“The harder I work the luckier I get.” – Courtney P.
“I have this blinding belief that my lucrative acting career is just in hiding. That I’ll be showing up in peoples’ living rooms, and when I do, audiences’ll want more of me.” -Karin de la Penha
“The moment before [the scene begins] is the key that unlocks every scene. It is the imaginary world that informs you where your character was before a scene started and where he’s going after the scene ends. It instructs you as to what your character is thinking when you’re silent. It grounds all improvisation in truth.” -Stephen Toboloswki
You MUST listen to his podcasts. He’s a fabulous storyteller.
“You cannot seek to do what you know to be right because what you know to be right is WRONG!” -LK (via Ellen C)
“Given circumstances + first thought + line + listening and thinking + next thought + listening and thinking + next thought + listening and thinking + next thought, etc. = threading.” -LK (via Ellen C)
Remember to approach rehearsals as time to spend practicing THINKING LIKE THE CHARACTER, not making choices that are set in stone to be replicated in performance. Practice being FREE. -Eyal Podell
I read this today and it made me think of you.
- Orson Welles: . . . my profoundest conviction in this whole business of moviemaking: the camera is not so much a lie-detector as a Geiger counter of mental energy. It registers something that’s only vaguely, suppositionally detectable to the naked eye, registers it clear and strong: thought. Every time an actor thinks, it goes right on the film.
- Peter Bogdanovich: How about the microphone?
- Orson Welles: Emotions— that’s more the business of the sound track. You can hear a phony feeling before you can see it.
We’ve been talking in class of late, about being a lot more ruthless and determined in our pursuit of our goals. To that end, Daniel B sent me this amazing Tom Hanks quote:
“I do not want to admit to the world that I can be a bad person. It is just that I don’t want anyone to have false expectations. Moviemaking is a harsh, volatile business, and unless you can be ruthless, too, there’s a good chance that you are going to disappear off the scene pretty quickly. So appearances can be deceptive, particularly in Hollywood.” -Tom Hanks
“Doing nothing” only works if you’ve got all the experiences of your character burned into your memory. Too often the mistake of “doing nothing” is that actors think, listen and react as themselves and not the characters.” -Eyal Podell
Michael Sheen on his prep for the film BEAUTIFUL BOY with Maria Bellow: 13.02.23 Michael Sheen
Because we mostly shot it chronologically, there was very little discussion between me and Maria about what we might do in a scene or anything like that. It was just trying to make sure we started them in the right place and could work off each other. Which, to be honest, is how I felt about most of the things I’ve done when they’ve worked very well, whether it’s Frost/Nixon or The Queen: You just try to get all the elements in there in the beginning, and then it’s all about the other person. I just sit opposite Frank or Helen or Maria or whomever it might be, and I’ve done my work. You just forget it and go with what they’re doing. I think that’s when the best work happens. That’s when I’m happiest — rather then, “I’ll do this, you do that.” Just let it be what it is.
Organically, I guess?
Yeah, something like that. Let the story tell itself. Sometimes, if you haven’t done enough work, you can’t get out of the way because you’re so scared.You haven’t done enough work; you don’t know what’s going on. You don’t feel like you have enough ideas; you have to do something. You have to be interesting. Whereas if you do the work, you have the confidence to get out of the way and let the story tell itself.
Is there such a thing as doing too much work?
Oh, definitely. Yeah. God, yeah. Beforehand, you mean? Oh, yes. But only if it becomes something that you start to wear on your sleeve too much. I suppose…no. You can’t do too much work. It’s just the relationship to the work you have and the kind of work you do. When I did things like Damned United or whatever, I spent months and months and months working on [Brian Clough]. Not working on how I was going to do scenes or whatever, but just understanding who this man is or trying to find the elements of what was there. Then you’ve got this very broad palette to draw from. Then, when I’m there in the moment, I don’t have to be going away and thinking, “What would he do in this moment?” I want to be like I’m just being myself. Because I’ve done all that work, it just feels like improvising.
That’s funny, because David Frost’s downfall in his first interview with Nixon was the agenda he developed from preparing the wrong way.
I guess it’s exactly the same for an interviewer, whoever you might be. If you come into something with no preparation at all, then you can just go with what’s happening in front of you, but it’s probably going to be fairly aimless. There’s not going to be any underlying structure informing it. But if you overprepare, it can’t ever catch fire. It can’t come alive. It’s exactly the same balance for acting. In the moment of a scene, I don’t want to be thinking about what I’m going to do. I just want to be able to react in the moment. But that’s not enough: I need to react in the moment as the character, not as me. That fusing of the character with yourself has to already have happened. There’s design, and there’s spontaneity.