Saturday, April 4, 2009

2nd round of scenes

In acting technique, we recently just wrapped up second round of scenes. This round of scenes entailed an emotional preparation, instead of a straight up exercise from a neutral point of view; that is, we needed to come up with a preparation that would emotionally charge us in a way that was appropriate to the circumstance. At the same time, however, we were not to "play the text", meaning don't "act" the way you have already visioned the text to be, everything should be spontaneous and instinctive.

To be able to prepare an emotion and stay in contact has been difficult enough for me, adding a layer of text was even moreso. For some, having a text is easy because it gets them out of their heads by not having to worry about what to say next; for me it's difficult because I become more anticipatory and have trouble working spontaneously when I know what's going to happen next. You have to let yourself not know what's going to happen, yet not forget to do certain things, and then be free all at the same time. Our teacher told us to remember that we are not there to "do a scene" but to really do whatever it is we're doing in the circumstance and let the scene come out of that. She also said that whenever you try to be "good", that's when you lose the focus of the work.

For these scenes, we were not becoming a character, but rather performing the scene from our own point of view. So we didn't have to work on acting from a different point of view, but from our own impulses, as before. In my scene, I ran an underground political newspaper that backed a political candidate who ran for an anti-Establishment platform. The candidate was an underdog who suddenly looked like he had a good chance to win, so my preparation was that I was supposed to be ecstatic of the whole situation. My partner is my girlfriend who is an actress who is desperate for a job, and is going to go to a party where she might meet a guy who she will possibly sleep with in order to get in the business. The scene has her breaking the news that she will be going to the party to me.

Throughout putting the scene up in class, I had trouble solving the first part of the scene where I'm in my own little world excited about Wally, the political candidate. As the scene develops it was easier to get lost in it, so at least there was some progress there. Part of the problem was I don't think I had a strong enough preparation that had me related to the circumstance, something I hope to fix for the final round of scenes at the end of the year.