a most creative way to use the camera and editing.  I would encourage you to maybe bring in some more lawyer copy and use the script more.  Enlarge the print.  Wear your glasses… which look lawyerly anyway!  Lets put together an approach that you’ll get comfortable with…..  that will be the process that you’ll take into lawyer auditions.  I know you have that urge to be off book but…. in auditions where you’ll have even less time… Maybe you should just force yourself a couple of times in a workout to use the page and get comfortable with that process.  I think you’ll always have that urge to be off the copy and up into the life of the scene…. but I believe that if we can get you comfortable with the script…. it really is better craft… and that’s what we’re looking for in our workouts.  And part of this is just time.  I know this is only a class and we all max our efforts on the real thing…. but I think this approach would be a good tool for you to have.


What a difference confidence makes.  I remember when we first talked about the obligations of the lead actor…. and it raised some eyebrows.  But I think you demonstrated perfectly what that issue meant to me.  Confidence is contagious.  To your performance and to the guys in the room and the folks on the set.  You are much more expansive and impulsive and playful when you are confident.  I loved the physicality and movement that you brought to this character.  I can’t imagine another actor trying to do this seated or without movement.  It would loose its magic.  We played with adjustments on the timing of several “joke” lines.  Like we did with Tracy…. just repeating takes and changing the delivery we searched for the funniest ways to hit those moments.  And YES !….. thinking about this Nickelodeon writing as a style similar to musical comedy is brilliant.  Just because it’s big that doesn’t mean it’s not connected or real or grounded.  It’s possible and in fact absolutely necessary to be at a heightened reality level for a lot of modern writing.  Real is overused and much too hyped as a concept that we use to describe acting.  This was easily the best work you’ve done and clearly a break through.  Or is it just that the doors of the lock have opened and now you find yourself in another open  stretch of water looking for the path ?  Either way it’s a part of the process that you now understand in your body.  It’s definitely growth, progress, a break through.  It was good work.