Many people come to Los Angeles thinking, I’ll give it a year then pack my things and go home. But it doesn’t work that way. Atleast, I don’t think it does. If you’re in it- you’re in it for the long haul. That’s what committing to this lovely passion means. That’s what passion means. Three years ago I took a leap of faith and did a play with a theater group that only came into existence with that very play. It was their debut production. This little theater group is now a full blown production company, with which I produce, direct and act in original material. Not to mention they are also some of my best friends. Well, this past weekend was an amazing couple of days for my little group. Not only did we have sold out crowds for the opening of our hit show, ShortLived, in both SF and LA, we also gained a mention in THE NEW YORK TIMES. We were all so excited. Our little company, that can get excited by a mere mention in the East Bay Express got featured in the Arts section of the NY Times! Well, that leap of faith paid off.
And that is my excuse for being so MIA on my beloved blog! Sorry for slacking.
ShortLived 3.0 is a 3-month long audience judged playwright competition that I’ve been working on for the past couple of months and it premieres this evening! Yay for self-produced stuff! Yay for local artists! Yay for theater!
If you’re in LA, check it out!
Check out the brilliant Promo Vid
Special Discount Code if you become a Fan of PianoFight on Facebook
Last year I took an on-camera commercial audition workshop. It was kind of a fluke that I got into it, but I benefited from it greatly nonetheless. I gained an awesome friend who is now helping me with the producing of ShortLived, but I also took away some great tidbits– not necessarily just for commercial auditions, but all auditions in general. One of those tidbits was: be a good little soldier.
Josh Rappaport, the workshop instructor and working casting director, gave this piece of advice to the class the very first day and it stuck. Our jobs as actors is to wait outside, be quiet, obedient and patient until the moment we are called in. Then we do the best work we possibly can, say thanks and leave. We are not to cause any drama, any problems or any trouble. It’s true… we can complain all we want about the inefficiency of an audition process, the crapiness of the sides, or whatever but is that going to change anything? No. It just shows you got a shitty attitude and who wants to work with that? We can use other arenas to vent (a blog, our best friend, our boyfriend, our actor friends), but not the casting office itself!
This really came into play today when I was waiting at CAZT for an indie-feature audition yesterday. The girl who was two spots ahead of me started talking to all of us who were waiting outside of the casting room about how she’d been waiting there for over an hour, how it’s so ridiculous and she’s so sick and tired of these non-union projects disrespecting actors, not valuing her time, abusing their privileges etc etc. My time is precious, she said. It’s not fair.
She’s right. It’s not fair. I’ve had those complaints myself. But I would never voice these rants outside of the room I’m about to step into for the audition! It’s bad vibes for the waiting room. It’s bad karma for you. And it’s just bad manners. We just need to show up, do good work and leave. Then we can let it all out!
I’m rehearsing for two different one-acts for two different shows. One’s a comedy, the other’s a drama. They both open within about a week from each other.
It’s been really interesting working on these two opposing pieces with two opposing rehearsal processes. The comedy opens later, but began rehearsals earlier and the drama opens sooner but began rehearsals later. So basically one feels well worked on and the other, more or less thrown together. The cool thing about a shorter rehearsal process is it forces you into gear. No chance to procrastinate, no chance to worry about memorizing lines. You just have to figure it out. You have no choice. This immediacy also informs the performance. It gets you out of your head, which works out nicely because I typically get more in my head with dramas anyway. It puts you more in the moment. No time to really second guess your choices.
Of course, I’d prefer a longer rehearsal process. A decent amount of time to prepare, but there is something to gain from the thrown together shows. I never thought I’d say that, but got used to it with my theater company up North. It’s how things have been run up there for the most part. But now we are finally, slowly, steering away from that towards a planned out rehearsal process. Much like that of the comedic one-act I’m doing. It’s been really fun having all the time I need with a comedic piece because I usually don’t get a chance to work on comedies. Those are the ones that are almost always put together last minute. I’ve always been of the belief that comedy comes out of playing out the ridiculous situation with all sincerity and reality. Diving in to this “out there” comedy, the characters, the background, etc. has made my performance and the piece a lot stronger.
Ideally, yes, more rehearsals is best. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a positive experience and learn a thing or two with just a couple of run throughs.