Sunday, December 10, 2006

My Actor Friends. Part 5

A script can be read, like any written piece, and enjoyed, but different than a novel or blog, it is meant to be performed. Shakespeare and Sam Shepard are wonderful writers and alot can be learned from just sitting, reading and studying their work, but like song lyrics without the music, you are only getting a portion of what they are meant to be.

One of the first steps towards performance is the read-thru. All the actors, the director and occasionally a few crew members attend. Usually, it's the actors first chance to meet one another. We had our read-thru of Cold December last Sunday. It went very well. During read-thrus actor's can occasionally focus to much on the script. Getting the lines right is important, more so in theatre than film were dialogue can be more flexible, but at this early stage you also want to establish a connection with your fellow actor. Look them in the eyes, take your time, listen. I thought, since Chris, the director Brian and I had worked together, we had extra confidence to make some stronger choices during the read. He's the lead, so he spent more time connecting. I play one of his wacky friends, so I get act like an idiot to get a laugh. Between Chris's honesty and my jackassedness we struck a good balance. Slowly, everyone started taking their eyes off the script. We had fun, the director was happy and I think we will have fun.


dirty said...

Congrats! Sounds fun!

Flannery Alden said...

Fascinating! Thanks for chronicalling the process.

Badcock said...

I now have the power of Beta!

Film sounds interesting. How's the financing?

The Chicago Bears have only won a single Superbowl. That isn't changing anytime soon.

jasonmaher22 said...

I was at a read through one time and a certain asshole director (who I won't name but that you know) told the cast that proper pronunciation was key. He then gave an example of a word from the play that "could be" pronounced improperly. The whole cast laughed at his imitation of an actor misreading a simple line...a "What-kind-of-an-idiot-would-make-that-mistake!" type of laugh.

It was a mispronunciation that I had made during auditions. I wanted to get up and walk out right then. I wish I had.

Phil said...

Dirty - It was fun.

Flannery - More to come, I just got back from the shoot.

Badcock - The financing is coming from the director's pocket. You keep talking smack... Just keep talkin'.

Jason - It was Cal. Right? Gotta be Cal.