Sunday, September 28, 2008

movement, among other things

so the third class i'm taking is called movement. basically, it's a class to help make ones movement more freer and less awkward i guess. during class we start with an exercise in the beginning where we lie on the floor and listen to new age calming music and move around to make ourselves more aware of our bodies. i think it's kind of meh, but who knows, i suppose.

we then did an exercise where we sat in different positions in a chair facing a partner, and experimented to see which position we could best relate to the other person. sitting upright or really relaxed made it difficult to relate, while sitting casually was easier as you didn't really pay attention to how you were sitting or how they were sitting; you were spending more of your energy connecting.

all in all, movement is my least favorite class though so far, we have to dress in like these black canvas shoes, black stretchy pants and white t-shirt everytime, and so far, i don't think i've learned anything really substantial (my other two classes, i really feel like i've been having breakthroughs really early). hopefully it gets better than this.

in the acting technique class, which i'll refer to now as technique, we changed up the repetition exercise by including an activity. the idea of the activity was to have it engaging enough that you take the attention off yourself, freeing yourself to make truthful responses. the teacher had me take a detailed inventory of the objects in the room while i did the repetition exercise. the repetition exercise went a lot more smoothly because i was engaged in the activity, and let my natural responses take surface. i even got a compliment from a classmate who enjoyed watching the exchange between me and my partner, pretty cool.

for my next technique class, i'm going to have to come up with an activity that's difficult for me and totally engaging. i also have to come up with a reason why i'm doing it, that's simple, yet specific. we'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

voice, and other things

On Monday, I had my first voice class. Nothing too exciting, we did some exercises that involved working on certain consonants. There was definitely a lot of emphasis on having a neutral accent so as to be able to reach the widest audience possible, I think I have a pretty neutral accent so I won't really have to change it much, probably more just work on general speech things.

Minor tidbit, to make a somewhat New Jersey accent, put your tongue on your teeth whenever you make a d/t sound, e.g. say, "I don't like to go to the dentist", and a bit nasally, and there you have it.

In the second acting class we did the repetition in front of the class. Naturally, I was terrible, and needed some coaching. I'm too tense in my upper body, I need to free that up whenever I breathe so I can be more flexible, etc. Fortunately my other class, Movement, will be useful in clearing that up, I hope.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A new quest

I started taking classes on Monday at an acting studio called William Esper Studio. I'll be blogging about my pursuits and stuff about acting, obviously anything interesting that comes up will be written here. My main class consists of ~20 students, ranging from 20-30 from all different backgrounds, etc. The main idea of the school is that acting, like anything else, has fundamentals and should be taught from the ground up. The theme of the school is Meisner's theme, that acting is "doing truthfully under imaginary circumstances."

The first class consisted of a repetition exercise in which two people say the same thing to each other, only changing the phrase under a few conditions:

1) They change a word to make it a truthful statement (e.g. "I have a blue hat" becomes "you have a blue hat" to the other person)

2) They change a word based on their instinctive reaction to the repetition. However, change that is made up from your mind to create dialogue is not acceptable. Everything has to come from instinct.

The class went pretty well, the exercise is more difficult that it sounds because you have to fight your temptation to put in a clever response or make your own intonation to make it more interesting. The idea is to bring out the truth, which is more interesting than anything we can fabricate.