Please complete the following BASIC PERFORMER REQUIREMENTS before taking the stage / screen!
1. Please read (click on each link below):
- CONSERVATORY SYLLABUS
- AUDITION by Michael Shurtleff
- THE FOUR AGREEMENTS by Don Miguel Ruiz (purchase book here or audible here)
- THE TODOROFF TECHNIQUE - Key Terms & Concepts
- Know them by number, in order and out of order
The last 3 Guideposts
- #13 Mischief
- #14 vulnerability
- #15 Architecture
- We realize that the AUDITION book does not cover the these last three Guideposts. The meaning of these three will become clear in the context of our work together, but please know what they are.
- 6 Viewpoints
- 4 Agreements
- 4 Parts of Vocal Variation (Hint: "R.I.P.D")
- 3 Tenets
- 3 Techniques
Taking the time to learn this Technique by heart is essential to your development. Once you know terms and concepts intimately, and you don't need to stop and think (what's Guidepost #...?), you will begin to find real freedom in your work. It will now be possible to really explore and discover! Rather than playing the part, the part will begin to play you!
3. SELECT A PIECE:
- Remember "Strong writing equals strong acting" so do all you can to seek out the strongest writing possible.
- Not sure where to find scene / monologue material? We include a list of over 250 of the strongest playwrights and screenwriters out there in our "Syllabus" - which is the first link listed under "Reading and Resources" on your student dashboard. Also check out "Recommended Online Resources" for access to texts online.
- Still not sure if the piece you've chosen is a great fit for you? Then sign up to do a "Work Read" of a few possible scripts you're considering working on - meaning, you're not off-book. The intention here is to decide which of the scripts you've selected is the most appropriate piece (or pieces) for you to learn! Just select "work read" when you submit your performer request form.
- When selecting material, ensure you are starting with the written beginning and extracting a passage that's 1-2 minutes in length for monologues and 3-4 minutes in length for scenes.
- Avoid starting in the middle of a scene. This interrupts the flow and architecture as intended by the author and often makes less sense when performed out of context.
- Please do not edit the monologue or scene internally. Very rarely, it's OK to create a monologue from a scene by skipping over the other character's lines, but this must be done carefully. If you're doing this, submit it for review first.
- Choose age appropriate material.
- Use the appropriate dialect for the text. (hint: check out where the story takes place and do some research. If you're not comfortable with the dialect required to tell the story - then choose a piece that doesn't require a dialect).
- Make sure that in the piece you choose, you want something urgently right now (in the present moment). Please avoid poems and /or memory pieces that involve discussing an event that happened in the past as these are inherently less dramatic, harder to motivate and therefore not a great fit for auditioning.
- Choose a piece you LOVE, that you're passionate about! Avoid anything that feels like sarcasm, cynicism. Sarcasm and Cynicism are not emotions - they are inorganic and not useful to the actor's growth.
- Make sure your piece can STAND ON ITS OWN outside of the context of the larger play or screenplay. It must have a clear beginning, middle and end so the audience can follow the story.
- Please do not work on really well known / blockbuster / Oscar-winning films, as they are already so closely associated with specific actors. Instead - look at play scripts, indie film scripts, lesser known TV scripts, novels, articles, blogs, short play festival compilations, one act plays etc.
- FYI Works by European authors typically can be performed in any European dialect.
- FYI Shakespeare need not be performed with a British accent, unless you're in fact British.
- Consider using what furniture or props are available to you to tell the story (as necessary).
6. WHAT'S A WORK READ?:
- Please note that a "work read" of a monologue or a scene does not mean you are in fact reading a script "cold" without any work put into it!
- Though you may hold the script for a work read - you're still expected to have enough familiarity with the text so that your eyes and face can remain mostly up and facing the audience / camera (not buried in the page).
- You're also expected to have a point of view on how to play the role -- so it's important that you still take the time to go through it using this Technique and make some choices!
- "Work Reads" are a great way to explore different scripts you're thinking of developing further - just to get some feedback on whether the piece is actually a good fit for you, before you spend the time to get fully off-book.
- FYI if we see you've submitted a Work Read that we (the TT Team) already know that it will or will not be a great fit for you - we may just respond and say "You don't need to work read this -- it's a great fit! Go for it!"
7. PERFORMANCE PREP:
- Read the play or screenplay.
- Trust the text! Do not make internal edits to the script to piece together a monologue unless you're crossing out another character's dialogue that's truly inconsequential and doesn't alter the story in any way. As a rule though, it's best to avoid internal edits - just choose the line where you'll begin and where you'll end.
- Do your best to wear clothing appropriate to the era (or clothing suggestive of the era)
- When working with a scene partner, schedule rehearsals via Zoom, Skype or Facetime etc. HONOR the schedule.
- Different material will require different rehearsal time, but it's our experience that at least one rehearsal is needed to coordinate the beginning and ending of your scene and any blocking with your partner. Also make sure you discuss any use of props / costumes / backgrounds you need to coordinate. You might meet once more to do a cue-to-cue before you perform in class. Beyond that, much of your rehearsal may be done solo - though you're welcome to schedule additional rehearsals if that's your preference.
- Have a PRINTED or HAND-WRITTEN copy of your text available during the workshop. Do NOT read off your phone or computer.
"Growth and transformation come from the faithful use of tools."