Well, the year is pretty much over. Haha. Well, no but think about how fast this year has already gone. What have you achieved? Anything? I didn’t think so you lazy gits. Well, I haven’t done much either, so it’s all good. Well, I’ve been writing and working and generally being a waste of space playing on the internet all day, so there.
I’ve not been acting as much this year, which is weird seeing as I have more time for it. Well, I have done a few things, but (surprise surprise) I haven’t gotten any of the scenes from the errant producers as yet. This is a serious problem in Perth, and I presume, everywhere there is a creative industry where people sometimes work for free.
To tide me over, I’ve been doing an acting class with the Perth Film Network. It’s called Acting Blueprint and it focusses on making actors ‘self-sufficient’ in their craft. What the hell does that mean? Well, to put it basically, to give you the tools needed to survive researching and developing your character, critically reading a script (even when it’s only a page long)and personalising the character with your own experiences and personality. It’s stressed that you aren’t ‘pretending’ to be someone else, but you are drawing on your experience and drawing out those little bits of you that you don’t use very often. (You know, that psychopathic tendency that your common sense tells you to keep in it’s box…)
I’ve done a few acting classes in my time, and they are all so different, it’s stunning how each teacher has a completely different way of imparting information. Debbie and Marcelle from PFN use the Howard Fine school of thought, and it’s so simple I couldn’t believe it. I’ve learnt a lot, but the most was during some of the personalisation sessions; My scene partner and I were somewhat interviewed, in character. This allowed us (our character ‘us’) to explore the underlying issues that each character had and why they said the things they did, and why they reacted the way they did. Just simply by talking to each other in character, off script, we were able to bring a depth to the scene that a few moments before had been a little clumsy.
Debbie Thoy, owner of PFN, is the master of personalisation – showing actors how to bring themselves into the scene just by asking yourself a couple of questions that your character would undoubtedly know, regardless of whether it comes up in the dialogue. Where are you? Where are you in the plot? (i.e what has already happened?) What are your intentions? Are just a few of these, but ones that so few think about if they are simply getting to know a script for an audition.
Of course, it’s all much more in depth than that, but don’t take my word for it. The classes are open for auditing, which means you can sit and watch to figure out if it’s for you before you take the plunge. P.S I’m not nude in that photo…