Wednesday, August 05, 2009

what i learned so far in my on-camera acting workshop

this is my first week at joanna beckson studios and i totally love it. we do stuff on camera, then we look at it objectively and dissect it as a group - which is a jillion times harder to do than it sounds. the thing is, it's so easy to make readjustments and work towards breaking bad habits when they're staring at you on a huge monitor.

so far, so good. here's my top ten.
  1. awful but true: most casting directors don't look past your slate -- that is, the first ten seconds of your audition, or your introduction. ("hi, my name is...")
  2. smile. it matters.
  3. if you do smile, make sure it's sincere. if it's not, it will read fake. everything reads on camera. every. little. thing.
  4. the camera adds 10 to 20 pounds on you. (really.)
  5. film/tv/commercials are a visual medium. how you look is everything. it won't matter that you're a great actor if they don't get past those first ten seconds.
  6. the camera sees your thoughts. (this is my favorite one!) think the thought and your eyes and face will contribute the appropriate expression on their own. of course, this is the exact opposite of "making faces".
  7. when you look into the camera, you are engaging the camera. when you look down, you are disconnecting. don't disconnect - unless that's a pertinent acting choice, of course.
  8. the best colors to wear to an audition are green or blue. the camera likes these colors on most people, but you should know what your colors are - and be sure to dress appropriately.
  9. know who you look like and what type you're playing, and use that familiarity when you audition.
  10. and last but not least - trust the camera. (this is especially hard for me. i don't trust easily.)

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