Thursday, March 21, 2013
Friday, March 15, 2013
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
It all started when I took a intro improv class at the Upright Citizens Brigade theatre in New York. I was initially wowed by the talent of my classmates, and most of them had agents and real experience and intense aspirations to be professional actors. So when another student asked me to be in a short film, my first response was, "Why me?" Did the others refuse?
I actually thought I did OK and "kept up" while doing improv with the clearly more polished performers in class. I think that my only strength was precisely in my lack of polish, and my avoidance of over-acting or taking over the scene.
The director said she wanted us to do a lot of improv, but we would be shooting on film... and she was poor. So... erm.. clearly there's a conflict (she couldn't just leave the camera rolling and hope some improv gold comes along). We did do several minutes of improv but none of it made it in the movie. At one point I made the real estate agent snap out of character because 'I wasn't respecting her' during some improv (I had innapropriately put my head on her shoulder as she was rambling... not funny.) I stayed in character during and after her outburst... a tiny victory for my craft.
The whole on-set ambiance was just weird. We had only done one rehearsal (which went way better than the actual shoot). There was not enough time to establish any kind of rapport. When I showed up on set at the buttcrack of dawn (as instructed) the director barely acknowleged me. Her eyes were half closed as she grumpily slouched around. An hour later the other actors showed up. Then I had to wait even more while the college crew figured out how to load the camera. Free bagels!
The director had literally nothing to say about the takes. I understand she was preoccupied by the technical aspects, but no feedback at all? I should make it clear that I made a lot of mistakes, and horrible noob mistakes like looking directly into the camera. Everyone was stressed, and the fatality of the whirring film only added stress. I remember at the end feeling incredibly worn out. I had been there for 12 hours, and most of it was feeling hot and sweaty, unfunny, and self-conscious.
I sometimes feel like I shouldn't criticise anybody involved in this shameful display, but that would be to pretend that I have some sort of future doing this type of stuff. Freed of that burden, I can say that the writing stunk, the shot composition was questionable, and the editing was sloppy. And I'm a crappy actor! I'm still happy I was a part of it, and look back at that time with strange fondness.
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Saturday, March 2, 2013
In the past two days two people tried to rob me. First on the bus, a teenager tried to lift something out of my backpack and beelined out the front entrance of the bus (cleverly preventing me from getting at him because of the impending crush of boarding passengers), but another passenger stopped him. At first I thought the good samaritan was rooting through my bag, and I felt ashamed for yelling at him.
Then, late last night as I was walking home a group of 18 year olds drinking mousseux on the street asked me to come have a drink with them. They seemed like they were just drunk and having a good time (as I was) so I went over for impromptu good cheer. Within seconds one of them had his hand in my back pocket... and he wasn't flirting with me. I gave him an elbow and got the hell out of there.
Both attempts failed. The first punk, if successful, would've made off with a glorious booty of pencils, erasers, and used kleenex. The second insulted my intelligence by thinking I'd keep my wallet in my back pocket (not that this wouldn't have worked on me before). A shameful display all around.