Posts Tagged ‘acting basics’
There are a LOT of things, as in physical things you can do in a scene. Sometimes there will be things written, sometimes, not.
Something like, "HE TAKES A DRINK OF WATER." May seem like simple direction, but they can be much, much more.
If there's some kind of action written into the scene, it's there because the author had something very specific in mind for what that character was feeling in that moment. There's a very specific reason that HE TAKES A DRINK OF WATER right then, and not the line before or after it.
What's the reason?
Damned if I know.
Get creative. it could be a litany of reasons...maybe...
...he needed a minute to think
...he wanted to let the guy think about what he said
...he needs to relax
...he was actually thirsty
These are four off the top of my head. I haven't even seen the scene we're talking about.
If there's stage direction, sure, do the literal thing, sometimes that's all you need. But in the whole play/movie, the guy only ever is directed, in the script, to drink twice, why is this one of the times? You answer that, and you've got a little clue to the character, even if you don't have all the info you'd like on them.
Tags: acting basics, acting lessons, acting pointers, better auditions
Posted in Acting, Acting Lessons |
In the scene you're about to do, what just happened the "moment before"?
Something ALWAYS happened just before this. Sometimes the script will give you clues, sometimes it's totally up to you.
We could easily make a list of what it could be when it's up to us...
You could have...
...just had a fight.
...just woken up.
...just stepped in dog shit.
...just got laid.
...just had your dog die.
...just got a new job.
...just quit your job.
...just won a $5,000 scratch ticket.
You get the idea.
Go make your own list. At least 10 items. Pic two for the sides today.
P.S. I find it's better to make a list that has nothing to do with the scene you're about to do. This way, you get to try some really random stuff, and have a little more outside-of-the-box fun.
Of course, if it's obvious what just happened, you should probably try on that choice too.
Tags: acting, acting basics, acting lessons, acting pointers, auditioning, better auditions, pointers, proficiency
Posted in Acting, Acting Lessons, Audition Tips/Tricks, Pointers |
Be good at small talk.
Many of the jobs you get at first will only be a day, maybe two. You're going to be making a LOT of small talk with people.
Get some conversational skills. Ask polite, but appropriate questions. Practice listening (it's called small talk, because you should listen more;)
And here's a really good one; try to remember one distinct thing about each person. Even if you don't remember a person's name, if the next time you see them, you can say, "Didn't you tell me about a great place for pizza in Austin?" They'll be both surprised and delighted that you remembered something unique about them.
If you remember their name too...even better.
Tags: acting basics, actor's life, on set, on set pointers, on the job, professional conduct, the life of an actor
Posted in In general, On Set, Set Etiquette, The Actor's Life |
The stuff that we're doing on set, the stuff that fills our life with meaning?
It really ain't that important. Seriously.
Sure we move people. But we're not firefighters, or heart surgeons. What we do is mostly fluff. It's entertainment. Entertainment that makes some people, and hopefully ourselves, a shit-ton of money.
I'm not saying that what we don isn't important, but lets' put it into perspective.
In general, no one is going to lose their life if we mess up a take (nod to the stunt men, for whom this may not be true). It's just another take. Now, once you get past the 3rd or 4th take, you may start costing people money, and by the time you're on take 10, they're wondering what the hell is going on. But still, no one's life is at stake.
What we is important, in context. We all love out-takes, but you don't want the set to be a free-for all. And you don't want to be unprofessional.
Believe it or not, being more relaxed about the whole process will make you better as an actor. More relaxed = more emotion. More emotion = more dramatic takes.
Tags: acting, acting basics, acting pointers, actor's life, professional conduct
Posted in Acting, The Actor's Life, The Basics |
You should try something that you KNOW isn't right.
Make a choice that your POSITIVE doesn't work for the scene.
Make the character a clown, a drunk, a 5-year old, a frikkin' cowboy, hell, a creep child molester priest, I don't care. Make some REALLY BIG, even random, choices and go all the way with them, total caricature, SNL style.
Guess what's gonna happen?
You're gonna have a little fun. You're gonna loosen the fuck up. You're going to take the pressure off because there's no way that the character would be this way.
Guess what else is going to happen?
You're going to get insight into the scene. Sure, you'll probably never play the scene that way at an audition, or on stage, or on set. But doing so opens you to more possibilities for the scene, and keeps you from getting in a rut. You know that rut where you're saying the lines the EXACT SAME WAY only at different volume? Yeah. That's not acting. That's boring.
And those things that you were SO sure were true about the character? Maybe there's a little wiggle room there.
Tags: acting, acting basics, acting lessons, pointers, rehearsal ideas
Posted in Acting, Audition Tips/Tricks, Pointers |
That's what we're here for. This whole site is a place for you to try shit out. Anything. You wanna do the scene in a dress? Put it on. Wanna try a German accent? Nine problem. Wanna do it while jumping rope? Let's go Rocky.
You don't fail enough. Seriously. You need to fail a LOT to start to have the instincts about the stuff that's going to work and that's not going to work. You may try something and think, "Yeah! That's a great choice!" Only to find out it wasn't the best one that you could make.
You need to try at LEAST 10 different "ways" to do a scene before you can start narrowing things down about how you think it should be played. And by "ways" I mean anything from accents to being cold out to a whole other list of things that we'll get to with time. If you go in with your first choice, at best you're always going to come out of your reading wishing that you would've tried something else, at the worst, you're going to get an idea on the way home and obsess that "I should've done THAT!"
