July 28, 2022
Stage acting versus screen acting? That's the question, here we go. Stage acting versus screen acting? Always play the room you're in, always play the lens you're on. As an actor, you have to make these adjustments in nanoseconds. Do not worry about what you can't control. What you can't control is there are certain auditions where you will be in a theater that has a mezzanine and a balcony and you'll be standing next to a work lamp because otherwise, you've got to hire all these guys to turn the lights on. So, we don't have that ability. For film and television, you may be reading in a room the size of a closet right or you maybe reading on a soundstage. You've got to be able to adapt to that. So, in terms of training, there is no such thing as screen training. You will see classes called acting for the camera but they presuppose that you already know how to act. So, it's teaching you how to scale your acting to a lens. So, the only true training is theatrical. it's born of repetition.
It's always going to involve your voice and your speech and your body and your ability to analyze the script. But we can take someone
who's trained theatrically and scale it down to film in an afternoon or maybe an hour I've done it. But the reverse is not true. Beware of acting for the camera. First, you have to know all of the components of acting was always going to it's always going to involve, your voice, your speech, your body, and your ability to analyze the script, and your availability emotionally are you emotionally available or are you blocked, right. So, in your work, we either get the story and remember it's storytelling folks or we get your blocks in your issues. So, got to work through that stuff. But you know I never think of screen acting, stage acting, it's all storytelling and what venue are you telling the story in? You know in terms of camera work the camera comes to you. In the theater, you've got to have more stuff to reach out. But if you have that you can scale it back. If you've only been working at this level going for that, if something requires more voice you're going to get like that. We call that vocal fry. Deadly, don't do that, and folks you know I find that actors have this deep fear. My mentor Michael Sherrill who wrote the audition book. We would talk at infinite about actors fear of overacting.
I would have a fear of being boring. Marlon Brando said you have one job never be boring, okay. So, we can always pull you back. I don't believe you can overact if it's justified by the writing. Now, the actors that I love a lot I've been watching a lot of Martin Scorsese's films lately. Look at the work of these folks. They're all theater folks. They're all people that did plays. Lorraine Bracco's work in GoodFellas is off the charts. So, Lorraine Bracco read for Mr. Scorsese's production of after hours. She did not get the role and she was crestfallen auditions come and go. But he took the time to write her a letter and said he was very impressed with her audition and he knows they're going to work together. Look at her work in GoodFellas, look at all of their work wildly theatrical. Many consider that one of the greatest movies ever there are a whole lot of directors.
I can name three that are in the DVD extras that watch that movie while they're directing a movie for inspiration. Just that he went out of the box and he would pick camera angles that you just wouldn't think of and he would just do things that weren't... If you thought he was going to do that he would do the other thing. Mr. Squirrel says he hates what he calls bad tv writing and bad tv acting, right. There's a lot of pausing in it. A lot of huffing and puffing. A lot of sighing. It loses the urgency of it all. So, all of this is to say our favorite screen actors train for the stage. All of them and that's why they have this epic ability right to grab you on screen and create danger. So, stage, screen? Subscribe. So, Ray Liotta a neighbor at one point in the early 90s. I was fortunate to act with him and coach him. He got his agent out of acting class with Melanie Griffith. I encourage you all to watch Something Wild that a few months later he was in with miss Griffith and Jeff Daniels directed by Jonathan Demi who went on to direct Silence Of The Lambs and a whole lot of other great movies. They did scenes together and she said, "Wow, I want to help you out". So, stage screen. So, you're capable of great theatricality with the camera otherwise, every movie would be people just sitting at a dinner table talking. So, do not confuse. People think, "Oh screen, I got to bring it down. I got to bring it down", you'll bring it down so small, you'll be playing functionaries. You'll be playing butlers and maids and the concierge, that's what you will be playing. So, do not extricate the theatricality from your work. Yeah, I would rather be overwhelmed than underwhelmed. One of the other advantages of zoom is you can chart your work. Now, I don't recommend watching your work too often because that will make you self-conscious which is never a great thing,
right. But it's tangible, you can chart it, it's recorded, you can see it. For further study, we leave stage acting versus screen acting. We'll see you in how to find a good monologue for an audition.