During those high school thespian days, and even into the college course work, one dreams of being an "actor." Like there is some twisted world where you can be anything and everything and dazzle and amaze folks and do it in a truly natural and professional manner.
As I have aged, I have taken more of an approach that I am not acting, that I am being myself, period.
That said, it can be fun to dress up, change the voice, find a totally fake accent. Yes, I guess, acting can be over-the-top, but, ultimately, I'm playing myself as someone else might play me. Hummm...does that make sense?
As I switch from the theatrical stage to doing more close-in work before a camera, I'm finding that you have to not project as much, or move as much...but be more subtle, actually--more natural. I have to be me! That's what I'm selling. If someone wants you, why hire me to play you when they can have you, or them, or it!
It's work not trying to be something you aren't. Real work.
And I do ask myself, why would I want to spend so much time trying to sell myself as something that I really am not, when whomever I am auditioning for has exactly 30 seconds to one minute to decide if they like me and can use me for the job of the moment. Anything else would just be a lasting impression that might cut-short a future audition process.
It makes you realize that anyone can act -- it's the attitude and availability that ultimately gets you the job!
Sunday Night. Had one of those quickie, sell yourself-in-a-minute and no more, auditions.
Used to be that you'd have 3-4 minutes to do a monolgue with a couple minutes of banter.
No fault of the producing company, but by the time I got there for the last half-hour of antics and verse, they were running 20-minutes behind (someone must've been long).
I have a new "quickie" piece. Hard to describe, but its a combination of vaudeville talk, classic pitch, and lots of hand-waving and postering. Actually, when I walked in and the director said, "What are you doing for us tonight!" I could only shrug my shoulders, raise a finger and say..."Just Watch." Then I held up my "Joel Thingvall, The World's Greatest Actor" sign and made themlaugh, made them cry...because I wsa either that good, or that bad.
I'm working on monologues. I have a couple up on this site. My old stand-by Shakespeare piece. Another recent addition that I thought would work well for film auditions, "New York Actor." I'm still working on a piece about old guy thoughts and romance, which will be up before the year is done. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I still have my "J.B." rewriting that I've done since high school which used to see me bounce around the stage, shout to the skies, cry in my sorrow, and be sacrcastic as...well, hell.
I'm still looking for a couple of comedic pieces. Actually, inspired by the great Carl Ballantine, hope to add a 5-minute magician sketch to my portfolio (thanks, Carl, for all your inspiration).
A monologue puts the actor in total control. You are supposed to show range, emotion, how you move, how you "play" an audience. Too often, though, actors bite off more than they can chew, so to speak. The monologue has to really show YOU as a performer...yes, you are playing a part, but the essence of your own character needs to show...shine.
It's scary. Out on stage. Nothing but yourself...your body...your voice. No one to work off of, no props, stark lighting. Usually silence from the few in the shadows of the seats.
As I was wandering the halls outstage, people were stretching, contorting their mouths...faces...silently running lines thru their heads...you'd see a body twitch as they pretended to make a motion, but not complete it amongst us other auditioners. I remember the days when I was young, was worried that something wouldn't work...right.
As you age in the audition process, the tougher aspect is to remian fresh, to still have that sense of wonder when you wander on stage. You still need to be alive, have feeling, yet also have fun. You are, afterall, an actor playing a part.
What could be more fun!?
This BLOG will be my personal exploration into the World of Performance Art. Follow me as I return to an Adventure started in the sixties to be An Actor!