Time over shallow

Last Monday’s acting class was the kind where I know I can do so much better, but I just didn’t put the time and effort into it. The first time I was supposed to do the scene, I got booked to be on set and couldn’t make it. Then the week after was a holiday, so when last Monday came around, I had sort of forgotten about it, especially since I had something else I was supposed to be going to. Ultimately, I decided to go to class and then be late for the other thing, but it meant I only put a quarter of the time I should have. Which for me, usually entails learning all the lines and not doing much else. I sometimes get lured into a false sense of having done something when it is a show or a movie I have seen, because instead of building the relationships and creating the other characters for myself, I just remember the ones I have seen on screen. I would say that all things considered, I was good, but good in reference to bad is not what I am looking for in class. I want to not be afraid to fail, and to fail badly, but in the way where I am prepared and did the work, but take chances and go out of my comfort zone to try things. Not fail because I didn’t try.

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My scene partner wasn’t expecting to do our scene, because he had done it a previous class with someone else. Luckily, we went and ran it out back a few times and he easily got back into it. Lucky for me, because otherwise I was going to have to do it audition style, which is still something I like working on, but it is a lot more fun to play off of someone else.

Our first take was…shallow. That was my word to describe it. We had our lines, it wasn’t entirely flat, but I wasn’t internalizing anything. The second take was better, although I am not so sure about my decision to be super cool-headed rather than to get upset.

The third take Suzanna had us try a new exercise before we started. I love the subtext improv, or just improvising in character, but this was different. We both shared our goals in the scene, then Suzanna had us think of someone, or a situation where we have the same goal. So, the improv was me as Amanda talking to someone that I wanted to grow up, through Sean. He, in turn, was Sean, talking to someone through me and trying to get their support. I didn’t like the exercise, because it made me feel like a horrible person. We were using real circumstances, which made me feel like there would be real emotions as well. I much prefer the subtext improv in character, but at the same time, I probably needed to feel bad for crushing him in the scene as well. So I can see its use, I am told it was our best take, but I didn’t feel good afterwards.

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As for the commercial, it was fun, but I was doing it way too low energy, and needed to be much more excited.

“Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night.”

-Michael Jordan

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