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Adventures In Acting - Confidence!


This month's collection of acting-related thoughts and feelings:

 

Actor screams into camera lens
Actors - Stepping into the spotlight!!

 

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence,

and then success is sure.”

Mark Twain - Writer of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"


 

Confidence - In Acting:


Confidence!

Good actors have it right?!

(not necessarily, certainly not always).


Over the years I have found confidence so elusive, I had been so worried about seeming arrogant I entered and exited rooms almost apologetically.

NO MORE MY FELLOW ADVENTURERS! NO MORE!!


My current understanding of this lack of confidence is just the presence of fear, fear of judgement, fear of rejection, fear of failure.

It's not that we need to think that what we present is going to be unimaginably epic every time but we can at least not be so scared of feeling a bit silly, after all.... It's all just pretending isn't it?!.


So confidence isn't arrogance

But what is it?


According to the dictionary it is:.....


1.

the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something. "we had every confidence in the staff"


also:


2.

the telling of private matters or secrets with mutual trust. "someone with whom you may raise your suspicions in confidence"


Can it be both?


Maybe we can accept and enjoy the experience of going into a room or being on camera with faith in what we have prepared (or what we already are!) whilst daring to share our own personal little secret fearlessly.


GOOD GIDDY GOLLY LUCK WITH THAT!


Don't be good, Be fearless adventurers!

 

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What's my motivation?


This month's scene is from the 1984 film "Gremlins" chosen by director/novelist Simon Rumley.

His films have been shown on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Shudder and Channel 4 and have premiered at some of the world's leading film festivals including Toronto, SXSW and Rotterdam

I have had the pleasure of working with Simon twice, once on our twisted short "Bitch" (part of UK indie horror trilogy "Little Deaths" and again on "Crowhurst".


Check out Simon's excellent new book "Wobble Club" here


Simon says about the film:


Given that we’re coming up to Christmas I thought I’d choose a scene from one of my favourite films, Gremlins.


For what is, essentially, an action/horror movie, this scene is an almost out of place, a monologue about why Phoebe Cates hates Christmas. But, there’s something absolutely absurdist and goofy about the dialogue and something almost improbably impossible about the believability of what she’s saying - so in many respects it actually does fit perfectly with the rest of the film.


Given that she’s his love interest, Zach Galligan doesn’t do a great job of listening to her, prefers instead to wander around trying out an obviously broken telephone. But Gizmo, the OG (Original Gremlin) listens with projected love and empathy so that after she’s finished her monologue, the audience might well wonder if Gizmo would be a better boyfriend than Zach. But it’s a great exercise in listening to dialogue which seems somewhat over the top but comparing it with a strong, honest, performance. Cate’s performance grounds it and thus provides the scene with heartfelt emotion.


Click on the video link below and then check my short interpretation underneath:

(Please be advised this scene contains no adult language, sorry)


This scene is a classic moment in a classic 80's movie and if you were lucky enough to have been a kid around this time then you will remember this monologue detailing a quite traumatic event in the life of Kate Beringer.


For this scene I think we can all agree that the superior acting is displayed by the consistently cute and cuddly (until wet) Gizmo but in the name of appreciating the human performances, for now lets look at Phoebe Cates who from now will be called "Feebs".


So, we find ourselves in some creepy, abandoned house and Billy Peltzer (played by Zach Galligan) clearly has other things on his mind other than some childhood reminiscing.


What is very commendable here is the simplicity of what Feebs does.

There is a lot of clever craft here more than deep genuine emotional exploration and that's fine for this, the soundtrack and cinematography are as much a part of the story as her attempts to "be emotional".


So simply what she is doing her is a bit of breathy line delivery and some playing with the pace of her dialogue. It works just fine too.


What is very nice in this monologue is how it builds in tension and an example of a moment where we see this bubbling up of feeling is when feebs' voice cracks as she recalls how they were expecting to find a cat in the chimney instead of a dead dad.


From here we do have a particularly lovely acting "trick" where we can see how upset old feebs is getting and yet she attempts to smile it off to not appear weak or vulnerable.

It is in these contrasting forces that we see the humanity of the situation.


Sometimes us actors get caught up in what emotion is my "character" feeling", try asking "what emotion is this person hiding and for who?".


Don't remind us you are an "Actor" doing "Acting"!

Be human being "being"!


Remember only actors try to impress with feelings, most humans just express with feeling.

Know don't show!




Have a short scene you want to see simply analysed?

Click below to send link to scene:



 

Any acting related news or questions email me:

connect@tomsawyeractor.co.uk


Thanks for your attention - stay playful people.


Tom


 

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