Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A bit of this, that and the other.

This --  Aspiring actors of all ages still don't get it when it comes to choosing a monologue for auditions or classes. An aspiring actor has to have a vast background in plays that he or she has read, attended or performed. It is from these sources they are most likely to find a good monologue for their needs. That is numero uno.   Dos, they need to pick a monologue that is from a role that they could logically be cast in.  Ultimo, it is the performance of the monologue that makes it a good one.  There is no such thing as being overdone if done superbly. 
And well done monologues are filled with the dramatic qualities that the innocent keep requesting that their monologues have. They need to read other posts about monologue on this blog from a year or more ago.

That -- Inexperienced and uninformed aspirants keep wanting to know how to get an audition, how to get discovered, or how to get a big break.  Sad. Truly.  Those who get auditions are experienced, informed and in the case of youngsters, guided by their parents.  An agent is almost always needed.  These people are always looking for LUCK that will make them an instant star like someone of whom they have heard.  But,of course, they are not that someone. They need to read the previous post, "You have to have it!"

The other -- Heard on TV a couple of days ago about the futility of majoring in the arts or going to professional school unless you were truly in the top five percent. It is not cost efficient to go to college or professional school unless you are way ahead of most everyone else to start with. Forty grand a year is outrageous for an education, especially for a field in which it is so hard to get a job.  I remember a young fellow from a couple of years ago.  His parents borrowed to the hilt to send him to two years of Acting School.  He completed the course. He has done no acting since. Seems to have lost interest in it. Now there is putting your parents into poverty for a good purpose!  Fist of all acting school is no needed by the truly talented and second of all college is not needed by the high school honors grad who wants to be an actor. What these kids need is lots of experience and some career management by their parents. Worked well for the talented and handsome Brad Pitt whose mother yanked him out of college to take a professional job.  Aspirants have to be realistic.  As I said at the end of the first paragraph, you have to have it or you ain't gonna do nothin' in this business.  I love all of you, but it is the truth.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What are they thinking?

It happened several times in the past few days.  People of all ages, teens, twenty-somethings, thirty somethings, forty somethings and fifty somethings. have written to me saying that they a just dying to become an actor but they have never done anything.  They saw one particular film that made them thing that they have to do that,too.  They are trapped in boring circumstances, a good job that pays well,but is not exciting, or they are bullied and know if they were an actor they would be admired instead.

Only problem is that it ain't gonna happen.  How do I know?  After all the young girl in the Chocolate Factory film with Johnny Depp had never done anything before!   And now she's a star.  I know an actor who was a sculptor until he read for his first film.  He had no previous acting training nor experience.  He got the second lead in his first film and the lead role in his second film.  Such stories and the magic that is film, the illusion it creates of greatness and consequential events and great loves and romances seem to erase any sense of reality and logic from peoples' minds.

These starry-eyed dreamers have no concept of what acting and being an actor is all about.  They just know that the images on the screen are wonderful and that they want to be wonderful as well.

Now, I have to separate two things.  The dream and the  purpose of plays and films. Okay?
First the dream is an un realistic fantasy set off by the purpose of the drama.  The purpose of the drama is to remind ordinary people that they are extraordinary. Theatre and film's purpose is to show mankind how wonderful he can be, how wonderful he is, and as Shakespeare put it, "how like a god."   When the audience member does not understand that the purpose of the drama is to make him or her feel wonderful and important and extraordinary for a few moments and that after the film or play, they are returned to being wonderful only in their dreams. They still have to go to work in the morning and live their seemingly hum drum lives.

But if they would take it to heart, what the theatre and film are telling them, that all of us are extraordinary in some way, and do something about it. Get involved in a charity or even a political movement, being careful, of course, of not choosing some leftist wacko group. But to get involved and start being something more than just a hum drum person.  If they want to be actors, then they have to get involved with the drama somewhere. Community theatre,  acting classes, acting schools, etc.  Being an actor is how to get started being an actor.

You know, I get many questions telling me that the writer has done all this acting and studying, but what should they do next?  I have to tell you that I really believe that the people who become actors do not have to be told how to get started or what to do next.  They just know what to do and do it.  If they are actors, they keep acting in every and all opportunities. They know now to move forward in their career and get agents.   Perhaps they learned this form others they worked with, and perhaps they read how to do it in a book just as "Acting As A Business" by O'Neil.  

I am afraid, you see, that those who have not on their own found out how to get started and how to become an actor are never going to make it.  The ones that make it are born with enough drive to go and get it on their own.