Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Real Eye-Opener

I'm busy. It's neat.

There's a ton of theatre in NYC, and so far, I'm doing OK being a part of things. Since my last update, I've been cast in a reading of Larry Loebell's new play, The Shanghai Kaddish. It's at 6:30 tomorrow (10/18) at Jimmy's No. 43, if you want to come hear it. Also.... (drumroll, please) I AM A BAT! I mentioned in an earlier post that I'd auditioned and gotten called back for the Bats at The Flea Theater, and I got in! We went to see their new show, A.R.Gurney's Office Hours, last night, and it looks like it's going to be a cool place to work. Check them out online.

While theatre is my "thing," there is a lot of on-camera work available here, and I've decided to hone those skills a little more. So, I took a two day intensive on-camera audition class with Bob Krakower last week, and WOW...I learned a lot. It was 16 hours of information overload, with lots of "slap yourself in the forehead" moments, or "A-Ha" moments for you Oprah fans.

I'm going to save you $550 right now, and share with you the most important things I learned:

1. Play what's in the script.
2. It's not about you and your feelings.
3. Be willing to be spontaneous.
4. Don't overly rehearse your sides.

For example: Bob asked a girl in class to describe her night last night. She said, "I did laundry, went to the grocery store, made dinner, and had a fight with my roommate." She did NOT say, "Well, I was feeling kind of blue, so I started to wonder what my problem was. Then, I started to feel better, but then I felt sort of hungry. And my roommate made me feel upset because..."

So, her night was about a series of actions, not feelings. Just like audition sides. Just like scenes in a movie. The casting people and producers assume you already know how to act- that's why they called you in to read. What they want to see is how well you work the frame, come alive on camera, and do what's on the page. Are you open and spontaneous? Are you easy to direct? They want to see your best version of you doing the actions in the scene.

OOH! He also said to always hold your sides during your audition. It's a psychological thing for the directors/producers in the room. If you're so memorized that you don't need the script, then they may think that what you're doing in the audition is all they're going to get. With the script in your hand, you appear locked in, whether you actually are or not. Holding it gives the illusion that you can go with the spontaneous.

At least, that's what Bob said. Take it or leave it. :)

There was a lot more- lots of anecdotes and examples, lots of watching ourselves on camera...I'll spare you the rest of it. But if you're in NYC, definitely take a class with Bob Krakower. It's an eye opener.

Dean and I are headed to see "The Scottsboro Boys" tonight, thanks to our good friend Seena Hodges. There was an ariticle in The Times this morning, so we're looking forward to it.

Enjoy your Sunday!


  1. That info is fine for the actor people who follow you, but what about us dog groomers and sweater knitters? We like stories about dogs and yarn. Got anything like that?

  2. Bob's advice for the dog-walkers was, and remains: hold the leash, always keep hold of the lets people know you give a damn about the animal at the other end, and you get extra points for kerbing your dog and cleaning up after it. If you are a cat walker, there is no hope for says Bob...