had a late dinner last night with monica and decided on sushi on santa monica blvd.
i sit down at the sushi bar, and the guy next to me looks really familiar. and so i treated him like i treat everyone, i say hi, and ask his name (do it in the right way, and no one ever thinks your being rude).
“oh hey, i’m peter…”
“right, ok sorry i thought i knew you.”
anyway, i was sure i knew him from somewhere but i didnt want to keep bothering the guy. he seemed friendly enough though and was sitting by himself (aw, how lonely). but whatever.
so i got home and looked him up.
strange. over the past week i’ve taken in two different thoughts from two different people. one of them was from a close friend here in LA. the other is an old friend for sydney.
one said that they couldn’t see me as anything other than an actor. and that they couldn’t imagine me working for coca-cola as an account manager.
the other said they couldn’t see me in LA as an actor. they could only see me as a university graduate working at coke.
now hear me out… no wait. there’s nothing to hear out.
chris and i decided at 9pm on a sunday that we wanted a second hand xbox 360 game. so we ducked down to best buy to get something, only to be cordoned off by a black guy saying, “no you can’t come in”. naturally, we thought he was just one of those funny black guys with a sense of humour.
apparently he wasnt that funny. fuck him.
he told us we needed to be invited to the private function… wtf.
seeing people come up behind us, like VIP’s with letters written from their mothers, they came to the door, had their letters inspected, before waltzing in like royalty. chris and i left somewhat dejected, and as we got to the car, it dawned on us.
we’d just been rejected from best buy. may as well have been a 7/11. another classic hollywood story.
im reading “short eyes” at the moment. it’s a play about a new prison inmate who arrives into a quiet enough cell block, where his life as a child rapist and pedophile finds him at odds with everyone in the jail including the guards. in one particular scene, he confesses some of his previous crimes to the one person who listens to him…
now, reading the monologue, it’s really graphic. it’s the kind of thing that makes your stomach turn. the grotesqueness of what is described takes you aback. but then there’s perhaps a side of you that can emphathise (?)… and it’s scary.
then i got to thinking. i am here in LA as an actor. and as actors, we delve into all things human and even otherwise sometimes. things like murder, theft, rape, racism, are very real. i, as an actor am in the beginning stages of my learning, and i wonder… do i have it in me, to go to those kinds of places for a role?
i was in a scene just yesterday where i had to slap a girl. given it’d have been far easier if i were very comfortable and good friends with the girl… but even so, i found it difficult to even “stage” slap her (a technique whereby you actually make contact, and from a distance it looks fine, and hurts minimally). i could barely do it. does this mean im a bad actor? no probably not. but still, it reminds me there are certainly going to be some “out of comfort” zone times as an actor that i will have to face.
to be honest, im happy to do so. bring it on.
trust is a huge stumbling block. and if im anything like other actors, here’s whats going through my mind. say im in a rape scene with another actress. we’re being professional, but at the same time, there’s a feeling in my head of… “oh god, i hope she doesn’t think im using my personal side of this to get myself off…”… “i hope she realises that im just doing what’s required for the scene”… “i hope she doesnt think im a dick off set”… “god i hope she doesn’t think im some kind of sick freak”.
i know of a number of actors who cant do this. and i understand them. sure, not all roles, require you to delve into such nasty things, and go to such nasty places, but it’s certainly not uncommon. my answer to this problem, obviously lies in building up a very trusting relationship with the person you’re working with.
anyway… think happy thoughts. come monday… im going to smack the shit out of that bitch.
ps – im kidding… but see, this is exactly what im talking about… there’s that worry that some people will be offended and take it seriously.
voice and speech
6.5/10 – my american accent is coming along very well, though because it requires a less conscious effort than those of the international students who have stronger dialects, it is easy for me to get complacent and drop it. IPA scores are fantastic, however, i think a lot of guesswork is getting me there, instead of rock solid work. will be interesting to see how my final turns out. am consistently getting “tense jaw” feedback which is very disappointing, as it is proving a difficult habit to break.
9/10 – im extremely happy with the feedback im getting back from scott. work has been natural and unforced. i seem to pick things up in this class quickly and enjoy it tremendously. working in front of the camera has given me a chance to really develop my instincts; my top class at the moment, and having scotts confidence is a huge boost for me.
7/10 – i can dance. and dance well… however, i pick up the movements slower than i would like. the charleston gave me a good chance to combine aspects of creating a character while also styling a dance piece which was a fun challenge. will need to impress for the jazz routine.
7.5/10 – who would’ve seen the day where ross could sing? well i can’t. but im proving i can work my way around a musical score with some work and direction. got some good marks for my melisande… and will really be looking to work well with the challenge of stars from les miserables. mr.hart is giving me a big challenge and has given very strong feedback. need to continually support the voice.
7/10 – big disappointment. unfortunately, this was proof that all the knowledge in the world is worth very little when it comes to acting. years of study mean i know a huge amount of what im learning now, but am finding applying it is somewhat foreign. have been given some very positive feedback with some of the work i have done, but not happy with my progress. need to try a new approach with “birdbath” scene.
7.5/10 – im slowing seeing the point to this class. it’s great to reset your switch, remove your habits and go from scatch.
so there’s a quick evaluation. i have to say, i got pretty upset the other day. thursday i think it was. every actor goes through it, and its frustrating as hell. im trying now to simply minimise what is not useful to me, and use what is useful. things like sulking, fishing for praise, channeling all your anger and frustrating at the task at hand, are all tempting and VERY common reflex responses for actors (just ask). instead… im taking a step back, watching some good films, taking a moment to speak to the instructors, and will return to my scene tomorrow fresh.
mr knowles had some great simple advice. if things from past experiences are detrimental to your progress, it’s old shit. get rid of it.
i was walking down santa monica blvd yesterday. this was before halloween, and there’s this deranged man walking down the street. and at every person walking past him, he bellows out at them “WELL FUCK YOU TOO!”. and i mean every person that walked past. i was about 100m away from him when i first saw this. every interaction was the same.
he’d walk right up to them. the person would try and avoid them. and the bum would almost chase after them yelling at them, before moving onto the next person.
now, maybe i just have an burning desire to be stabbed, but for some reason, with every passing person he swore at, i just found it exponentially funnier each time. so much so, that by the time he got to me, i was already holding back laughter. when he went into his rant at me, i burst out laughing in his face, and had to run away.
then i got to thinking. what would get a person to that point? where you just tell people to fuck off before actually engaging in any kind of conversation… i mean. if you were a bum, and labeled as such by everyone who walked past you. looking at your with disdain, and pity, etc, how long do you think it would take before you just snap and start telling people to go eat a dick before they have a chance to have a crack at you?