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Archive for May, 2015

Posted by admin, May 29, 2015 11:37 am

Congratulations to Kailyn Kaluna for booking a lead role in the feature film “The Resurrection of Victoria Wheeler”!  Way to go, Kailyn!!!

Posted by admin, May 22, 2015 5:35 pm

So…now we understand that we can’t think our way into our character’s emotions.  We have to step into those shoes and live in them!

Here’s how you get out of your head and into your character’s heart:

Think about how you relate.  What’s the experience of having a crush on someone? What’s the experience of being lied to?  Or if you’re Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, what’s the experience of finding out that the one person you thought could help you is a fake?  Knowing what the experience is and allowing yourself to feel it is the heart of an actor’s work. Whether you’re performing on stage, film, or auditioning for a part, your job is to have an experience that draws your audience into it with you.  Acting isn’t showing, it’s doing…and doing is experiencing.

So ask yourself:  what is the experience of the scene?


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Posted by admin, May 20, 2015 4:22 pm

Once you can relate, you can start to think about what’s next:  what does this experience feel like?  This gets you into your emotional being: the part of you that feels what it’s like to do something. This is NOT intellectual.  You’ve got to switch off your analytical brain and look for the element of the scene that creates a sensual response in you.  Once you’ve connected with the feeling in the scene, a light goes off inside you and you think, “Hey!  I know what that’s like!”  This is your emotional “a-ha” moment.  For instance, even if you’ve never ridden a rollercoaster, you can imagine what it’s like.  You can feel the trepidation as the car chugs endlessly up the track.  You know that weird twist in the pit of your stomach as you pause for a split second at the top.  You can pretty easily imagine what it’s like to drop straight down at a ferocious speed with the wind whipping your face.  It’s not intellectually definable; it’s straight-up feeling.

Figuring out your emotional connection to your scene is the most authentic way to build your character’s reaction, so start now!

Next time:  Get out of your head and into your scene!


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Posted by admin, May 15, 2015 11:52 am

Maybe you don’t have the answer to Question #2 right away.  Often we are so close to our own experiences that we can’t find the connection between our lives and the events of the scene.

This is where a family member or friend can help.  Say, “Hey, I’m working on this scene and I can’t find how I relate to it – what do you think?”

Parents, this is where you are vital in helping your child actors.  I often watch a parent or friend tell an actor, “Yes, you’ve been through that.  Remember when…”

If a family member or friend can’t help, it’s time to make a quick call to your acting coach and say, “This is where I’m stuck, what are your thoughts?”

Once you do get the answer, write it down!  This will help you remember it and give you perspective on how the experiences are similar.

Don’t give up looking for a way to relate, because that’s your job as an actor.  You can’t do this by judging or distancing yourself from the character, but you can do it by finding your common experience.  This also creates compassion for your character, so you’ll feel what happens in the scene the way your character would.  Make that connection and it will allow your audience to do the same.

Once you recall your life experience as it relates to the character (or some experience that might be similar), you’re ready to ask Intentional Acting Question #3!


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Posted by admin, 12:00 am

Madison Hu has been cast as “Frankie” in Disney Channel’s new pilot, “Paige & Frankie”!!!  Way to go, Madison!!!


Posted by admin, May 13, 2015 2:51 pm

Intentional Acting’s Question #1 is designed to help you see the whole picture.   First, go back and view the story created in your mind by the first question; kind of like you’re watching it on TV.  Do you see the characters, where they are and what the conflict is?

Once you do, you’re ready to go to Intentional Acting’s Question #2:

Ask yourself, “How do I relate?” Then look for the similarities.  When have you been in this situation or (something similar) as your character?   Concentrate on what you relate to.  Do you notice that you’re saying to yourself, “I’ve never done that, I don’t do that.”

That negative thinking distances you from your character and stops you from getting inside your character’s mind.   It won’t help your performance and it won’t help you.   If you haven’t had the same experience as your character, don’t panic!  Now’s the time to use your imagination and think, “Well, what would that be like?”  Have fun! Explore that situation and the possibilities and think – what would I do if that were me?

Remember:  you can’t play a character you don’t like or can’t relate to.   Find your connection point and build on it.
Next time:  Don’t give up, get help.  Find a way to relate!


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Posted by admin, May 8, 2015 10:29 am

Once you’ve identified the key elements in your scene, it’s time to zero in on what your scene is about.

To describe what the scene is about, you have to think like an outsider and not see things from your character’s point of view. This may sound counterintuitive, but if you’re only viewing the scene through your character’s lens, you can’t see the whole story and you’re going to miss the details that make your performance authentic .  For instance:  remember the scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy asks the Wizard to help her and her friends?  What is this scene about?

A common answer:  This scene is about a lost girl asking for help for her and her friends.

Yes.  That is what the scene is about.  It’s also stated from an outside perspective, but the conflict hasn’t been indentified yet.  Conflict happens when two people want opposing or different things, and it’s what makes the scene interesting to watch.  Where’s the conflict in the description of this scene?  There isn’t one.   Be more specific:  look for the conflict or problem. The more specific you are, the better the scene will be.

So, try again:

Answer: This is a scene about a girl and her friends who are lost and want help from the Wizard, but he doesn’t want to help them.  That’s because he’s not a Wizard and he can’t really help them at all.  Now the scene has conflict.

When you say this statement to yourself, you can see the characters, where they are, what their problem is, and what they’re going to do about it.  That’s how you know what the scene’s about!


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Posted by admin, May 6, 2015 5:16 pm

Understanding what a scene is about is like flying in an airplane and looking down on the city you live in.  It gives you a new and larger view of your part in the bigger picture.  When you’re acting in a scene, you need that same perspective in order to understand the whole story. 

It’s the only way to know, quite literally, what your role is in it.

That’s why the first of the 9 Questions of Intentional Acting is: What is the Scene About?

To begin, take yourself *out* of the scene.  Then imagine you’re watching it as a movie.  What do you see?



Think about these key elements as you watch:

a. Who are the characters?
b. What is their relationship?
c. Where are they?
d. What are they doing?
e. What’s happening?
f. What’s the event?

Once you’ve got these down, you’re ready to move on to the core of this question:

What’s the conflict or problem?

Next time:  Find your conflict, find your scene!


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