I started the Year 2011 off with a bang. Actually, it was an internal move as my artist wife Risa (www.createdbyrisa.com) and I moved from floor five to a larger studio/home/loft space on the first floor of the Tilsner Artist Co-Op. I actually hated myself, missing right away two film projects that I had to say "no" to as well as a music video by a friend. I literally pouted when I had to say "no" not just once, but twice to the feature-film "Monday." But then, on the last day of shooting, got called to be a political pundit! And then, I hit the floor running and averaged, well...too many projects if you look at the old resume for the first half of this year. Too many.
And now I am about to embark on another theatrical work, playing Bellomy in "The Fantasticks" at Theatre in the Round. Interesting, this long-running theatre actually saw me grace the stage in its 24th season...it is now their 59th! I actually was in three productions of "The Fantasticks" back in my younger days -- 1969, 1973, 1975 -- playing Mortimer, the young man who does dramatic death scenes. Some 120+ performances spanning Colorado, Minnesota and Ohio. I was a pretty good die-r...but would never attempt the stunts I did waaaay back when. Now I'll get to sing and dance as The Girl's Father.
I had hoped for the part of the Old Actor Henry who recites Shakespeare...sometimes badly. And I do use the Henry lines in one of my numerous monologues, my 1-minute dramatic humorist monologue. But I also dreaded the thought that I really can't grow a proper beard and would probably have to cut my hair quite short or even shave my head (or wear a bald plate). The part of Bellomy is quite fun, has lots of singing and comedic dancing moments. I actually have to work a bit being semi-serious! The show will be playing weekends in July at Theatre in the Round, Seven Corners, by the University of Minnesota West Bank campus.
Acting, believe me, is work. Again, it is fun work if you do enjoy it! (Hey, I told my wife that the other day, when I sat as a mature make-up model for a young student at FACES MN, that was work. And doing a photo shoot the other day, four characters and getting 370 images, that was tremendously hard labor -- especially when the best came when I stopped posing and actually put on the red clown nose and moved!)
I'll be back more often with the blog. My schedule is light. What do I have in the next couple of months...rehearse and perform the play, five movie projects, or did I just get a sixth. One more re-shoot of a film. I'm doing a model pose for a liquor commercial tomorrow. Dressing up as Dr. Frankenstein's Igor for a special-effects projection project mid-month. And I'm even getting paid for some of these endeavors!
Work! Fun Work!
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!