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Adventures In Acting - Safety!

Updated: Mar 3


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

 

Actor screams into camera lens
1922, Manhattan, in New York, Workers above the Woolworth building.


 

“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.”


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


 

Safety - In Acting:


I often think about the 21 year old me.


What I would like to say to him, fresh out of Drama school and living in the big city!

How I would explain what happens over the next two decades, The things to avoid and embrace!


Then I remember......

I would not have listened to a word of it!


But!


Just in case I could get one nugget of wisdom through all that starry eyed ambition I would like to lovingly suggest, "you don't have to play safe!"

"Give them the "danger" take", the "One for fun" don't let good be the enemy of the great!


I would remind him of the fun we had in improv games at Medway Little Theatre and jumping up on stage at school plays and panto's uninvited, that buzz of doing the unexpected thing and the shared joy when it actually works!


I would say "Trust me, I'm a teacher now"

and he would say "What?! A Teacher?!"

Then I would say "Hey! It's OK, we can do both! and win awards for both (that we don't like to mention too much)!"


Anyway, this advise I truly stand by now.

Other people have also articulated this sentiment very well.

Such as:


"In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take." - Lewis Carroll


or:


"Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." - Helen Keller


With that i wish you a most wonderful, courageous, daring goodbye for now.


Stay Playful People!


 

One good thing about FaceBook!:


We have a growing community of actors over on our FB group "Actors Adventures in Acting", all sorts of topics being raised and discussed very regularly. If you haven't already, get involved here!




 

What's my motivation?


This month's scene is from the brilliant British gangster film "Sexy Beast".


"Sexy Beast" is a British crime thriller directed by Jonathan Glazer, featuring Ray Winstone as retired safe-cracker Gal Dove. His tranquil life in Spain with his wife, Deedee, is disrupted when his menacing former associate, Don Logan, played by Ben Kingsley, arrives to recruit him for a heist. As Don's intimidation tactics escalate, Gal is drawn back into a world of violence and danger, forcing him to confront his past and make difficult choices to protect his loved ones.


The scene chosen by Barnaby Fudge (Poet, QVC presenter and Yoga teacher) is the classic moment when "Don" confronts "Gal" with the intention of roping him into one last job.


They say about the scene:


"I think about this scene quite regularly for no obvious reason other than the sheer ruthlessness of the "Don" character.

There is something both disturbing and animalistic about how Ben Kingsley portrays this small but intimidating guy.

I love the tension in this scene and cannot wait to hear how Tom expertly analyses this master class in acting!"


Full disclosure: Barnaby Fudge is actually a fictitious person and is actually a confectioners in Burnley.

These are my views on the scene as I left it too late to ask any of my most excellent and talented friends to choose a scene for this newsletter.


Honesty is the best policy right?


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

(Please be advised this scene contains very adult language)


Released in the year 2000 this film became the top dog of British gangster films in terms of class and performances. This scene and the one where Ben Kingsley as "Don" gets himself wound up in front of the mirror are stand out classics.


For this clash of the titans we should look at what both actors are doing.

We can get very comfortable with these fine gents so here on out:

(Sir) Ben Kingsley will be "Benjy" and Ray Winstone is "Raymundo".

So...


Benjy is just chatting away like he's listing his grocery shopping until Raymundo dares to question the timing of the whole operation.


And so begins the full psychological assassination attack from sweet little old Benjy.


From the subtlest of nods by Raymundo, Benjy goes from friendly banter to the piercing stare of a serial killer, his face drops and tone deepens as he bubbles and brews inside.


Raymundo is squirming in his seat and visibly shrinking in his chair, the discomfort is palpable and heightened by the awful sunburn going on, on sunray Raymundo.


There is some excellent, prime quality, back and forth banter happening here now.

Some expertly spat out lines!

A highlight of mine being "No!, you're just gonna have to turn this opportunity Yes!" (just stupid and menacing in equal measure).


Raymundo eventually realises he isn't getting through to this chilling bully so he pleads one last time: "C'mon Don!"


A boy appears and Raymundo has to clear him out of harms way.

A telling moment is when Raymundo has to tell Benjy that "he's a good kid" but Benjy maintains the icy glare of snake with zero care for the good nature of this human being that may need removing from the situation.

After Benjy gets distracted by the pool boy watching, Raymundo seems to have a plan.

He gets Benjy to agree to go into town in what seems like a bonding experience but from the sense of purpose in his walk there may ne more to it...


Benjy is still banging on about percentages but Raymundo is a gonner.


Such a wonderfully simple but effective scene that establishes so much in a short time.


Less is apparently more when intentions are clear!

 

Have a short scene you want to see analysed simply?

Click below to send link to scene:



 

Any acting related news or questions email me:


Thanks for your attention - stay playful people.


Tom


 

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