And Week 2 is a wrap

Just like that, it was Friday afternoon – Day 10 of calls, and the end of Week 2 of rehearsal. The intensive nature of our work on the floor – blocking, which is all about playing with space, interaction, and finding actions to suit the words and words to suit the actions (thank you, Mr Shakespeare) is occupying our working hours each day.  Continue reading “And Week 2 is a wrap”

Notes on the freelance life: voice work

Go Right
Image by Dramagirl via Flickr

Yesterday was hardly typical, and it was memorable for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I had three freelance jobs that took me cross-town a couple of times through pouring rain and crazy traffic; Brisbane doesn’t respond well to the wet. The second was a confirmation (if I needed it) at day’s end that the business of voice and acting is not nearly as complicated as so many would have it. The workshop I did with a group of Year 12 Drama students at 8.30 that morning paralleled the voice-coaching work I did with a Hollywood actor later that afternoon. Both sessions came down to getting the whole body involved in realising thought and then connecting – fully and truthfully – on breath and through word … what else is there?

The other job yesterday was a screen test for a television commercial. Somewhere around lunchtime I found myself sitting in one of those hired waiting rooms in the suburbs with a whole lot of other hopefuls. I was reminded again as we sat there how important relaxation is to the business of auditioning – the least fair part of acting, as someone once said. Watching that room of actors was an object lesson in itself; some worked their phones, others listened to music, some stared into the middle distance. The tension was palpable.

My take on all this … I really believe that relaxation is almost impossible unless the actor possesses the mental freedom that comes from confidence. Confidence in turn, comes from knowing you are as prepared as you can be. Where that comes from takes us back to basics – realising thought and connecting, fully and truthfully on breath and through word – having the craft skills or a process to work from.

Still waiting for the results of the screen test … as always, no point in deliberating … moving right along. It was a chance to perform, to network, to extend experience in the business … the job would be bonus.

Rehearsal: a new lines-learning app for the iPhone

Hot on the heels of the free Hollywood Helper: Broadway Buddy, a neat lines-learning app for the iPhone that I wrote about some time ago, here’s Rehearsal from Sotto Voce Film+Works.  It’s also iPad ready! Continue reading “Rehearsal: a new lines-learning app for the iPhone”

Lines-learning just got cooler: another tool for iPhone toting actors

 

I’m not all that keen on the name of this handy little iPhone app: ‘Hollywood Helper – Broadway Buddy’ – yuk!   ‘Lines Coach’ is plain, but it might well have served for an application that helps you to learn lines without your script, and which also understands how most actors work with pencil and paper.  HH/BB also takes a familar approach to lines-learning as action through intention. Despite my quibbles on the name, I like it very much and suspect that an acting coach worked with the developers to bring it to the iPhone.  The nice people who make this little iPhone app thought I might like to take it for a spin, and so I did. Here’s my take on it, with a recommendation. Continue reading “Lines-learning just got cooler: another tool for iPhone toting actors”

Magical Performance

Earlier this year I wrote in praise of (Much) Older Women Artists, and did a little podcast just after the Tony Awards in June.

This post adds to my ongoing hommages of women who inspire.

Yesterday afternoon I saw Robyn Nevin‘s performance in The Year of Magical Thinking, directed by Cate Blanchett for Queensland Theatre Company.  Her performance in this play, a monodrama adapted from Joan Didion‘s novel, is as truthful, vulnerable, and as moving as its subject matter. It serves as a portrait of the artist at the height of her powers. Didion, Nevin, and Blanchett are quite a trio. Brava!

Behind the mic … tell stories

One of my day jobs concerns itself with reading; among other things, I’m a voice actor. I love words, the sound and power of the human voice, and like most people, I love telling stories. From a DVD training video to a commercial, I consider every voice-over  job I get as a story-telling challenge. Continue reading “Behind the mic … tell stories”