Archive for June, 2008

June 26 – It’s over, the fat lady needs a nap.

Posted in Acting, actor, Art, Theatre with tags , , , , , on June 26, 2008 by actingchick

I’ve been on vacation. Not the traveling kind, but the kind where you decide to do the day to day as usual, but with as little expenditure of energy as possible, to power down the brain, sit out in the sun as if I had solar panels attached to the top of my head, waiting for the batteries to recharge. Brain on hold, blog on hold.

The batteries aren’t totally recharged, but there is enough power now for the brain to make some fluttering attempts at joining thoughts together.

I finished acting school for the quarter and I have five weeks of my six week break left. Sword class is done. I passed my test, barely, but passed nonetheless. You might be thinking to yourself, oh, she is being hard on herself, I am sure she did quite well. And even I thought that myself, but when the test examiner says to you concisely, I am passing you, but it is a low pass, you just squeaked by, it’s hard to take it any other way.

The test was soooooooo loooooooong. I thought that because the three fights we did were about 2- 5 minutes a piece we should be done in about 10 minutes, and of course we had the time to watch everyone else test. And the first part of the test did indeed go by quickly. The second part of the test was a different story.

The visiting instructor/examiner (a fight teacher can’t test his own students, so they shipped one in from the East Coast) gave us some new choreography on the spot, ran us through it, corrected us, let us work on it for a bit, and then we did it in front of the class. Basically we were being tested on how well we picked up the choreography and followed instructions and took correction.

This is why I passed the test. I managed to pick up the broadsword choreography pretty quickly and take the corrections well. The Rapier and Dagger choreography was a different story entirely. Both my partner and I had trouble with it. We had to keep calling him over for help. It was very footwork specific, and I wasn’t getting it. When we performed it in front of the class we had to do it molasses in January slow, while everyone else went fast.

We passed the R&D because we took time to go slow and took all of his notes into account, so even though it wasn’t fighting speed he appreciated our effort.

I was so drained by the end of class. I had gotten there early at 10:30 to practice with my partner, since he had to be out of town the last few days before the test and we couldn’t practice. Then we had the performance part of the test, then the second part of the test. We didn’t finish until about 4:30. I hadn’t brought enough food. I had a pounding headache. My body hurt from using it to much. Oy! Sword fighting is hard work! Don’t let anyone tell you different.

On an up note, I did meet someone who actually reads my blog. Who knew people read this? Aside from my family that is. Anyway, this person is a Freehold student who is going through the first progression of classes, and so was interested in reading my blog. She came up to me at the end of the performance and asked if I knew who Smarly (that’s my clown name) was. And I of course did, and then we chatted a bit before i was whisked off to the second part of the test. She also came to the after class farewell gathering because she knows Heidi, who helps with the testing and also taught our class when Geoff was out.

So another quarter down. I am going to go and see the Meisner final performances tonight. Some of the people I started with are finishing the series tonight, so I am going to see them. It will be interesting to see how they have improved, and maybe give me a glimpse of what’s in store for me, assuming of course I get in.

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June 5 – Sounds like money.

Posted in Acting, actor, Art, Theatre with tags , , , , , on June 5, 2008 by actingchick

I’ve been rather overwhelmed with school lately.  The Stage Combat test is only ten days away.  I am nervous.  We haven’t gotten all our scenes and choreography down.  Or I should say that we have the fight choreography down, we just haven’t gotten the talking part down.

At least we finally have scenes now.  That was the hard part. Then we had to edit them down to fit the fight.  I did a version, which was WAY to long.  Luckily my partner took on the task of integrating the talking an fighting bits, and worked it down to something sizable and doable.

Even so, we had to cut more out last night, and rearrange things. We had a practice session, the first where we really got to try out the talking and swashbuckling together.  We only got through the broadsword fight, but at least now I feel like there is some hope.  This Saturday we will work out the unarmed fight and the rapier and dagger fight.  We are running those together into one scene, so that adds another layer of complication in trying to work out the transition from one to the other.  I’ll see if I have to start panicking again after this next class.

On the Voiceover class front, I have a big homework assignment.  I have to come up with six to eight clips to use in voiceover demo reel.  Basically recorded audition pieces. I have to look for things that will highlight my type of voice, and the kind of work that I would like to do.

I think I would really like to do audiobooks.  It seems like it would be fun.  I’m sure it isn’t really, but neither is filing and photocopying and sitting at a desk all day.  I am sure it is hard work, but at least you get to be a bit creative, and I hear the pay is pretty good.  Plus I think it is something my voice might be suited to.  If you’ve read my earlier post, you will hear that I have a good narrative voice that sounds really, really “normal”.

I will find one audiobook piece, and then I will need to come up with some commercial bits.  The nice thing about demo reels is that you can totally rip off actual commercials.  You can do a McDonald’s commercial, or Ford truckcommercials.  The fact that the words are someone else’s doesn’t matter, you just want someone to hear your voice, and if you have a voice that sounds like it can sell Ford trucks, than it’s good to have Ford trucks on your reel.

My problem is figuring what sort of products I would be good at selling, then finding the corresponding commercial, writing down the text and practicing it.  Next class, this coming Monday, we are going to Jack Straw studios, where we are going to record the vocal track of our demo reel.  Later on, if we are so inclined, we can edit the bits of commercial text together, add the background music and sound effects that you hear on real commercials to snazz it up, and presto , professional demo reel, ready to send off to prospective agents and clients.

So I am going to go home tonight and watch TV, for the commercials.