Acting is Weird!

acting 1 comments

You’d think that since I’m the unemployed member of the Causality team, my posts would be well thought out and timely, right? Usually they are, but this week I’m posting late for a couple of reasons.

Remember I said I was going to write a short story that takes place in the world of Causality, and post it so that people can start getting a taste of what that world is like? Well, I did that, and I was proud that I came up with a dramatic situation that not only introduced the future world that some of our time travelers come from, but I was also excited to explore the psyche of one of the characters that I was developing. So I wrote a page or 2, sent it to Glynis and Montoure, and said “What do you think? Can I post this?” I just wanted to make sure that the world I was envisioning matched with the one they are writing, since they are the creators and main authors of the Causality universe. Well, Montoure politely pointed out that although my story was getting off to a good and interesting start, if we post it now, it would give away one of the main plot points in Season 1! Oops! I thought I wasn’t giving anything away, but in my excitement, I failed to notice how big of a secret I would be sharing if I posted this story now. So, I’ll keep working on the story, and it will be published eventually, but not until some of the episodes are up, and the plot point has been introduced in our main arena, the Episodes.

Don’t worry, I’ll work on another short story, hopefully this time I can avoid spilling major info!

But now to the title of this post…Acting is Weird. Another reason I didn’t get to re-doing my post in time is that this has been an odd week, filled (in addition to the usual job-hunting, resume/coverletter emailing, and general life stuff) with acting auditions. In fact, I have another one in an hour, so I need to make this quick…

Lately in movies, tv and especially commercials, I’ve been really struck by how many odd things actors have to do in order to practice their craft. Far from the powerful monologues and poignant scenes that many of us did in acting school, most professional auditions and jobs require some sort of bizzarre behavior to get the part.  Wearing a nude colored bodysuit with an anatomically correct…appendage (don’t ask).  Pretending to be a protozoa evolving into a swimming, then crawling, then walking being. Letting yourself get bashed about the head with a stick whilst reciting lines from a poorly written, fake-Shakespearean play. These are all things that at one time or another I have been asked to do while acting. Look carefully next time you’re watching tv: you’ll see at least one weird moment per half hour of tv you watch. Probably more.

What’s my point? Actors are asked to do odd things, sometimes because the odd thing is perceived to be entertaining, and is actually part of the show/commercial that they are hoping to work on, and sometimes it’s just to see how open or free they are, and if they have the right temperament for the part they might be playing. Actors agree to these things for various reasons: some truly enjoy being exhibitionists, or just like to be publicly silly. Others do it in hopes that soon they’ll get to do something “meatier”. Like acting karma-if you do this wacky part now, then maybe you’ll get your dream part soon…

Whatever reason actors give themselves to put up with the oddities of acting, they all will agree to one thing: the feeling they get when performing is like nothing else. We end up liking some shows or roles more than others, but even those we don’t care as much for have their moments-because we are getting to do something we love.

So this week I took off my director hat and got to do some auditions, something I haven’t done in a while. The experience both nailed home the observation that “Acting is Weird”, and that I miss it when I haven’t done it for a while. I even missed the auditioning, often the oddest part of any production. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a bit of an ornery auditioner-I won’t do monologues (don’t believe in them as a director either, but that’s a rant for another time), I only audition for roles I’m actually interested in (unless it’s a REALLY well paying gig), but once the nerves are over and I’m just there, reading a scene with someone, I come alive, and feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be.

So, thank you to the universe, and Stone Soup Theater’s XX Fest for reminding me that though Acting is Weird, it’s something I’d like to spend more time doing-that and directing. I can’t wait until we get to the point where we’re actually engaged in getting this amazing story recorded, and I’m looking forward to working as an actor and director with all of the team that we’ve assembled.

Before that happens, those in the Seattle area should check out the festival of one act plays by female playwrights (link above) that I and another member of the Causality team (Carolynne Wilcox) will be appearing in. I’m sure we’ll be posting more info about it as the performances get closer.

Stone Soup's XX Fest of One Act Plays by Female Playwrights and Directors

So whatever you do in live, go out and embrace the weirdness, and enjoy it as much as you can!

Posted by   @   February 25, 2011 1 comments
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Feb 25, 2011
6:10 pm
#1 Glynis Mitchell :

Oh! Those green shoes in front are my feet.

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