One of the fundamental tools of The CAPTURES Method is AUTHENTICITY. We watched a few videos and had a great discussion about what authenticity is, how to practice it in life and how we can bring it to our acting.
I spoke about how we can sometimes be beholden to our "adaptive self" when we find ourselves in situations that may seem scary or out of our comfort zone. Instead of allowing our authentic selves to come through, we put on the mask, hiding our vulnerabilities.
As actors on film and tv, I believe we have to cultivate vulnerability and authenticity both in life and in front of the camera. I think the camera captures our truth as we express it and the closer we can get to our true selves or the character's true self, the more captivating what we are doing becomes.
We looked at a few actors reaction shots - Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness, Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street, Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers Endgame, and a few others based on this video:
We also talked a bit about RELATIONSHIP and how if you don't have a truthful relationship to the other person you are speaking to and trying to change, you won't have an authentic REACTION to what they are saying. You need to know how you are trying to change that other person and whether or not they are starting to change in order to authentically react to what they are saying.
We took a break and worked on our scenes, and I have to say, I think EVERYONE in the room that night had a big breakthrough in their scene work. That's the power of being a listening for AUTHENTICITY. Great work, everyone! I'm really looking forward to seeing what you bring to your next session.
HERE'S THE LINK TO YOUR FILES
Here's another quick video from CHARISMA ON COMMAND (highly recommended) about PRESENCE that has some really important concepts relating to AUTHENTICITY! Even though he's talking about social skills, we can apply these concepts to our acting. Keep working on those other CAPTURES tools and I'll see you next Tuesday.
A quick recap of the concepts in the video:
So important and if you incorporate these ideas, they will make a difference!
Another great session for Ongoing Scene Study for Film & TV here at 7 Innis Avenue! We started off the night talking about Technology and how important it is to stay up-to-date on the current technology in order to get more auditions and to be successful with your audition submissions. We also talked about how technology like social media can help us stay informed about what is happening in the world of acting and filmmaking/tv. We ended that discussion by also talking about how knowing how films/tv shows are shot (the technology) can help us feel more secure as actors when we hear the terminology being used and how we can also use our knowledge of technology to film our own scenes/projects.
We also talked a little bit about "lavender moments" - activities that a character does on camera that really stand out and help define the storytelling in a way that CAPTURES our attention. I call them "lavender moments" because of Arian Moyaed's sniffing of lavender in a scene during HBO's Succession. We tried to look for "lavender moments" in our scene work. (Thanks, Arian!)
We took a little break and then talked about the importance of stillness. I showed a little bit of each of these YouTube videos. You can watch them in more depth here.
We then took another break and got ready to do the scene work. We talked about bringing more stillness to what we were doing on camera and how that affects the viewer. We then went through each of the scenes. CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE SCENE WORK FROM TUESDAY NIGHT.
As always, please download your files ASAP so that I can clear space on the servers for next week. I have a special announcement about next week coming up! Look for it in your email...
We also start the Audition Mastery Intensive tonight! Looking forward to working with all of you on becoming audition masters. If you're interested in joining the next session of AMI, drop me an email at email@example.com
Also, if you want to book private coaching time for any reason - audition work, pep talk, tech coaching (how to submit self-tapes, set up IMDb or Actors Access), etc. just click this link PRIVATE COACHING BOOKING.
See everyone next Tuesday!
Another Ongoing Scene Study for Film & TV happened this Tuesday, October 15. I think everyone made some great progress with their scenes this week. We talked a bit about PRESENCE - one of the concepts of The CAPTURES Method.
We talked a bit about Patsy Rodenburg's 2nd Circle and watched a YouTube video on the Power of Presence. I highly recommend that you also watch the second video all the way through.
Another great series to watch on YouTube is a channel called Charisma on Command. They examine the way celebrities present themselves in life and how you can use their techniques to be more present. Here's a video on 5 Easy Steps to be Effortlessly Charming.
I also shared an idea I saw recently on social media from another acting coach who talked about forgiveness. He uses a self-forgiveness technique before he goes on camera by saying to himself, "I forgive myself for what is about to happen." I found that interesting, but not necessarily a technique I would use. I don't think we need to forgive ourselves for anything if everything we do is done fully, in the present, with confidence in where we are right now. I tend to think of auditions/scenes as moments to explore the truth of the scene fully and even if we don't quite find the truth we are looking for, there is not necessarily a need for forgiveness, just a willingness to let it go and move on to the next opportunity, making adjustments for yourself to get closer to the truth the next time.
What I'm saying is, it's not a sin or a crime to flub something while acting, it's just a missed opportunity that, if we don't have a "lack mindset" will come back around to us again as long as we keep searching for it. If we use The CAPTURES Method and USE WHAT WE HAVE, we have no need for forgiveness because we know that what we have is enough, and if not, we can take actions to change that when we can.
Here are the links to the VIDEO FILES FROM LAST SESSION.
We worked one-on-one and did a modified Meisner repetition technique using the script in order to really hear (intent listening) what the other character is saying to us. I think this helped us make a lot of progress in the scenes.
Keep up the good work, everyone! If anyone is interested in joining the Ongoing Scene Study for Film & TV, there are still slots available. Just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get you started in the class.
We also have the AUDITION MASTERY INTENSIVE coming up next week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evening from 7-9 pm. If you'd like to join us, it's only $210 for three evening sessions. We cover self-taping, cold reading, auditioning in the room and offer lots of suggestions on how your auditions can be stronger. We're almost full, so if you'd like to hold your place in class, please drop me a line at email@example.com.
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?"
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.