Saturday, July 22, 2006

Direction

Andrew found our copy of True or False by David Mamet. I was a little more than halfway through it when I put it in some bag to take on set and didn't find it again until recently. It's an amazing book for actors to read. I think every actor should read and apply the data in this book before spending another dime on acting classes. I read a chapter before I wrote my play Thursday afternoon.

Anyway, Wednesday night I read this poignant chapter in the book that said to use whatever comes up for you as an actor. I had an audition yesterday where the guy wanted me to do a few improvs as the character with a couple guys auditioning for the other role. The director set up these circumstances to set up the improv and he just wanted to "see what happens." The way I was trained in improv, that's all you need (and sometimes you make that up as you go). Of course, I try to stay director-friendly and deliver exactly what they want. I was about to ask how he wanted it to end -- I give in to the guy or I try to leave. But before I made an ass out of myself, I thought "WWDMD?" (What would David Mamet do, for anyone who didn't catch that.) I decided to keep my fool mouth shut and bring what I wanted to the role. Why bother using actors instead of chimps when the actors don't want to make choices and risk anything? Chimps can follow direction.

So he liked me. Who knows if I'll get it. I do know that I made a choice that made me happy, and I think if I bring that to all of my auditions I'll at least increase my fan club numbers. Oh, and I won't risk being tagged and hauled off to the zoo.

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