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Mark Allen
Director , Screenwriter , Composer
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Acting: Auditioning

A couple people were asking for advice about acting.  This is such a large category - but since I just went over the mindset of being pursuing any dream - I thought I'd stick to something very practical.

Acting:  Auditioning

You are coming into the room to show that you are an entertaining person to watch as that character.  Here are a few tips that might help you achieve that.

Just as you would in any scene - know where your character came from, know where you're heading, know what you want to accomplish while your there.

Make a choice, any choice - but make choices with every line.  Even in real life when people are babbling - they are doing it for a reason - usually they are waiting for some type of positive affirmation.

Go from here to there - create a progression in the scene.  Look for as many transitions as you can - try to find paradigm shifts in the material and play those.

Oscillate emotions.  Drama is created when you're on the crux of two opposing emotions - so whenever you can alter an emotion - you are going to seem more alive.

Know your type - work with it - make it coherent.   Find the character in your details. 

Find the alternate read - the one that no other actor thought of - the one that even the writer hadn't imagined.    However, in doing this - do not lose sight of the purpose of the scene and your character in the scene.  A good example of this is Kevin Weissman who played "Marshall" on "Alias" - he normally played very boisterous characters, but felt like that dynamic was not going to win him the role for this show.  What he did was to take his fantastic loud energy and contain it into a ball of nervous energy.  That was not in the scrīpt - he created that character for the audition and the creators of the show obviously recognized that now this role had some presence and interest which wasn't there before and they cast him.

Learn the lines, have them memorized - yes, it's expected.  If you can't... then make sure you learn the key paragraph so you can nail that home.  And then learn the next key paragraphs.  

(By the way you should practice doing cold readings because that does have to happen some times.  so practice looking at a photo or a face on the tv and speaking your lines to their eyes then going back to your page to grab the next line.)

Be nice to  the people in the audition waiting room.  One of them probably is working on the show - but be nice to everyone (as you should anyway) because the assistants really do say things like "that girl is trouble" when they come into the room.

After you audition.  Don't think about it.  It's over.  Move on to the next task, the next audition. 

An audition is a chance to perform.  It's not a job interview - it's a chance to perform for some people and no matter how grumpy or tired they are... they do WANT to love your performance.  It will make their day.  You are walking into that room to be what they want.  So - go in there and don't take any of their energy on to you.  You are there to give them something, not the other way around.  You are there to give them your energy and make their day better by allowing them to discover you.  Even if for some reason you don't get the part, make sure you give that energy from you to them.  That energy is what people call "presence" once you can share it.

about 15 years ago 0 likes  14 comments  0 shares
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RenRen - Thank you! I guess I'm better at blogging than I am in the forums? ;) Mommy - Excellent! Peachey - You would be SHOCKED at how many people do not do half of these things for their auditions. Maii - This question.... is probably like a five part blog in and of itself. I think the most important thing is to act. Act in plays, one acts. Act in anything you can as long as it isn't exploitive. Equally important - start letting the peopel who matter know your actin g- casting directors. Basically do anything you can to be performing in front of people who make decisions. Yes, an agent and manager is going to be helpful. You want to be auditioning everyday - most actors are happy with once a week even. But you should keep working until you are auditioning a few times a week. As an actor, your real job is to audition most of the time. christicr4 - Depends on the project, but without knowing anything - I'd say make sure you get good sound. It can totally change how a production is recieved. If you can use a boom mic or a lav - you'll have so much more presence than someone who is using the mic on the camera... will seem much more impressive. Also - generally it's best to talk to someone who is sitting right by the camera - but not talk to the camera. lighting should be appropriate to the scene as much as it can - but relaly - you just need to make sure that you can be seen. Don't be too far away from the camera, you want to make sure they see your face at the best moment.
about 15 years ago
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maiji - I think always just DO. Do whatever she can. Local theater, local movies. Everything she does will make her better. YES - acting class is essential. Do improv, do drama. Keep studying. Find different teachers if you don't feel you are improving. Connections will come the more she impresses people as long as she keeps her singular focus and lets everyone know what it is she wants. shirley_aya - I'll keep writing about this kind of stuff I guess, thanks. christicr4 - Sounds good - good luck. rottendoubt - Hm... maybe in a future blog I will talk about fear and overcoming it. I said I would write something about writing though next and I have two things in mind for that. Then I'll come back to fear and acting. lol.
about 15 years ago

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