We were in the Alumni Gym last night, working hard and thinking DEEPLY about acting on camera. Beyond just discussing techniques.
I said to the group last night that I feel I need to add to my class descriptions the following:
“Develop your PHILOSOPHY about on-camera acting,
instead of just focusing on the techniques.”
Together, in the classes, we’re not doing what many people think we are doing.
I teach technique in about 20 minutes. Then, our real work begins.
Together, we’re actually looking beneath the surface, under the hood, of working on-camera. You all are so willing to go deeper. It’s such an inspiring way to work, and I believe gets you where you want to be. The work follows the art. And, the art follows the philosophy.
When you focus on your philosophy about acting, the work itself gets deeper.
I find that when you ask the big questions, then you can get to the bigger answers. As an actor, delving into your “process” and really understanding yourself will actually sustain you through all scenarios when you are working on camera – in auditions, on sets, on locations and anywhere/anytime that you are acting.
I’m interested in you being sustained for years to come as an actor.
Developing a “philosophy” on acting for camera is more life-lasting than simply learning a technique that might get old and not work for you in a few months or years.
I love when an actor says “Wow! What we are talking about right now reminds me of a quote from my teacher years ago…”
It’s the PHILOSOPHY that you have hung on to all these years that impacts your acting.
I encourage you all to keep asking the deeper questions about acting, to keep searching for ways to access yourself in your acting work on camera and on stage. In fact, don’t even settle for answers!
Look for the big questions. Discover the big truths.
Try reflecting on these meaningful questions… on the subway, in a journal, in conversation with someone…
- What stops me from getting in the way of my acting goals? (fear? confidence? trust? fear of what?, etc)
- What blocks me from doing my best work inside the audition room? What comes up for me?
- What does being vulnerable (as an actor) mean to me?
- How can I prep a role intensely and then be “free” in the audition room?
- Do I stand up for my own choices? Why don’t I ask to sit/stand for the scene? I prepped it to be standing, but now I see a chair and feel like I have to sit. What makes me not at least ask for things that would support my work in the audition room? What do I think will happen to me?
Reflecting on what acting means to you will get you even further than just understanding techniques.
Now, hear it from your peers.
Below are two specific “philosophy” insight examples that came up this week after classes!
Perhaps they will resonate for you too.
Actually, their emails actually prompted me to write this newsletter to you today!
STUDENT EMAIL EXCERPTS:
This actor is developing a philosophy for acting by engaging with the deeper questions...
“I’ve always known there was some sort of roadblock between me and “giving in” to the scene when I’m in a cold read. I haven’t been able to put my finger on it. Something about yesterday’s class and some of the things you said started to piece together my issues, and talking with my friend, they became clear. I have a deep fear of trusting…and I’m realizing how detrimental it is to my acting. Talk about an AHA!
Thank you. I am not quite sure how I’m going to let go of this and evolve, but I’m glad that I finally know what I’m dealing with.”
This other actor developed a philosophy for doing the “Under 5 lines” auditions…
“I went in for Gotham and totally had a blast at the audition! It was two lines, short and sweet. But maybe there is something I can take away from that [for my bigger and scarier scenes]. It was such “low pressure” knowing I had just a few words. But if I’m auditioning for a scene with a character (with more lines), instead of being daunted by navigating a whole two pages in the audition room, maybe I can think of it as just having the first line or two…and the rest of the scene is a surprise. And I have no idea that I’m going to say the rest before it happens! I just figured that out as I wrote it. Last night has inspired me to think, what if…!”
See you soon in Audition/Acting “Philosophy” class!
Let’s evolve your philosophy.
There are no gurus.
You are your wisest guru.