A Giving Actor

A friend of mine asked what a “giving actor” was. Here was my response, may it serve you well:

To me, being a giving actors starts with the other and works backwards. Read the script. What is the other person saying? This will make your lines come more naturally and be more easily memorizable. Get the memorized words out as word-perfect as possible without dwelling on them. The goal is to give your acting partner the cues they need to react appropriately to what you’re saying. Word perfection is both a huge confidence boost and gives both of you more room to play. Study your partner. How are they crafting their character? Even if you are just reading for them, study study study, let this inform how you are crafting your character, so that there are not two contrasting visions going down. Feel free to dialogue about it. The end goal is good chemistry and everybody is different. So, do what you can to complement and move on. Especially if you are reading for multiple people, this can be both challenging and a lot of fun, since a group of people often have a group of interpretations of the same scene. Be present in the read and when they are taking your partner’s coverage during the actual filming. Sometimes this will give you your best performance because the stress is off you. Study how that feels and channel that when the camera is back on you. Also, give the same love you’re showing to your actors to the director. If he or she throws you a curve ball, run with it, so that it becomes more of a game of “Simon Says” rather than “Guess Who’s Right?” We’re there to serve the production and make it damn good, and often times that involves a lot of dialogue and flexibility to make the scene work and visions vibe. Finally, work to create a comfortable atmosphere for your partner. We do a lot of hard scenes in our line of work. Make sure they are okay. Joke around. Note: some people stay in character in between takes. This is fine. You want to present the best performance you can, as well. So, in this case, find the balance. Hope that helps. All these things really help, and trust me I continue to work on them as well. That said, rock it, have fun, and, yeah, totally give me your answers as well! All my best.

You.

Forget about confidence

Focus on the real

Get out and try

do and fail and do again

Learn from the old school

of hard knocks

Confidence

Comfort

Those all come later

But remember:

you left the safety net behind

that’s why it’s new and difficult

why it takes effort and time

You’ll get it

You’ll excel

It WILL come

Just keep going

learning

loving

being

you.

 

I Am Amazing: Call and Response/Affirmation

[Repeat after me]

My spirit is amazing.
My soul is amazing.
My heart is amazing.
My mind is amazing.
My emotions are amazing.
My skills are amazing.
My experiences are amazing.

[Turn to the mirror]

My hair is amazing.
My forehead is amazing.
My eyebrows are amazing.
My eyes are amazing.
My nose is amazing.
My lips are amazing.
My chin is amazing.
My jaw is amazing.
My head is amazing.

My neck is amazing.
My shoulders are amazing.
My biceps are amazing.
My elbows are amazing.
My forearms are amazing.
My fingers are amazing.
My thumbs are amazing.
My arms are amazing.

My collarbone is amazing.
My chest is amazing.
My stomach is amazing.
My sides are amazing.
My core is amazing.

My genitals are amazing.
My thighs are amazing.
My knees are amazing.
My calves are amazing.
My feet are amazing.
My toes are amazing.
My legs are amazing.

[Turn around]

My shoulder blades are amazing.
My back is amazing.
My butt is amazing.
My height is amazing.

[Spin]

My angles are amazing.
My appearence is amazing.
My ethnicity is amazing.
My gender is amazing.
My past is amazing.
My present is amazing.
My future is amazing.

My hobbies are amazing.
My hopes are amazing.
My family is amazing.
My friends are amazing.

My work is amazing.
My home is amazing.
My location is amazing.
My country is amazing.
My world is amazing.

My God is amazing.
I am amazing.

Today, I will do great things.

[Go in peace]

All You Can Be

There are moments,

where you take a chance and it blows up

it your face, and you feel like an idiot

but you knew if you didn’t do it, you

would always been standing at the precipice

asking God,

“why’d didn’t I jump?”

Not all risks will end pretty

sometimes you jump and you splat,

but if the intention is honest,

and the passion is real

and you’re not out to play games or plug yourself,

then it’s worth it, because you tried

and maybe that girl will say no,

or the casting director won’t give the time of day,

or maybe nobody will understand what you tried to do,

but it’s okay.

You were you.

And that’s all you can be.

6 Seconds

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 5.37.13 PM
via Marines Magazine

Recently my brother-in-law, who is a Marine, shared a story with me the other day about two Marines who stopped a car bomber from killing 150 American and Iraqi troops… in six seconds! When we think of acts of heroism, we think them in terms of heartfelt speeches, counting costs, and tactical actions; but no, these two men were provided none of that. They had a few short moments as the car hurdled towards them to react. All the months of arduous training they had previously received had prepared them for this exact moment.

It is an excellent reminder of two things: 1. The huge sacrifice being made daily, both here and abroad, by our brave servicemen and women. 2. The importance of practice and preparation in our own lives. No matter how you’d wish you’d act or react in any particular situation, it is how you do so right now that makes all the difference.  “Practice makes permanent,” as they say. So, if you’d like to rock that next guitar solo, play your scales. If you’d like to like to score that next deal, rehearse your presentation. If you’d like to have just the right words for that questioning seeker-friend of yours, be in the Word daily.

Sooner or later, the opportunity you seek will come. The question is: will you be ready?