The experience of being in the moment is real. Many times it’s what provides the true joy in acting. Every actor who has been in the moment while performing knows this, as only then does the work become effortless, spontaneous, and utterly creative. Unfortunately, this experience is mostly accidental. Once you’ve been told how important it is to be in the moment, it immediately becomes harder to achieve, because it cannot be achieved by trying. Welcome to the actor’s Catch-22.
Articles & Interviews
In my first article Welcome to the Desert, I explored how living in the arid, isolated reality of Los Angeles can often immobilize an actor’s life. Too often that paralysis stifles the actor’s creative soul – both personally and professionally. Today I want to explore another common dilemma for the actor: the dual life actors must lead in order to succeed.
Whether you are a new arrival or have been here for a number of years, I want to welcome you to LA. As a director and teacher it has been my experience that many actors, whether seasoned veterans or enthusiastic newcomers, can make life in LA more difficult for themselves than it need be. Too often actors can get lost when approaching their work, and grow immobilized when striving to remain active and focused. In this first article, I want to offer a personal insight as to why LA makes it so easy to lose your way and become immobilized.
Remember when you were young and play included imaginary games of Cops and Robbers, Hospital, Spaceship or whatever? Whether with friends or by ourselves these games would seem more real than regular life. For many of us, our childhood was the peak of our imagination. We were able to slip from reality to fantasy, and then back again effortlessly with total commitment and enjoyment.
Unless you have a particularly famous parent in the business, the single most important thing for you to learn to do well is auditioning. While there is a great deal of overlap with performing, auditioning is very different and has its own set of skills to learn and pitfalls to avoid. This article will focus on prepared and cold readings, where you are asked to read from a script for an audition. The term ‘cold read’ refers to those instances where you are asked to read a scene with little or no time to read the whole play or get off-book.