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Posts Tagged ‘Acting’

I Want My MTV

May 9th, 2010 No comments

Great song, one of my all-time favourites from Dire Straits.

It’s a scary attitude that people hold towards performers, but also one that performers hold for themselves.

“I am talented. I am a genius. I am just unrecognized. I am not getting booked in auditions because these cretins don’t recognize greatness.”

Well, in my case anyway, it’s because I don’t do enough work outside of the work to get the work. You see where I’m going with this? This is a kick in my pants (and mybe yours) to start doing classes, working monologues, and networking.

Audition Yesterday

March 6th, 2010 No comments

Man, it felt good to do it again. Sort of act, that is. The audition is a showpiece that highlights certain acting skills. But without a partner and/or a safe environment, it’s not really acting.

Still. Damn, that felt good. I need to book more once NIF is over.

Categories: Acting, auditions Tags: ,

Memorizing a Side

March 4th, 2010 No comments

Doing what someone suggested once, which is do physical activity while running the lines. So far I’ve gotten laundry under way and done a load of dishes. Even if I bomb tomorrow, I will have a much cleaner house.

But all frivolity aside, it helps to remind me I have a physical body attached to this memorization unit.

Categories: Acting, auditions Tags: ,

Killing Creativity

February 27th, 2010 No comments

It’s an action society favours.

After all, schools are designed to create people who think along a certain path. The engineer path, the doctor path, the actor path. And in the actor path, what are you taught?

I seriously don’t know, because I have never taken institutional acting training. It’s all been studio and independent teachers showing me what to do. But when I look at the general tone of what is getting produced, I have to think that actors are, if not being taught that acting is a product, are being steered towards acting as a product.

Who are the actors who thrill us? Who will make us watch a production just because they are in it, just walk up to the box office and plunk our fifteen bucks down and walk through the door? What do they have that compels us so?

Everyone will have a different list. Some of the ones on my list are Johnny Depp, Gene Hackman, Will Smith. When I write this down and look at it, what the heck do they have in common?

Depp is the supreme chameleon, the ultimate character actor. He becomes the role.

Hackman is actually a supreme character actor as well, look at him in The Conversation and The French Connection and tell me I’m lying.

Smith is, well, not as much of a character actor as these two. There’s always a bit (or a lot) of Will in his performances. But he does get into the roles, and he does bring truth to the characters.

What all three have? What do I want to call it? Fearlessness? Risk taking? A sense of play?

Like children who don’t say to themselves, “Hey, this is really silly, I’m not an abominable snowman.” They just walk around in the snow with their arms stretched out, their fingers made into claws, and growling to wake the dead. The best play is also when you are not thinking, “OK, now I am going to be dramatic. I’m rolling my abominable snowman eyes. How was that? Dramatic, huh?” That kind of internal monologue comes across really strongly in film, and also on stage, and it turns me off as an audience member.

But these monologues are done by actors who are taught at some point they are a product. A commodity. Who are totally fungible, so if they want the work, they had better learn to play the game. Creativity takes second place to being “Just like Bette Davis, only with longer hair.”

And so the process grinds away and spits out some robots who go out and sell tickets. And God knows I’m not the best actor in the world, but still. I am going to always return to Mamet, who points out that this is a flawed system, and if you know it is flawed, why participate in it? Why grasp the butcher knife in your hand and stand over your creative soul, stabbing at it?

Because it’s the way things are done, don’t you know? It’s the way to get cast, to get a part, to shoot to stardom.

Well. This has been a long blog entry. Must mean I’m ready to produce, direct, or act.  It’s like chatting up a girl, I’m chatting up my little creative soul.

Categories: Acting, Philosophy Tags: ,

Whirlwind 1, Me 0

November 13th, 2009 No comments

Bah.

But stay tuned.

Categories: Acting, Philosophy Tags: , ,

And the Opposing View…

September 17th, 2008 No comments

Well, maybe not.

Bob Fraser (You Must Act and other sites) has said money has to be what you focus on as you act. That you are a business and need to behave that way. That fame isn’t as important as getting paid.

Bob and Chad both agree that you need to focus on making money and not giving it away for free. It’s just that Chad explicitly says you are doing it because you enjoy it while Bob just kind of assumes that’s the case and makes with the dispensing of show business wisdom.

It’s difficult because if you really are an actor, you love to perform. It’s hard to resist those community theatre projects to keep yourself in shape.

I don’t know what the answer is. No freebies ever? Not act if you aren’t getting paid? I know I would rather work than sit around at home. But you do devalue yourself if you do all kinds of free stuff. If not to the outside world, then to yourself subconsciously.

Absolutes are hard to maintain.

Categories: Career Tags: ,

Is It Enough?

September 15th, 2008 No comments

I’m a member of Actor Tips (really good resource, you should join it too), run by Chad Garcia. (Transparent headshot envelopes!)
In one of his articles, he says the following:

You’re doing work that you love, you’re doing what you do best, and you’re part of a community. You’re a successful actor.

Don’t fall into the trap of feeling like a failure because you don’t make millions or aren’t in constant demand for big city tours. Appreciate the fact that you are doing what you love. Very few people can claim that.

So, to just make a living as an actor. Is that enough? Or is greed for the almighty dollar the way you should be thinking?

I’m at the point where I’m tired of doing it for free, but I also realise I will have to accept that I will not get paid a living wage right away. So what would be enough for me right now? Getting some part-time income through it.

And would that be enough forever? No. Would I want the millions? I would, but at this point in life it’s a very long shot.

What is enough for you in your acting career?

On Being a Stagewhore

September 14th, 2008 No comments

Well, I’ve started this blog on this here site to document my trials and tribulations as a stagewhore in the city of Toronto. Stay tuned!

Categories: Acting Tags: ,