We had another great Ongoing Scene Study for Film & TV class on Tuesday night.
We took a look at our previous work and talked about what we noticed and how we felt about it. I commented on what I think could make the work stronger and we went from that discussion to talking about the first two letters of The CAPTURES Method - C - commitment and change and A - authenticity and action. We took a few notes on our worksheet about how we could implement these concepts into our work and/or life. I mentioned how The CAPTURES Method tools can be used for acting and in everyday living.
We got in front of the camera and worked on our scenes and noticed how important it was to keep from blinking unless it was absolutely necessary. I mentioned that when watching films and television, notice how the lead actors often blink the least. Blinking is often reserved to tell story rather than as an automatic response. I talked about how we have to get good at crafting every aspect of the story we are telling in front of the camera. I also mentioned how we live in STORY like fish live in water. We can't exist without STORY!
Here are the links to your work: CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO FILES
I'm looking forward to working with everyone this Tuesday. Keep up the good work! We'll continue with a few more concepts from The CAPTURES Method and keep working on the scenes. I encourage all of you to reach out to each other and see if you'd like to work with each other at some point.
Breathe in. Breathe out. And...ACTION!
We worked day and night to get everything ready for our October 1 opening of the new space and we did it! Whew! We accidentally locked a few doors we weren't supposed to and we're still trying to figure out how to warm/cool the space, but we're getting there.
If you didn't catch our time-lapse on Facebook, CLICK HERE.
We had a lovely group of actors join us for the second night of Ongoing Scene Study for Film & TV. After a brief discussion of our work last week, we jumped right into a discussion about how we can follow our acting mantra of "Living life truthfully under the given imaginary circumstances."
We talked about how we want to be less "presentational" and tried to figure out what "indicating" means. We realized that it is a forcing or pressing forward of emotion and a lack of trust in what we are doing in front of the camera that causes us to feel like we need to present our ideas and attitudes rather than being in the moment to change the other person now.
I showed the class a clip of Alan Rickman talking about how he feels that listening is one of the most important things we can do as actors. We discussed how the camera likes us if it can see us thinking (subtext), how we can be more accurate with our listening so that it will be more fee and alive, and how accurate and bold our responses can be when our listening is accurate.
CLICK HERE FOR ALAN RICKMAN CLIP
I also showed the class this image that has been going around on social media and reminded the class about the importance of staying connected on social media in order to find work, build community and stay engaged. I'm not sure who created this image. If anyone has an attribution, I'll put on here in the future.
We also talked briefly about vulnerability and nervousness and how to work through nervousness through breath.
Then we took a quick break and reassembled in front of the camera to do scene work. We talked about the importance of memorization in order to be able to play the scene accurately and we did a few takes each in front of the camera.
HERE ARE THE LINKS TO YOUR FILES
Everyone made some great progress on their scenes. The new space is intimate and quiet and we could really focus on each actor when they were in front of the camera. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's progress as we continue.
Later that night, Heidi had an emergency Voiceover to do, so we quickly fired up the VO booth and she did several takes that she sent to the client. We're really looking forward to the October VO Intensive next week! We still have a few spots open! If you're interested drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'll see everyone for Ongoing Scene Study for Film & TV on Tuesday, October 8 at 7 pm.
Also, there is a doorbell for Hudson Valley Casting and Wayne Pyle Acting Coaching. Here's what it looks like. If you are stuck outside 7 Innis, just ring the bell!
Great first class! We started off with a great discussion about acting and how what the casting director sends you as a character description can often change because of the collaborative nature of filmmaking.
We talked about making bold choices of how to play the scene, whether for a self-tape or an audition, and how doing that is better than trying to figure out how to "get it right."
We did an acting exercise about having a task, an objective, something you have to complete by the end of the scene and how that took away the awkwardness and nervousness of being in front of the camera.
I reminded everyone about our definition of acting: LIVING LIFE TRUTHFULLY UNDER THE GIVEN IMAGINARY CIRCUMSTANCES. (CLICK THIS LINK FOR A DISCUSSION OF THIS CONCEPT WITH SAM ROCKWELL)
We talked about how we had to look for what we were trying to change in the other person NOW and how "getting information" or "getting them to understand me" isn't a strong enough choice. We want to "belittle, cajole, harangue, bless, curse, defeat, crush, blame, beg, plead, push" etc. the other person in order to change them. We want the other person in the scene to go from where they are to where we want them to be, and when that does or does not happen, to have a TRUTHFUL reaction to that imaginary circumstance.
We talked about having a DREAM outcome and a NIGHTMARE possibility. For example, if I'm in a romantic comedy, I might DREAM that my partner and I have a whirlwind romance in Paris, followed by a fairy tale wedding and years and years of married bliss. My NIGHTMARE might be that I die lonely, surrounded by cats, in a basement apartment with no friends or family and NO INTERNET.
See how that imaginary circumstance can bring more LIFE to what you are trying to change in the other person? It makes it more IMMEDIATE and gives you higher STAKES than just trying to get the other person to give you information. (Also, watching John Travolta do this over and over again makes me very happy.)
We also discussed how STILLNESS and SPECIFICITY and SUBTEXT were some of the most important concepts we can learn for film/tv acting. We will continue to study these concepts moving forward.
Everyone had a chance to get in front of the camera and to take a look at their uploaded files. Remember, I'll be expunging the files before the next class, so please download them if you'd like copies.
LINK TO YOUR FILES HERE
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Hudson Valley Casting now has it's own space!
Starting OCTOBER 1, 2019 all classes and private coaching will take place at 7 INNIS Avenue Coach House, Suite 5, New Paltz! Here are some photos and directions. If you use the dirt paths from Municipal Parking, please be very cautious, there are roots and rocks. You can park around Hasbrouck Park as well. Parking is very limited at 7 Innis Avenue, so please give yourself time to park and get to the space.
We are now offering SELF-TAPING SERVICES for those of you who would like to save the time and effort of taping yourselves for auditions. CLICK THIS LINK for more information. Lots of new classes and workshops as well. We are grateful and very excited about this new venture!
Please leave any comments or questions below. This is a great way to engage in your ongoing scene study work so please participate as fully as you can. Looking forward to our next class in the NEW SPACE! Come back to the blog for exercises, tips and commentary on all things acting.
BONUS FOR READING TO THE END:
FREE PDF BOOK of Memorization Techniques
Use these techniques to get better at memorizing anything! Working on your memorization skills is an important of being great at auditioning and acting.
2017 is off to a roaring start!
We have chaos in Washington and piles of snow here in upstate New York. Tons of film projects are coming to our area and in the past two months, Hudson Valley Casting has already placed over 40 people in various projects.
Hudson Valley Casting and Acting Coaching with Wayne Pyle have also been working with a publisher at Hachette Audio who produces audiobooks right here in the Hudson Valley. We've booked people for fiction, non-fiction and even a fun children's book.
If your New Year's Resolution was to get more acting work, NOW is the time to take action. I have an agent and a manager and I still have to be on the lookout for opportunities and use all of the resources available to me to book work. If you don't have an agent or manager, don't despair. The work is there if you actively pursue it.
Here are some things I've found to be very helpful when looking for work. Give some of them a try and leave me a comment when you book a job!
Here are a few links to explore:
Backstage - 7 Ways to Create Your Own Work
NY Castings - 9 Must Know Facts About Creating Your Own Work
Actors & Performers - Make Your Own Hollywood
The Huffington Post - Actors Who Make Their Own Works
Daily Actor - Create Your Own Work "Okay...about what?"