June 24, 2022
What Acting Technique Is Right For Me?
The question is what acting technique is right for me? Well by the end of this video, you will have an overview of all of them and you'll know exactly where to begin on your journey. Of the many techniques that exist, some have withstood the test of time and some are now archaic. Now you know it's never been a better time to be an actor folks because you get to be your own set designer, your own lighting designer, you get to record the audition in your home studio which I know you all have, that's where you're listening to me today, right? Before you had to come to see us and it was rather sterile and stark and on the way home you went oh my god now I see what I would have done but the moment has passed. So what we're going to cover in this video is what works today in the now of now because that's the only place the power is. The power is in the now. So let's look at the word technique, the first syllable is tech. It's technical. So acting, I often refer to acting as the seemingly invisible, seemingly ordinary art of relaxation under extraordinary circumstances. So when you look at a great performance, you're going god that looks so much fun. It looks like so much fun. I want to do that, I go well yeah but what you're not seeing is there in front of an audience full of people or a hundred crew members yet they are relaxed. So, it's a series of tools but it is technical. Beware of the myth of overnight success. In my experience, craft technique plus commitment equal confidence and career so that's something you want to write down. Craft plus commitment equal confidence and career. So technique, the first thing, your voice. Work on your voice and work on your diction because you need a muscularity of speech. When you grab the ear of the audience, their eyes will follow but you know one of the things that actors don't think about, I've been blessed uh to spend a lot of time producing and when we're holding auditions, what actors don't think about is we're hearing the very same material all day long. So what is there about one audition that suddenly we flip over the picture and go wow, who is this person? In the world of the actor, there's so many things you cannot control much like life. You cannot control when you're going to have an audition, you cannot control when you're going to meet that casting person that you really connect with, that agent, that manager so we're going to focus on the things technically that you can control. You can control working on your voice, working on your speech, working on your body. Do you have a daily regiment whether it's yoga, pilates, some cardio in there because all of this stuff is really, really important. Technically, what can you work on every day? Read aloud. So essentially there's three techniques of acting and what are they? Audition technique, rehearsal technique and performance technique. So, auditioning is closer than to performing than is rehearsing. Audition technique, cold reading technique get used to picking up pages, keeping them out of a shot, glancing down at them, bringing them up and then the first three lines you're never looking down at the paper. This is the technical part of what it is to audition. The same is true at the end of the piece. In the middle, you can glance down as though you're thinking about something and bring it up. This is auditioning. Rehearsal technique, the first two syllables in the word rehearsal are re-hear. Rehearsal is the most fun part but rehearsal is also research. So research research research. If you're auditioning for something you know that takes place in another time period, your best friend is google. Google it. The more research you do, the more relaxed you're going to be. So I want to go back once again to relaxation, concentration, imagination. Relaxation frees your concentration, creates concentration and releases your imagination. Again relaxation, the breath, the breath, the breath, the breath, the breath. The technique you know I've been blessed once again, I've been blessed in many ways but I got to study in addition to studying at the Juilliard school, I got to study with the late great Stella Adler and Stella was the teacher of Mr. Brando, Mr. de Niro et cetera et cetera and she was a lion of the stage. I also got to study with Michael Shurtliff and that was the beginning in the early 90s of a 15-year association and he was the casting director for Mike Nichols and Bob Fosse and he created a book that I recommend you all read immediately. You can listen to it on audible called Audition: Everything An Actor Needs To Know To Get The Part. So at his retiring, he passed the book on to me. Since the publication of the book, it's based on something he calls the 12 guide posts. He created a 13th one which is not in the book but I'm gonna tell you what it is right here. It is mischief. Okay with his blessing, I created a 14th and a 15th. The 14th is vulnerability and the 15th is architecture. Overall technique, what every monologue, what every scene must have, it must begin in one place and it must end in another place. Has to be there. Actors love to play the end at the beginning, never do that. Now why do you want to play the end at the beginning? You want to play the end at the beginning because you got to read the end of the script but the audience must never know what's happening there. So the technique that I employ is an amalgam of what I learned at Juilliard, what I learned from Mr. Shurtleff, what I learned from Miss Adler, what I learned in production, what I learned from training actors for the better part of well let's say multiple decades. What you need to know, 15 guideposts. You need to learn six viewpoints. Those are basically much more physically based, four parts of vocal variation. I'll tell you what those are right now because that's easy. Four parts of vocal variation: rate, inflection, pitch, dynamics. Rate, inflection, pitch, dynamics. Please write it vertically rather than horizontally. Why RIPD? You want your voice to be ripped. So if you have enjoyed this and I know you have, please subscribe in the link below. You know what I judge to be the trouble with you? Inferiority complex. Do you know what that is, that's what they call it when someone low rates himself. I understand it because I had it too although my case was not as aggravated as yours seems to be. Okay I make that parenthetical like that might just honestly seriously but my case was not as aggravated as George seems to be. I had it until I took a public speaking, developed my voice and discovered that- what did you take up? Public speaking. Public speaking. All right because again there's an opportunity for what are we doing? Vocal variation and we're building architecture. Yep, yes, that changed everything. Now it's pretty interesting that he wrote this because when you work on your voice and you become more relaxed, you also become more confident and then the world appears very different to you. And then another book you ought to listen to right away, it's one of our core texts at the conservatory here in New York, The Four Agreements and the one that you need to be most concerned with there is always do your best. Fifteen guideposts, six viewpoints, four parts of vocal variation and the four agreements. So 15, 6, 4 and 4. Any technique, if it's useful, you'll look at one pass of the work and see substantive colossal changes in the second time. So I have a free gift for you. Are you free Saturday mornings or afternoon? I would like you to come to our Saturday class. We call it the Global Intergalactic Acting Jam and see for yourself and see this stuff in action. So we'll see you on Saturday. Click on the link below and I'll see you then.