Subtext, Memories and Choices

After missing class last week, I got to do 2 scenes yesterday. Luckily, my teacher called to warn me that afternoon, because I had definitely not been working on the second one. I got to class early, as per my usual, and rehearsed the scene I was less familiar with a few times until we were pretty sure we had it. Then class started, and I went first, which I usually do, but my scene partners are never expecting it. I like to think of it as a vote of confidence, saying I know that you are always good and ready to go whenever I ask you to. Even if that is not the case, I still like living in my bubble 😉

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It was a scene from Up in the Air, where I have to mock fire my boss. The first take, I did the mistake of seeing it as a mock situation, so I didn’t work on an actual goal or figure out what I was thinking, because it was fake, right? Wrong. Absolutely wrong. As soon as we finished the first take, I knew I was playing it bland and uninvested. The next takes were so much more fun, because I took it all in. I relished in firing the guy who’s job I wanted, then got all flustered when he puts me in my place and makes me understand that I do, in fact, have a lot to learn. It was a lot of fun, and reminded me that even if the situation is fake, there’s still a whole lot of subtext that goes into it. The words can have a double meaning, and there can be so many underlying feelings, even about a fake situation.

My second scene was with Carolyne, who I haven’t seen in forever. It was the scene from Private Practice, where I vowed to give myself actual memories to think of instead of just pausing. In the end, I compromised. Every time I said Sam, I couldn’t think of anyone other than Taye Diggs, who plays him on the show, so I went with it, and created other memories, and imagined him in the office just outside from where we are having our conversation, so close that I can see him the whole time. I also used the eating not just as something to do, but made it work with my emotions, which was so much more powerful than just eating for the sake of eating.

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To top off the night, I had an audition for a play based on a movie. I was auditioning for an iconic character, but I purposely didn’t rewatch the movie so I wouldn’t be influenced or trying to imitate that actress. This was an excellent choice, because as soon as I walked into the audition room and was introduced to everyone, the woman in charge told me that while we were staying true to the film, she didn’t want us to just imitate the movie, she wanted us to do our own interpretation. The audition had a monologue as well as a short scene. When she said we were doing the monologue first, I just took a deep breath and went for it, choosing two of the people behind the table to be the two people I am talking to in the monologue. I made the choice to slightly go against what the breakdown said, because I believe the monologue is more towards the end of the film, after she has been through a bit of an emotional journey.

I was still happy that I made a choice and stuck with it, even when they asked me to do it again sitting down, and being more snooty, like the breakdown had implied. It changed the way I held myself and how I spoke, but I think I got it down.

Next, we did the scene, where I mostly focused on the person who was reading for me, then turned away at the end because my character was getting uncomfortable. When I looked back up at the table, they told me we were done and to have a great night, but they were also smiling.

I don’t know if I will get the part or not, but I think I won the room. Or at least am someone they wouldn’t mind seeing again. They liked my headshot and asked where I got it, and the woman who signed us in was someone I knew from set.

All in all, I believe the entire day was a success 🙂

“Most people just want to see you fall, that’s more reason to stand tall.”

-Emma Michelle

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