Since you're getting all the gold I'm putting out here, go ahead and be a failure today. Do the scene the worst way you possibly can. Make the glaring WRONG choice for the thing. You know what? You're going to find a little kernel of truth or insight by doing it that way.
Tags: acting basics, acting lessons, better auditions, pointers, real acting
Posted in Acting, Acting Lessons, Audition Tips/Tricks, Pointers |
Acting can be seen a little like learning a second language. From a practice standpoint.
In the beginning, you know a few words and have a few tools at your disposal. As you get better you can go deeper into a language, and maybe even get a few jokes, and carry on a conversation. Go even deeper, and you will get the "inside jokes" of a language, things like playing of words and such. When you become turely fluent, you're not even thinking of what you're going to say. You have a thought and communicate it.
Acting is very very similar. At first, you do everything with just the few tools that you have. You're really good at angry, so everything takes on that color. After a while, you get a little better, and have some measure of proficiency, and can call on different emotions. Go even deeper, and you see what the writer meant or the deeper meaning in the script and how it all ties together. But when you're really fluent, when you've reached the point of virtuosity, you find that you're just communicating. You're not thinking of what to say next. You're feeling, and the words just flow out.
This all happens, of course, through practice.
It's amazing, really, that people would never think of going to a foreign country without even picking up a phrase book. Yet they would get up on stage and try to give it a go. Even better when the director, or casting looks at you like, "What was that?" and you go into a explanation of what you were trying to do!
You need daily practice, just like you do in a foreign language. Sure, if you live on set, and you're on day 106 of a 200 day shoot, I would think that you have your stuff pretty well dialed in. This is like living in France for a year, and really having your french dialed in. If, however, it's been a while since you've had a audition, and you're current scene partner is lame about making it to rehearsals, Wwell, you're probably going to get a little rusty. Just like if you came to the states and didn't speak a lick of French for a while.
If you met a French person, you could get your point across, but after parting ways, you'll probably be thinking, "Ah, I should've said it this way, not that way." Does that phrase sound familiar? Ever had that internal dialogue inside your head after an audition?
Yeah, thought so.
You need to practice every day. You need to be emoting. You need to get your tongue around some words. You need to be moving. There are a lot of ways to make all that happen. Stay tuned, and we'll give you some tools.
Tags: acting, acting basics, acting lessons, life skills, professional conduct, proficiency, Why should I join?
Posted in Acting, In general, The Actor's Life, The Basics |
So, you booked a gig. Sweetness. The fun isn't over. You've actually got to do the job and at the very least not embarrass yourself.
The first thing you should do when you get on set is to ask who the 2nd Assistant Director is. This is the person who is, essentially, "in charge" of you.
Reporting to this person once you get to set is key, since you'll wan them to know where you are at all times. Nothing too extreme needs to be said once you find this person. Something simple like, "Hi, I'm AP. I'm one of your actors today."
They'll show you to your trailer, room, or to wardrobe, depending on the location & budget of the shoot.
If you are going to be anywhere other than your trailer or on set, you should let the 2nd director, or some other friend you've made with a walkie talkie know. Make-up o wardrobe will tend to be around, and if you need to run to the rest room, letting them know is alright as well.
Basically, let SOMEONE know where you are at all times. You may think that you have an hour before they shoot, but nothing's worse than finally having the sun in the right spot to get the perfect shot and they can't find the actor.
Don't be that guy. Please.
Tags: 2nd assistant director, acting basics, actor's life, on set, on set pointers, on the job, professional conduct
Posted in On Set, Set Etiquette, The Actor's Life, Who's who |
If you've been in acting for any amount of time, you must have SOME kind of accent or dialect that you can employ at will. Some of us have French, others love British, or maybe you've mastered the southern states, or have made a dive into the masses of Asia.
The accent doesn't matter. What does matter is trying it out with your material. Just reading it through with a different accent will provide you with insight into other ways to address the scene. This is especially useful when you feel like you're getting into a rut and are doing the scene the same way over and over again.
Doing it like your from Mississippi will change that for sure. The emphasis will be on different syllables, different parts of the sentence, you may even find a piece in there where there's a bit of humor that you didn't catch before. It a great, great discovery tool.
And hey it's pretty damn fun too.
Tags: acting, acting basics, acting lessons, better auditions, fast acting choices, pointers
Posted in Acting, Acting Lessons, Audition Tips/Tricks, Top Ten Lessons |
If you're really listening to your partner, even if that's the casting director, you're going to have a better audition. You can use what they are giving you to color what you're doing and re-act what they're giving you.
Acting/re-acting, you know that one right? If not, don't worry, it's coming.
"But they're not giving me anything!" you say. Great. Make it about them not giving you anything. If the scene calls for some kind of desperation, anger, or resentment, that makes it all the more easy to use that lack of giving. Deliver the line as if you really want that person to hear & understand you.
If they are giving you a little bit, run with that shit. They're trying to help. They'll be the first to tell you they're not actors, but that doesn't mean they're not trying to help you out from time to time.
Also, listen to what they give you for notes.
So many times, casting will say. That was good, now can you do it more angry/sad/confident/whatever. Really listen and see if you can get a feel for what they're going for. Most of the time, they want to see something different, to see if you're directable, or if you've just rehearsed the shit out of it, and are now stuck in a rut.
Be open to change, and listen.
Tags: acting, acting basics, acting lessons, acting reacting, listening
Posted in Acting, Acting Lessons, Top Ten Lessons |