Acting and Reacting
Have I mentioned how much I love getting to go to class twice in the same week? Because I would go every single day if I could. In class, on set, being a reader…these are my happy places! Since my last post, we filmed our Bridget Jones’ Baby scene, where I stuck to my word and did it with a British accent. It was not at all the right region or social class for Bridget, but I didn’t want to copy Renee Zellweger’s specific way of speaking in the Bridget Jones movies, so I didn’t really hit the mark for the role, but I did have fun using an accent.
The first take Suzanna found we were a little self-conscious in our movements, probably because we had to navigate around a table and have me pretend sit on a toilet to pee on a stick. We could have done that part off camera or something, but I think there is definitely something interesting to be seen in those moments when dealing with a potential unexpected pregnancy.
After we fixed the blocking, we went again, then another time where Suzanna encouraged us to ad lib a bit for the peeing on a stick part, as well as when I realize the condoms I used were expired. She thought it should be less contained and more freaking out and going crazy, which was obviously a lot more fun to play.
For our final take, we did a bit of improv first, which gets our minds off the lines and lets us embrace who we are and what’s going on instead. On set it wouldn’t have been appropriate, but since we were in class, we both sort of decided to ad-lib through the text. We still said all of our lines as written, but we added some stuff to make it flow better and seem more natural with the way we were playing it. I always love the improv part of class, because I really get to be free in the life of the person I am playing, but I was really nervous about doing it with an accent, since there are some words that come out and I know I said them terribly wrong, but I can’t go back and fix them like when I am working on my lines before class. Still, I don’t think I did too bad, and it was a lot of fun, with a great partner and a funny scenes where I got to try all kinds of new things.
Other than class, I also got to be a reader again. One thing I do that I like to think is nice when being a reader is that I listen and engage. I don’t look down to find my line when you’re talking, I listen to what you’re saying and react to it, like we’re scene partners rather than me just giving you your cue. This last time though, one of the characters gives a sort of sermon thing to a congregation of people, and I reacted like a faithful audience member. Since I am alone in this congregation, it was either really helpful for these actors to have someone to feed off of who was really into what they were saying, or they all left thinking I was absolutely crazy. Both are about equally possible, but I know I had a lot more fun than if I had just sat back and watched them do their monologue on the screen.
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”