Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Acting method

So, pursuant to my last post, my friend Colleen wanted to know what kind of "quantum leap" my acting instructor was referring to in his evaluation. He's referring to my ability to find the authentic feelings moment-to-moment in the course of reading a script with a partner. Many people think that acting is "pretending to be someone else," but that is not strictly the case. "Pretending" to be someone will invariably ring false, much like an impersonation or a caricature.

Real acting is about finding the character on the page inside of you. It's about channeling your unique energy, perhaps your own divine connection if you like, and letting that inhabit you as your character reacts moment-to-moment in the course of the scene to what's happening with your character and your partner's character. It's actually a lot more complex than most people think, and I certainly gained an appreciation of acting as an art form.

The scene I did in my second-to-last class that the instructor referenced was from the movie She's the One, the second scene between two ex-lovers, played by Cameron Diaz and Edward Burns. Mickey is in Heather's apartment reclaiming his television set after their breakup due to her infidelity. It's a short scene, but lots of opportunities for channeling feelings of loss, anger, contempt, scorn, lust and loathing. If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it as an intelligently written romantic comedy.

But while I feel I have some natural ability (probably honed from my real-life experience) I don't have the desire or passion to pursue it as a hobby or career. It's fun for me, but it's not something I love doing. If I am going to pursue an art form, I want it to be something I feel truly passionate about. If I never find that opportunity then I'll just remain a patron of the arts instead of being an artist.

This weekend was very quiet, and I hardly even left the apartment - mainly because it was record-hot on Saturday. I did get a lot of cleaning done, and watched a lot of movies, including another go-round with the Lord of the Rings extended trilogy. Sunday night Tara and I watched Brazil, the second in our Terry Gilliam trilogy, and we're planning to finish that up this coming weekend.

The big excitement these days is that Tara is recording a new album with her band at a studio in Connecticut, so she's been working long hours these past two days (they wrap it up on Wednesday). It's a project that's had a long gestation, and I'm sure it's enormously satisfying for her that it's finally happening. I'm so proud of her for sticking through all the trials and tribulations to get to this point, and I hope the recording is a smashing success.