so everyone left LA for christmas and new years, and in search of new company, ive begun hanging out with friends of friends of second years homosexuals. the new circle of friends has been interesting. ive never had my sexuality questioned so aggressively (given im normally in a gay bar when being asked). these guys hit on me non stop (it’s actually pretty flattering… i feel like an attractive girl in a straight bar), and are SO positive im gay it’s comical.
i think for the most part, gay men say that there is NO such thing as an entirely straight man. they think they can convert any guy they find attractive (or at least they’d like to think they can), and will jump on anything to prove it.
“you dress really well…”
“you’re comfortable in a gay bar…”
“just the way you act…”
“the way you don’t flinch if i feel your arse…”
“you dance well…”
“you dont mind me rubbing your shoulder…”
lord im gay!
anyway in other news, im going to hollywood hills tonight for a house party. i wasn’t sure about my plans. but after talking to almost every under 21 person in LA that i know, none of them have any plans, are organised, or have anything but attitude to offer. seriously, people in general need to cheer the fuck up and stop being so self centred. people get lost in their worlds far too easy in LA.
i dont get this particular feedback a lot, but i hear it from other people. i’ve never understood it until a piece of reading i just looked over. i thought i should put it down.
“you’re not being specific enough.”
i mean cmon, you see someone act, and the teacher says that? wtf.
ok so here it is. lee strasberg once stopped an actor midway through a scene and asked him how to make a fruit salad. when the actor replied broadly, strasberg stopped him and asked him about fruits involved, how large a bowl would normally be used, what utensils were needed, etc. specific. in acting, this refers to what i’ve always known as JUSTIFICATION. if you DO something, there has to be a REASON, otherwise you shouldn’t bother. if you do it without reason, then you are FORCING it, and your performance will lack any core.
so i gave myself an example with a script.
girl: i wont sleep with you.
boy: youre being silly!
simple as that. i read over the line “you’re being silly”. and it felt strange (given i didn’t have the rest of the script, context, etc). it felt forced, and no matter what i did i could hear bohannon telling me “i don’t believe you.” (bitch is taking over my life). so i JUSTIFIED it in the back of my mind. why wont she sleep with me? because say she’s religious, and saving herself for her husband. i said the line again imagining a little miss priss girl with her morals and her christian values, and i immediately smiled and shook my head with the line.
bang. that was it. the reaction was genuine, and even just for a single line, i was completely in the character. fuck.
in the absence of my regular company ive been hanging out with an older crowd lately. and fuck, its been a relief. and then, i was talking to a friend of mine in sydney, and felt so relaxed. she’s hanging out with jonathan and greg and having a laugh. unfortunately, unlike this time last year, the group is minus myself and maaria. and it’s like a light bulb clicked. it’s so much easier to have fun, and be myself, when im not being forever judged. it’s exhausting.
retarded people bitching about retarded things. someone reminded me recently, as you get older, you shut the fuck up more often. i want to distance myself from that kind of rubbish for a new years resolution.
on the upside, ive been doing a lot of reading lately. ms.bohannons been nice enough to collaborate with me while on break via emai.
i can listen now. what?
head was literally on the pillow when i decided to get up and put this down. ill probably forget doing this…
was just thinking after doing a bit of reading on uta hagen, and the method approach to acting. the serach for truth in acting. the belief that acting should come from within, and flow with a natural feel. the theory that an actor must not be rigid, but be flexible in their approach to a role. the idea that they should not confine themselves to play the end result… “indicating”…
it all rung so clearly and with such familiarity… martial arts. its exactly martial arts. what people like stanislavski, uta hagen, stella adler, etc did for acting, bruce lee did for martial arts. the approaches, and the revalations these people all had. that search for truth in the art, all led them to the same kind of principles. that letting go, and to be open minded. to flow with an energy to get to an honest and truthful end result… that the journey was just as important as the destination.
absolutely fucking fascinating. i remember when i really started to excel at martial arts, i had the same journey. if im right… there are some real positives to look forward to.
ok, so the semester is over and grades are out. ive improved in all areas save for one, and am sitting on an A- average. woo hoo right? but ive not improved in acting… a B for bohannons class. such a disappointment. you know, its strange. once upon a time, i’d have loved to have been a B student.
i know that acting is a process that has to come naturally, and that unlike conventional areas of learning, its not something that benefits from repetition, endless study and practise. in fact, this can work counter to the end result youre after. this can be hugely confusing to someone who’s only ever learned in this manner.
so comes my frustration. fuck. the notes ive received revolve around “self direction”, “being in my head”, and “not listening”. there’s no “how to” manual on that shit, and it’s tough. im happy with most of the work ive done this semester, and there’s no doubt ive improved. but i guess im tired of knowing so much after years of analysis, and breakdowns… and being unable to execute it consistently myself. and its this frustration that blocks my progress.
people have come to me after my role in heidi chronicles in which i barely had a speaking role plus a short weed smoking mime, saying oh wow that was brilliant. my stage presence and my voice, my realism and my whatever. but then with the schofield barracks, where i worked tooth and nail to develop the character and my story lines, i barely got a “well done”. it’s not so much the praise that i need. its more so that it seems to foreign that following all these steps ive learned and working so hard to get things done, actually saw me do work that was LESS recognised.
like fuck. to an extent, i understand that me “letting go” would have allowed for a more free approach to heidi chronicles. but what, does that mean i shouldnt bother working at all? it fucking infuriates me. what is this “just let it go” bullshit people keep telling me.
i will note though, my best work from schofield barracks came after id been so pissed off i told my peers and instructor to “go fuck themselves” (mentally, i didnt actually say that). on the verge of tears out of frustration i delivered a performance which (to my dismay) saw ms.bohannon tell me that was brilliant.
letting go seems to be the key. and working in a more efficient manner seems to also be a common theme. but how? my conscious mind isn’t capable of doing my best acting. my instincts are.
just a quick update. i did my exam play today and i did some wonderful work, so thats a great outcome.
ill talk more about it later, unless i get lazy or forget. but part of my build up, was just getting in the positive mindset. something occurred to me… happiness is the cornerstone of all freedom.
but i had the worst rehearsal since id been at AADA yesterday. for every actor thats ever taken themselves seriously, there’s always that period where you beat yourself up. “im not good, i should give up”. you say it to yourself (or more likely to friends, and fellow actors in the hope of getting back some ego reassurance – whether actors choose to admit this or not, it’s true).
but i’ve noticed something. and that’s that in this stage of self wallowing, and mild self pity. in this period where you defiantly go back to the script and force yourself to go 150% into your work, or perhaps choose to sulk, or maybe look for reassurance with fellow actors, etc… you dont gain anything. beating yourself up is pointless. it comes from a place of frustration, and to an extent (though again, few actors will admit this, but also comes from a place of ego… they want to SHOW how frustrated they are, and SHOW everyone watching they can do SO much better; and are thus indirectly hoping for that ever addictive ego boost…) nothing gets accomplished.
so im looking to try something different, and skip this step. i was proud that after my rehearsal yesterday, i was able to properly laugh it off, and honestly. i found myself so glad it wasnt the real performance. and that this is all part of the learning process. as always, this kind of work has to appear before you can do brilliant work.
ive had a good breakfast, ive had a shower. im going to do some light reading, then go back to rehearsals refreshed.