More on acting
whoa, gang, whoa! too many sites on which to post things. i got so busy working on act 3 of the actual show that i forgot to post these things here.
In the video I said that if you want to be an actor you need to get yourself an agent. Easier said than done right? Maybe? No. You just have to be willing to do the thankless stuff. Like showcases and acting classes.
That’s where you meet people. People have connections to other people. People like agents.
I got one of my agents by going to an open call when I was a kid and cold-reading some copy from a cereal commercial. Boom. Done. I got my agent in L.A. because I was a tester at a video game company and always yelled my head off about wanting to go out on auditions until my manager set me up for an audition with his acting agency. I did a monologue and they signed me. Boom. So the bottom line is that you have to meet people to know people who know people. Yeah, that’s what I said, read it again. Then you have to ask for things and exploit the connections of the people who are now your friends. It sounds pretty grimy, but it’s actually very low-key and cool. It’s not so much exploitation as it is helping friends out, and then you have to be ready to return the favor for someone else should the opportunity arise.
But back to directing no-budget actors, aka, not professional actors, aka, your close friends. As I wrote in one of my earliest entries, you should have befriended some good-looking people because they’re more fun to look at on screen. And then you’ve written characters for them that are kind of similar to their own personalities. Half the work is done.
When you’re not working with professionals, you can aim for greatness, but if you push them too hard before they’re ready, you’re looking down the barrel of a hissy fit and a really good chance that they won’t come back the next time you ask them to shoot. So above all else, aim for consistency. Look at “Clerks”: Randall and Dante weren’t the greatest actors but they were consistent, therefore, you believed in them. So just make sure that your actors performances are consistent with what they’ve been doing.
Then there are a few things you’re going to have to keep an eye on, the first of which is your actor over-playing it. If it gets too “theater-y” that’s when you tell them, “conversational” or “How would you say it?” That’s another thing. If the lines sound too much like their reading it off a script, it’s because the line, as written, just isn’t comfortable in their mouth. Rewrite it on the spot. Talk it out with the actor, collaborate, and give them ownership over the line they help create. It’s going to come out much better.
Another thing is eye contact. If you were raised right, it’s very uncomfortable to look someone in the eyes when you’re lying to them. That’s kind of what acting is. If you can get non-actors into the habit of looking each other in the eyes when they’re acting, the scenes will immediately play a million times better. They’re connected. They’re in the moment. It becomes communication.
Lastly, if you’re really going for the big emotions and you need someone to cry, it can get pretty tough. But bad fake crying is one of the worst things to watch aside from bad fake laughing. Here’s a trick I learned from Vince Vaughn on ‘Old School”: If you cough hard enough and long enough it makes your eyes water, your cheeks flush, and your throat raw and raspy. Now just put some sorrow on your face and deliver the lines. Very effective and no one has to get hit in the face.
Next week we’re going to take a look at color correction.
also we hit 20,000 subscribers this week on our Youtube account! people that subscribe to us are the coolest!
also, i finally got a twitter account for myself/PoPS real-time updates. someone at work convinced me that i was being less than responsible not having a twitter account as someone who wants my show to get bigger.
gotta get back to the show. talk to you soon.