Monday 7 June 2010

Frustration, exhilaration

My last acting class didn't go so well. It was slightly frustrating. I was slightly frustrating. It wasn't a complete catastrophe but - somehow worse - really flat. As with any learning process, I guess, I hit a phase where I  feel like nothing goes. All night long I felt like I didn't apply myself enough but somehow didn't manage to give more and as if I just didn't get what was asked of me. By the end of class my head was spinning and I began to dread the next time.

I really wanted to blame the cold, the stress, the lack of sleep. While all of the above are true to some extend, there is absolutely no use in whining about them and even less in blaming them for not doing better. There will be times where I'll be in a play or shooting a film where I will have a cold, be stressed out and tired. Doing a bad job is not an option then. The rule of the professional actor is that: Always give your best. No one cares that you're having a shit day, or at least very few people do. So, just because my three hours on Tuesday nights are a class, doesn't mean that this rule doesn't apply, right?!

I have not been beating myself up about last week's class but instead have put in more work in preparation for tonight's class. Tonight I'm going to leave myself alone and just work moment to moment with my preparation in the back of my mind. It will be a challenge but what would learning be without challenges?

On a much more positive note: The Wednesday after my naff Meisner class, I had my last American Accent Class with Jade. We had been doing monologues for the last while, so we all got up in turn, performed our bit and then ironed out the kinks with Jade's help. Jade is very thorough and challenges you to pay attention to detail but at the same time work with her feels very organic. I must admit that at the start of the course I had my doubts that I would ever be able to adapt my accent. At the end of the last class however, I was told that I had come along very well and my monologue sounded very nicely American. I was very relieved and very proud! All those walks with the baby, him peering at me slightly bemused, reciting my monologue really did pay off!

The great thing about the way Jade teaches is that you end up with the ability to break down any piece of text into what it sounds like in gen Am. I am not yet ready to walk into a room and improvise my way through a scene speaking in gen Am. I can however look at a text and learn to perform the material in gen Am fairly quickly. All this in about 22 hours of classroom time! I highly recommend it!

To stay in shape with my new skill, I have taken to reading to my son in gen Am. He always thinks I'm awesome when I read to him (he's one) but I'm hoping to also wow a casting director sometime soon.

So while I felt a bit stink about Meisner, I feel like a million bucks - US!

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