Why would anyone want to follow me if I never updated? -Sigh- I only wished I had a lot to update. I haven’t been sent out at all for auditions, so either my agent forgot about me or my headshot is in need of an update. I think it’s both. 😡 I will update my headshots soon, before the year ends. And they’ll be bomb ass and he’ll remember to submit me. And I guess it’s ok that I’m not being sent out cuz then it’ll give me time to concentrate on my classes. Taking 12 hours a week of classes, I’m constantly thinking about the craft. Taking improv classes at groundlings by day and method acting at playhouse west by night, I’m still trying to find the style that would best garner the emotions out of me. Both styles are so different but in so many ways are sooo similar. It really fascinates me, but maybe that’s just me missing the life of a student.
The more I delve myself into acting and get to know her, the stronger I feel that I AM made to do this. I can do this, and I can do it well! I’ve been doing some reading on method acting, specifically from the book “Sanford Meisner on acting”. I guess the main lesson I’ve learned from this book is to “live truthfully under imaginary circumstances”. This tells me that if you’re gullible, you’re gonna be a bomb ass actor, and doode! I’M GULLIBLE! Super gullible, to the point that it angers me when I find out that people were just “joking”. (Hah, joking as in lying! – I’m over it though). Anyways, this form of acting is very internal and emotional. Right now I’m in beginners, just learning the basics. We don’t do real scenes with text. We do a bunch of two person “scenes”. These scenes consist of a person doing an activity (an activity that requires your full attention and concentration), while another person comes to the door, and if you’re in it, you improv it out based on each other’s behaviors. The first person must get the activity done, but how do you do it when someone else in the room wants your attention as well? Person that comes to the door has an objective, whether it is to get a bag of sugar or something more meaningful. Anyways, this is the set up and you just have to be able to pick up on EVERYTHING from your partner and yourself. Whether he/she is sad, mad, annoyed, and how they affect you. How does it make you feel? Live every little nuances moment to moment, picking up small impulses, and only do something when your gut tells you to. Don’t think, don’t act, just feel. It’s like a gym for your emotions where you take everything personally, express it fully, and let it ALL out.
I find it interesting because society has conditioned us to keep our emotions in check. Nobody wants to see everyone crying their sob story on the bus every frigging day right? So it’s challenging that with acting I have to unconditioned myself from that. When I was young, I was such a crybaby. I took everything up the butt! What makes it even more challenging is that to learn control of my emotions, I have to be able to lose control first and that’s what this class allows me to do. The book totally reaffirms the whole emotional part relative to who I am and my journey to be an actor:
“Any of the negative experiences that life has to offer have impacts of varying degrees … this feeling that you’re being mistreated, that you’re no good, which is a holdover from way back when you were almost an infant, can be a potent force in your acting. But the confidence that permits you to say ‘I am somebody’ takes a long time to become secure in you. The problem arises when that feeling of worthlessness is juxtaposed with something that is part and parcel of this business – namely, that you can’t learn to act unless you’re criticized.”
So how am I doing in this class? I think I’m pretty good with picking up things from my partner. Can I get emotional? Definitely, but I feel like I really need to be pushed there by my partner. I’m only as good as my partner.
What about improv at groundlings? Now where method acting is inward-out, improv is more outward-in. BIG EMOTIONS, exaggerated to the point that it’s comical. We do two people scenes where the audience gives a location, i.e. the gym. The two actors in the scene must set it up with the three fundamentals: who, what, and where. Who the characters are and their relationship to each other, what they are doing in the scene, and where they are. Since it’s improv, anything goes. We do a lot of space work to indicate the present action within the scene (i.e. using the elliptical). We make up on the spot the relationship, “oh! You’re the best gym instructor I’ve ever had”. And with improv, everybody is right. Never deny, if my partner says I’m the best gym instructor, then damn right, I am the best instructor.
Improv with groundlings is not about feeling it truthfully and projecting it to your partner. It’s more about making shit up, and justifying it later. For me, this style works too. Because the more I justify it, the more I can fool myself into thinking it’s true and then logically act it out truthfully. It’s kinda like when I auditioned to take classes for groundlings. The instructor told us to be sad. I didn’t think back to kids bullying me back when, I just crinkled up my face and sobbed loudly, and surprisingly that got me really emotional where tears came out. Outward in.
How am I doing in this class? I dunno! We play a lot of games and I’m having fun. It really allows me to think out of the box and then justify it later. It really allows me to think and be creative, to kinda build upon my repertoire of weird ideas and imagination.
Both styles of acting: improv and method are similar too where working with your partner is extremely important. That’s really my biggest gripe with my agent. If acting is a communal thing, reacting to your partner, listening to your partner, how can he judge my acting capabilities on a monologue? -_- Well whatevers, I’m going to excel in these classes and hopefully show my agent that I’m made to do this. That I can be really good at this someday one day.