I am currently taking a Film Performance Intensive at the Actors Studio. It's great fun and presents some new challenges.
We get a new script every week. I have always been good at learning
lines but am awful at taking time to sit down and actually do it. The
first couple of weeks my line learning was less hit than miss. So, next
to learning lines, I am also learning to take time out for myself again -
standing still (figuratively speaking) and just concentrating on the
words on the page. This me-time is great, especially considering that I
shall be working on auditioning monologues very soon.
Another type of standing still poses more of a
problem - the literal kind. Nerves make me twitchy. Not a good thing
when you're trying to stay in the frame. I have already gone from
shifting from one leg to the other constantly to being quite still in my
body. However, my head now wobbles. Staying in the frame but
essentially looking like one of those little wobbly-headed plastic toys
you put in the back of a car, well, it's not good either.
The great thing about a film performance class though is that you get to
watch yourself back immediately and get up and try again after. As the
weeks progress I feel my camera confidence grow my body and my
performance being much more grounded.
Barbara, our teacher, says when you've got the lines down organically
and you have an idea emotionally of what the relationship of the
characters in your scene is about, it is much easier to be still. It's
true! When the lines just flow out of you and you can put your energy
into the emotion and the opinions you want to express, everything seems
to slow down and root you to the spot and into the performance.
Fast paced and stressful as our lives seem to be most of these days
there is immense value in re-learning to take time out and to stand
still, as an actress and as a human being.
I'm gonna got sit down now with a nice hot cuppa and read my new script. Ah, me-time.