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Rorgg
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Quote Rorgg Replybullet Posted: 9/02/12 at 11:19pm
>28 different shows! That's amazing! :)

Twenty-eight productions in 4 years, yeah.  I've repeated a couple of titles in there.

>Can you tell me: do certain aspects of acting get easier the more
>experience you gain when you compare what you're like now with your
>first efforts? If so, which ones?
More than anything else, auditioning has gotten a lot easier.  I mean, it was never super nervewracking, since at the start, it was just kind of a lark, I didn't consider myself an actor by any means.  But it's a combination of it being sort of old hat by now, and having a track record of success that lets me take a relaxed attitude.  That really helps, especially when it comes to vocal auditions -- I've seen plenty of auditioners who you can tell, the problem is simply nerves, and wonder what lies underneath that.
Also, I can't tell if this is contrasting, or goes hand-in-hand, it's gotten easier to deal with rejection.  You know there will be another show, and another, and another, and you'll get one or two of those that maybe you couldn't have done but for that one.

>But in last night's show, no-one seemed to miss a beat. I don't get it.
>How can they be that cold in their delivery on opening night? Or maybe if
>I was following along with the script in my hands in would have been a
>different story?
First of all -- yes, almost certainly there were slips you didn't notice because they sounded natural or the actors just covered and kept going.  The audience SO rarely actually notices errors that seem obvious when you've been living with a script.  Earlier this year, I was doing The Odd Couple, and in the opening scene, which is a poker game, one of the poker buddies missed a cue.  There was a bit of silence (as happens in that kind of situation -- not too telling) then one of the others tried to cover, by giving his next line he could think of -- some 5 or 10 pages later in the scene.  Threw the entire action sequence into chaos.  A minute later, the guy playing Oscar tried to cover by giving the cue line for the phone to ring, which should have been coming up soon and was a necessary action point (that had flown by) to re-establish things, and ... the tech staff wasn't expecting it.  So nothing happened.  So he just walked over to the phone and picked it up and started talking.  We then semi-righted the ship and went on from there, repeating at one point some of the dialog we'd accidentally jumped to earlier.  After the show, audience reaction was along the lines of "oh, is that what happened?  I just got that the phone didn't ring."  That's pretty typical.
The other thing I have to say is that really, you should be pretty damn solid on your lines for opening night.  I mean, we've all had those tricky bits of verbiage you may paraphrase a bit too long and it may not be 100% set in stone for night one, but it should be pretty much there.  That's what those 5-10 full runs you have before opening night are for.

>I've read plenty about famous actors going up on lines or stumbling even
>on Broadway. So...what gives?
Going up is part of the experience, but that's a kind of random thing.  When it happens, you usually walk off stage repeating the line you blanked on to anyone who will listen to you.  You KNOW it, dammit, it just wouldn't begin to come out of your mouth right then due to synaptic misfire.




Edited by Rorgg - 9/02/12 at 11:21pm
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David McCall
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Quote David McCall Replybullet Posted: 9/03/12 at 1:34pm
We have taken to having someone on script help the sound person with the mic cues. Unfortunately this can be a problem with middle schoolers because they sometimes jump around in the script and confuse everything.
 
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Quote falstaff29 Replybullet Posted: 10/17/12 at 7:11pm
Originally posted by micbarry


There was this feeling of 'this is the very last time I will speak these words with this cast - go for it!'


You don't always get to a point in performing a show where everyone's so in sync that the play just seamlessly evolves, but when it happens, it's magic.  :)
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Quote falstaff29 Replybullet Posted: 10/17/12 at 7:18pm
Originally posted by micbarry

I didn't detect any hesitation at all in their delivery of dialog. No one tripped over their words or hesitated with their next line at all - or so it seemed to me.


As well as being a hobbyist actor, I'm a hobbyist musician (sometimes doing pit for shows; sometimes other sorts of gigs).  One of my old conductors once said, "There are no wrong notes in jazz, only soft ones," the idea being that you can always resolve a dissonant chord, etc. with the next one; what gives away that it was "wrong" is a lack of conviction.

I think this is true in theater as well.  When I go to the theater and see a mediocre show, more often what makes it underwhelming is not that the actors are making WRONG choices with their interpretation; it's that they're making WEAK ones--they have yet to convince themselves of the reality of what they're doing.  I see this especially in settings with less experience, e.g., high school.  (I teach in a high school, though not theater.)
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Quote hobbyactor Replybullet Posted: 10/18/12 at 11:19am
I just revisited this thread after closing a show last weekend. First, let me say that I loved this play and loved the role I had in it.  It allowed me to play a whole range of emotions.  It was challenging and, in the end, very rewarding.
 
It was interesting to note the feedback that I received from both people I knew and people I didn't.  I think sometimes people that know you well have trouble giving you feedback for a variety of reasons.  They are too close to you and cannot always seperate you from the character you're playing.  I did get lots of positive feedback from people I knew, but there were some who said very little.  Maybe they didn't like my performance or they didn't like the show . . . or perhaps they were just not comfortable providing a response.  -- and that's ok!
 
What I found most interesting was the feedback that I got from people I didn't know.  These are people who are not encumbered by any baggage of past perceptions and don't have to try to separate me from my character.  I didn't get any negative feedback from strangers, as you'd expect, but it was very rewarding to have someone make a point to pull me aside to tell me something they liked about my performance.  One man, who I later found out was a director from another theater, told me that he enjoyed my portrayal because it seemed like I was truly feeling the emotions of the character and not just acting.  Now, that is a compliment to savor!
 
I am feeling a bit of the post show blues now.  Thinking back on moments like that one is keeping me going!
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Quote Thudster Replybullet Posted: 10/18/12 at 1:08pm
Originally posted by hobbyactor

I am feeling a bit of the post show blues now. Thinking back on moments like that one is keeping me going!


I hear you. I just finished up a play last weekend too, too much work but a lot of fun. Evenings are kind of empty without rehearsal!
"Hey look! That's my dad up there whacking himself with silverware!"
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