So, it’s only two minutes, but hey, who’s counting? A fellow student is in a film class and he asked me to play a bum. I thought, ‘typecasting’. So we shot that today, and interestingly enough, the other actor who was supposed to be in it apparently got arrested and didn’t show. So our Director (the fellow student) got a replacement: The former President of the student body. How cool is that? My first Indie at the University of Florida and I get to act with the former President of the student body. He’s not an actor, by the way, but he looks great in a suit and was as nice as can be. He seemed to enjoy the process. Anyway, I dressed up like a bum, and I was supposed to hit him up for money. He’s supposed to say something like, “Don’t ask me for money, or I’m calling the cops!” Later on, he somehow loses his money and ends up on the street with me, trying to bum a cigarette off me. They had me smoking so many cigarettes in the hot sun for this shoot, as soon as I got home I threw up. That’s ACTING!
In Script Analysis, we talked about the ‘internal’ and ‘external’ and how to draw information from the script under those sub-categories. The internal (thinking) and the external (actions) both play primary roles in the script, akin to the words and the subtext. We were told that the internal kind of came around with Chekhov and the simultaneous arrivals of psychology and science to the theatre. Professor Russ showed some examples of the Given Circumstances project and kind of politely suggested people think about maybe resubmitting with a little more effort. He showed up a rather obsessive/compulsive detailing of Shakespeare’s The Tempest which had every fact in the play, scene, verse, category, etc. I assume some of the class did not bear down with appropriate aplomb. I’m going to take a chance that mine is one of the top tier and let it go as is. I hope I don’t regret that decision. Here are the journal entries:
ACTING FOR DIRECTORS:
Continuing with scenes, we had final presentations for The Odd Couple and Matanata. Both scenes were much improved, as they had been worked-on, pruned, and jacked-up by the Directors per Dr. Young’s suggestions. In The Odd Couple, the distinction between the two characters was more extreme which helped the comedy, and the stage business was more affecting. In Matanata, the sexual chemistry was ramped up, the specificity of the cooking business was brilliant, and the energy was more composed. It was nice to see that there is always room to take a scene further and further. Dr. Young specifically asked that those watching scenes vary their point of view (audience) to see how differently this impacts the viewing experience.
Continuing with Stanislavski, we received a new short script, similar to the above with slight differences, and we partnered up. This time, we had physical action included in our motivations and character assignments. For example, I’m a man looking to get laid, she’s a girl who really has to go to the restroom, and we’re dancing together at a night club. The delivery of those lines was choice! We were asked to think about these exercises in approaching our monologues in an effort to ‘layer in’ depth. We then began reading our monologues or ‘work shopping’ them, with advice and suggestions from our professor. I need to get a copy of this play for my monologue to get a deeper sense of where my character is coming from. I’m just a little too shy to call the library and ask, “Excuse me, do you have a copy of Shopping and Fucking?”
NO CLASS TODAY!!!
I am focusing, these two days, on checking in with my body and noticing bad habits. It has come to my attention that I hold in a considerable amount of pressure in my face muscles. My eyes squint for no apparent reason. Why do I find a pruned up, furrowed brow, squinty eye position so comfortable? My brain analyzes it and discovers it’s a false comfort. It’s the holding of tension. So I make efforts to relax my face. I breathe into it, try to relax my eyes. They seem stuck in the squint, but it’s as if they’re telling me, “Please let us chill out. Our backs hurt.” Ha ha…the backs of my eyes hurt. I rotate them around, and I try the specific language, “…you have my permission.”
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