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.
Wayne Pyle is a SAG/AFTRA/AEA actor, acting coach and adventurer living and creating in the Hudson Valley and beyond. His extensive film & tv credits can be seen on IMDb by CLICKING HERE.