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Adventures In Acting - Curiosity!

Updated: Dec 18, 2023


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

 

Connect 4 anyone?
Pic from New Diorama "Acting on Camera" classes
 

"Don't let schooling interfere with your education"

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


 

Curiosity - In Acting:

Why is "curiosity" so important in Acting?


Is this not one of the few, if not only, qualities we can be certain all of our favourite actors have in abundance?!


To ask yourself that wonderful question "What if?" can be the beginning of your quest into curiosity.


As a child the "What ifs" are quite extraordinary!

"What if I was an aeroplane!"

"What if I were an evil Queen!"

"What if I could only woof like a dog!"


Then the idea arrives that "grown ups" shouldn't be exploring these concepts in public places, so we manage the parameters of our imagination....

"What if I change my hair!"

"What if I start a podcast!"


The actor must wrestle with the capacity to accept something that may at first seem unreal to them and quickly give in to experimenting with "What if...?",

giving up the idea that "it cannot be"

and giving out to the world "this is true for me now".


It's often the case that decent drama training provides the surprising effect of actually helping the actor to discover more about themselves in the pursuit of creating believable "characters".

Maybe by testing the limits of what we can believe to be true for us, we inadvertently reveal all the things that we are not. How very curious?!


So what does it mean to be curious about yourself?

So curious you are willing to notice and question why and how you do certain things with certain people? After all, how can we work out how we feel about others if we do not first notice how we feel about ourselves?


So then what does it mean to be curious about other people?

To really know how you really feel about people (not just in general but very specifically too) is part of the actor's mission to expose universal truths about the human condition.


How we reACT to people, places and things is our superpower.


According to the internet, the definition of curious is...


curious:


adjective

1.

eager to know or learn something.

"I began to be curious about the whereabouts of the bride and groom"


2.

strange; unusual.

"a curious sensation overwhelmed her"


Similar:

strange, odd, peculiar, funny, unusual, bizarre, weird, eccentric, queer, unexpected, unfamiliar, abnormal, out of the ordinary.


Can you be all of these things?

Maybe you'll learn something about yourself or others, maybe you'll find the missing bride and groom...?


Get more curious!

About everything!

Get curiouser and curiouser and curiouser and....(repeat until tired).


 

What's my motivation?


This month's scene is from the Netflix show "Deadto me" chosen by Actor and Voice Over Artist Leonie Schliesing.


Leonie's notes:

This is from the Netflix show "Dead to me". These two are best friends, Christina Applegate (blonde) has killed a guy (in self-defence) and is pregnant. Linda Cardellini's character has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and has just confessed to the murder to save her friend.


Trigger warning: Strong language and talk of death/disease and pregnancy.

Scene less than 2 min long.

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


What a beautiful scene!


The stakes could not be higher and the love between these two friends is palpable even when the raw emotion raises the temperature.


I'll look at the scene as a whole rather than single out one actor and refer to them by the actors name rather than character names.


As Christina (Applegate) enters, she is weary and worried even when thanking the officer for opening the door.


Then she locks eyes with Linda (Cardellini).....!!

If looks could kill!!!

She glares like an animal possessed.

Then with the door firmly shut the private but heated exchange can commence....


It's clear from the outset there is no time for or pretence of a polite chat here, it's straight down to business.

For both that "business" appears to be "getting my best friend to do the right thing"


They take a different approach initially, with Linda more willing to talk/listen and Christina bulldozing the situation with a very early and slightly funny "Fuck you", for all you fans of Sanford Meisner's repetition exercise, in response comes a quick and disbelieving "Fuck me?!" (classic!).


Christina realises her message ("just tell the truth and be free") isn't getting through and when Linda continues to shake her head and respond with firm "No"'s Christina snaps and bangs the table, Woah!


Linda is jolted into remembering a core value here "Listen to me", "It's my life!"


A powerful and poignant change of pace occurs here (very cleverly highlighted by the soft string music faded into the scene).


Linda reminds her friend that she is dying, this is like a slap in the face to Christina who has been refusing to accept this fact.


Now we have 2 friends really seeing and understanding each other.


Linda reaches across the table, they share an emotional and touching moment of realisation.


Awwwww

Golly gosh! What a roller coaster 2 minutes that was!"


Have a short scene you want to see simply analysed?

Click below to send link to scene:




 

My good friend and mentor Margie Haber (author of "How to get the part without falling apart") has written a new book called "F*ck your comfort zone", which I'm fully onboard with doing btw.

She is "On tour" and will be in London on April 30th (see poster on left)

Hope to see some of you there.


Click below to see Margie's video to all interested in her London class.

 

I'm looking at adding a "show reel review" to these monthly messages.

If you would like me to review your reel please send a link to me at:


Thanks for your attention, stay in touch.

Tom


 

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