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Posted by admin, July 28, 2015 1:22 pm

When you put something at stake, it means that you put something in danger of being lost.

To find out what’s at stake for your character, try asking yourself this: “what will my character lose if s/he doesn’t get what s/he needs?”

A great example of stakes can be found in Argo, the Oscar-winning film of 2012.

The film is based on a true story about a real Mission Impossible-type assignment given to CIA agent Tony Mendez (played by Ben Affleck.) He is an expert at getting people out of dangerous countries. His mission is to save six American Embassy workers who are hiding in Iran after the fall of the Shah.  Just the description of the story can make you feel the stakes!  But if Ben Affleck hadn’t created a performance with a ton of risk – and stakes- he wouldn’t have won the Oscar for Best Picture. Go back and watch his performance…it’s all there!

Remember: If you want the casting director to keep watching your reel, you have to make them feel that there is something at risk or in danger of being lost. This allows you (the actor) and your audience (the CD) to invest in the scene and experience it moment to moment.

Sometimes the “stakes” you put into the scene come directly from you the actor. Make your performance personal. Lay your heart out on the table in your audition: risk it all…and get that part!

Next up:  Keeping your stakes:  what are you willing to risk?


Know someone who could benefit from this Acting Tip?  Please share!

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Posted by admin, July 27, 2015 7:48 pm

Shannon Murray has booked a lead role in the new feature “Starian”! Congrats, Shannon!

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Posted by admin, July 16, 2015 7:08 pm

Congrats to Holden Scott…one of the new co-hosts for AwesomenessTV!!   Way to go!

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Posted by admin, July 10, 2015 8:57 am

Listening actively means you already know what you want…and you’re listening for it.  What you are listening for is your intention (what do you need the other person to feel, say or do?)  I’ve given you lots of examples in my Intentional Acting Tips – but now I’m giving you homework.  You watch TV and movies – you have to – you’re an actor.  Watch the reaction shots. Watch the shots of actors when they are not speaking.  Are they listening for something?  Clue:   The best ones do!

Know your intention…then listen for it!


Know someone who could benefit from this Acting Tip?  Please share!

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Posted by admin, July 9, 2015 2:29 pm

A big Congrats to Sharon Batan for this amazing Honda Commercial! Click on the link below to watch!

Sharon Batan Honda Commerical

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Posted by admin, July 8, 2015 1:47 pm

Check out Ravit Batan’s new Honda Pilot Commercial!  Congrats, Ravit!

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Posted by admin, July 6, 2015 4:13 pm

A great review from the New York Times!  Congrats, Bex!!

“A video of a girl-on-girl kiss brings unwanted attention to a reclusive student named Audrey, played by Bex Taylor-Klaus in the only performance that really makes an impression in the premiere.”

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Posted by admin, 11:43 am

Listening is the cornerstone of acting.

Let’s think about that for a moment…

We’ve often heard that acting is reacting; but where does reacting come from?  Reacting comes from listening.

But just being told to listen can feel vague.  That’s why the question you should really be asking is: “What am I listening for?”

Think about it like this:  when you were a kid and you went with your mom to the grocery story, what did you want her to buy?  Candy, of course!   And what was her usual response?  “No.”   :-/

But what were you listening for her to say?  “Yes”!  You wanted that “yes” more than A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G.  It permeated your entire being and gave you laser-like focus!  Because wanting your mom to buy you candy was your sole intention, it became what you were listening for.  Her saying “no” created your conflict and gave you something to fight for!

Remember:  The key to active listening lies in that moment of expectation between what you desire and how your scene partner responds!

NEXT UP:  What active listening looks like!


Know someone who could benefit from this Acting Tip?  Please share!

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Posted by admin, July 3, 2015 9:31 am

Intention is knowing what you want, motivation is understanding why you need it NOW!

Once we understand the difference between intention and motivation, we can see how that works in a scene!

Let’s use any superhero movie:  The superhero’s intention: To stop the villain from doing evil things and hurting people.  Why does our superhero need to stop the evil villain RIGHT NOW?  What is the MOTIVATION? People are dying! The city is falling into darkness and chaos!  The world as we know it will END!


To apply this to your non-superhero audition, ask yourself this: what will happen if my character DOES NOT get what she or he needs? What do they have to lose?  (Sometimes, it’s as simple not wanting to lose their pride.)  As long as the motivation is important to the character (and therefore to you), it will fuel your intention.


Know someone who could benefit from this Acting Tip?  Please share!

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Posted by admin, June 30, 2015 12:44 pm

Although they’re often they are lumped together, motivation and intention are very different things.  There’s even physical proof:  they actually happen in different parts of the brain!

Intention is:  WHAT do you want the other person to feel or do?

Motivation is:  WHY do you have to get the person to do that – right now?

Motivation creates urgency – one of the most important things you need to drive both you and your scene.

You know how smokers say they want to quit but never do?  They have the intention to quit but they lack the motivation.  My dad always said he wanted to quit (intention) but it wasn’t until a minor stroke landed him in the emergency room that he finally threw his cigarettes in the garbage  (motivation.)  Once his life was at risk (those are stakes – coming in a future acting tip!), he had the motivation to say good-bye to smoking forever.

In order to apply this to the scene you’re in, you have to ask yourself:

Why do I have to have to have my intention RIGHT NOW?

Not tomorrow, not next week or later today, but RIGHT. NOW.

Next up:  What motivation looks like in practice!


Know someone who could benefit from this Acting Tip?  Please share!

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