I came across this in an email. Too true and dead on. Have to pass it on.>INVISIBLE ACTING by Neil Schell
Your audience does not want to see you act. Shocking isn’t it? If they don’t see you act, how can you have an audience? Well the answer to that is, in truth, they want to see your character. Not your acting.
When you as an actor are trying too hard or showing the audience various things like “I’m a cop!” or “I’m a doctor.” or “I’m in pain.” or “I’m in grief.” the audience rejects your work outright. You see, audiences are extremely intelligent. They have been watching actors in close up shots in film for over 100 years now. When an actor tries to show a characteristic or an emotion, its an insult to the audience’s intelligence. They know you’re faking it.
When you are in your scene you really shouldn’t be trying to “show” anything. You are either experiencing an emotion or you aren’t. You are either being a character or you aren’t. You must learn to trust the truth of the moment. What’s happening right now? That’s all there is.
Searching for truth in your acting is inextricably bound to not trying to showing anything. They are one in the same. Developing this skill takes hard work, guidance and drive. The gems that lead you to that place of being the character and experiencing true emotions are earned by those who deserve it. And if you don’t earn them, your audience just can’t have your acting.
In truth, your audience doesn’t want to see any acting at all. As soon as those trained audience eyes see the slightest bit of push or fake or phoniness, they are jolted out of the story. They start watching your acting and stop watching the story. It’s a great disservice to those who are, in the end, paying for your work. It must be invisible. Unnoticeable. And unobtrusive.
Not unlike the magician, your acting skills must give a seamless performance. The “acting” must be invisible and the truth laid bare. Your audience will love you for it.
© Copyright 2009 by Neil Schell So bloody true. Alway check your motivation, and show truth in the subtext of the character, not just playing out the characterization. It is easier when the script is well written.
Wouter Barendrecht, dead at 43 of heart failure.
I first met Wouter at one Film Festival many years ago. He was so busy selling film and doing meetings that we had time one drink and then, boom, of to another meeting. He never really slowed down, even when sitting in a bar after the day’s screenings. He would take calls and be sending out SMS’s even as we tried to relax. I was curious how he ever got to finish “by the end of the day” when his days never ended. Seeing Wouter at every festival became a staple of going to the festivals.
Wouter was younger than I, but accomplished so much more. When he championed a project, the film got completed, distributed, and seen by fans worldwide. There is now a void. Another can pick up the reigns of the projects and attempt to fulfil the duties, but we lost a man who can never be replaced.
His passing is like that of the passing of a farmer before his crops are harvested. Even if others attempt to harvest that year's crops, the following years will not be sewn or harvested. One man can feed so many for so long, and allow others to grow from his efforts.
The Asian film industry was Wouter’s crop, and the films that he was a part of from start to finish show how much he cared, and how much he accomplished. They were not the blockbusters, but the smaller independent voices that may never have been heard had he not intervened. His efforts with all those at Fortissimo created an outlet for those smaller films whose artists have gone on to bigger projects. That outlet is now crippled by his passing.
In memory of Wouter, raise a glass in cheer to the life of a friend, colleague, champion of film, and for his legacy, keep the momentum of the industry going. Keep make those films, and make them well.
We loved you Wouter, and we will miss you at all of the festivals and film gatherings round the world.
So here we are, in the office expecting the next actor to impress us enough to be added to our roster of talent. What happens? A frendly greeting, a few niceties and then boom, the cold read.
So many actors with so many voices for such a simple task, but wait....same old, same old. It really does sadden me, or us, to have to break the news to a young actor so full of spunk and confidence that the read they just did was flat, or plain, or just a bad read. Some can take the critique, but most leave with the look of their worst fear realised, that they were not good enough. Sadly, several are just not good enough to make it, but some just are not ready.
The really sad part is that they do have potential, but are just not ready to hit the career path running. Of these fewpotentials, we often never hear from them again. They leave like we just pissed on their dreams and shattered their illusion of self confidence. In some instances, that is enough to end it for them as actors. If they cannot take a little critique, then they would never last in the dog eat dog, actor screw actor world of audition hell.
Actors and talent must do their research, and practice, practice, practice! A cold read is the same as any audition. If you do not show some insight and personal creativity in the read, then you can never be more than an SOC or background player. Every audition is an opportunity to create and show what you create is special, better than anyone else in the world at that time and place, and to prove it. Never save it for the call back or you will never get one, period.
And take notes! Every audition and cold read is an opportunity to learn and better your skills, so you bloody well better take notes and change what needs changing and follow the directoions given. Look for the subtle hints as to what the character is supposed to be and what they would be doing, thinking and feeling not just to their lines, but reacting to the characters actions and dialog. What is going on with them 1 minute ago, 2 miinutes prior, or even 30 or 240 minutes prior to that moment. What were they doing this morning or last week that would affect their reactions. Every experience adds layers to the performance and it is work, so work at it because anyone out or grade school can read the lines. Acting is action, so move. You do not have to jump up and run around, but the whole body is a canvas that communicates in motion, so move it. Arms fingers, hands, eyes, head turns, every movement tells a story so you had better start thinking about the whole character and body, not just the mouth with gumms and lips flapping.
If you want to make the grade, you had better be ready to be put to the test, and pass. I know that they do not intend to waste our time so I don't want to destroy anyones' dream, but I don't want anyone to accidentally waste our time either.
Just a rant, again.( queue the refernce to TDK)
As an agency, we are constantly receiving requests from actors who are seeking new representation. They submit the standard photo and resume, and the ominous demo reel. We have seen so many actor demo reels that don't have any acting in them! prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /
What is up with the all the reels that feature an actor running around attempting stunts to loud music? Actors deliver LINES not punches. We need to hear you say something, anything, just not more loud music over moving lips. That type of reel is fine to have for MTV/ fan base sites, but not for casting directors.
When you put together a reel, start with your name and then your strongest scene, with dialog! it is best to start with the camera on you in the scene, delivering a line, not with some one else, and definitely not with a loud music montage of someone else’s work.
Your reel is your moving resume so keep it current, and brief. Casting directors don't spend a lot of time on each reel so you must impress them quickly or they move on to the next reel.
Each scene you select had better be powerful, and each should show versatility and presence. Add variety by using each scene to display different examples of your talent, like one each for drama, comedy, accented language, action, angst, pity, pathos, anger, lovingly tender, etc. A good scene will show a transition of the character from joy to horror, misery to resolution, innocent to a touch of evil, ignorance to revelation, or some thing of that type. Also, the scenes should show good body language that conveys the full feeling and sense of the character beyond the words spoken. Again, we need to hear lines of dialog!
Sorry for the rant, just tired of watching really bad reels....
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