Remembered this thing that Dave Eggers wrote (http://students.ou.edu/M/Eric.C.Mai-1/DE.htm), and thought the whole thing, but especially this passage works well for this class:
“The thing is, I really like saying yes. I like new things, projects, plans, getting people together and doing something, trying something, even when it’s corny or stupid. I am not good at saying no. And I do not get along with people who say no. When you die, and it really could be this afternoon, under the same bus wheels I’ll stick my head if need be, you will not be happy about having said no. You will be kicking your ass about all the no’s you’ve said. No to that opportunity, or no to that trip to Nova Scotia or no to that night out, or no to that project or no to that person who wants to be naked with you but you worry about what your friends will say.
No is for wimps. No is for pussies. No is to live small and embittered, cherishing the opportunities you missed because they might have sent the wrong message.
Saying no is so fucking boring.”
(from Clay L’s Intensive hosting report)
From Rachel S to her Intensive class:
I was watching this video and just loved it!! It really helps me a lot and wanted to share it with you all because I just luv ya so much and so grateful for this unique beautiful experience, growing and learning with all of you! I hope you all have a wonderful day and this video helps empower you a little bit more to make good art and enjoy every step along the way:)
Thanks to you, and Betty Edwards of course, a guy who couldn’t draw something if he had a gun to his head just drew a copy of Picasso’s Igor Stravinsky … well … better than he could possibly have imagined. Wow.
. . . I was describing the [Intensive] to a friend in Texas and he said it sounded like you went in to the toolshed of talent and instinct in my head and started labeling everything and putting it in its proper place so that I can easily go in and find whatever tool I need, whenever I need it instead of hunting around the jumbled mess that was there before.
“In this scene I’m mediocre and therefore I’m also frustrated. It’s way more fun to suck.” –Erin B, First Week of Intensive Hosting Reports, September 2012
“Three’s are the shit.” –Jessica C, First Week of Intensive Hosting Reports, September 2012
“On a side note, I really wanted to say how much I enjoyed the Elizabeth Gilbert speech. After reading the article about auditioning and realizing I was in the unfortunate group of people that still let my nerves get the best of me in The Room, hearing about the idea of having your creative genius be outside of you was a very freeing idea. I have experienced the sensation of being filled with an inspiration, where I just have to sit down and write out an idea for a story, or draw a character in my head, or pull out my phone and take a picture of what I see before it leaves me. Those moments are truly special, and to not respect the randomness and the magic of when and how they come along, is only going to bring torture and suffering. Knowing that I don’t have control over when it happens, will only allow my mind to relax in high pressure environments. Although I did disagree with what she said about how artists and suffering shouldn’t have to go hand in hand. But I think the best way to be an artist is to have suffered at some point, or to have at least an understanding of pain. Artistic expression, I feel, is the strongest way to release emotion, and in my opinion, the emotion that needs the least amount of release is happiness. Because the point of having an emotional release is to decrease the suffering and reach a state of joy. I know when I have good things happen in my life and I am particularly joyful, I am significantly less creative, and vice versa. In any case, you can see that the video definitely got me thinking, so I am saving it forever to return to in a time of doubt. And I thank you a million times over for sharing it.” –From one of Corsica W’s First Week of Intensive Hosting Reports, September 2012
“. . . I am a very technical actor. I know when to do what, but I usually don’t know why specifically I’m doing what,and it’s rarely backed up with organic emotion. It’s technically perfect, manufactured shit. So, this ‘throwing away the toilet paper’ each time to leave room for new discoveries, I love and hate! I want to keep what works because it makes me feel safe and confident, even though I know it will never have the same spark as it did during it’s inception. I also love throwing it away though and having no clue because it’s extremely freeing! It’s exciting to let go while playing with what comes up organically. Through this process I am becoming more confident in myself and seeing the ‘joy’ of not being pre-planned and living in the moment, literally living in the moment! But, it also feels irresponsible as an actor to go into an audition situation not having something specific I know works, planned out (or I THINK works, planned out).
“While writing this I JUST realized that working your way I would have just that! I would have something I know works! No, it would not be pre-planned to my technical comfort level, but it would be known and understood. So I would have no reason not to trust my ability because I should KNOW I KNOW what needs to be done (after lots of practice and getting proficient at working that way!). Setting things in stone is useless and hinders our talent. No matter what we end up doing, it will be in accordance to the map the text has laid out because we will be able see that map immediately! And it WILL be ‘correct’ and truthful BECAUSE we don’t have anything pre-planned to mess with our ‘reactions.’ If that makes any sense at all… haha. Just having a little Lesly epiphany. ” –From one of Megan J‘s First Week of Intensive Hosting Reports, September 2012
“The chunk of time between the completion of the other actor’s line and having our thought is torture for most actors because we want the scene to “flow”; and these gaps, these big pauses before each line…because they’re uncomfortable, they cause us to race through that moment of not knowing, before the thought hits us, and we almost try to get to speak the next piece of text too soon, depriving us of the opportunity to allow, to really invite a more specific, articulate thought to form in our minds, which, in turn, would add that much more specificity to the moment that ensues, which we covet so much because finally we get to speak the memorized line! It’s like…waiting for the line leaves us out hanging out to dry, so we try to process the minimally appropriate word or words that qualify as a thought in order to propel us to the line we have to speak, which, when it comes, is such a relief! . . . In other words, it’s easier to succumb to the quick, manic, terse thought, but it seems to have a direct and somewhat narrowing effect on the possibilities in the scene and, since it’s not specific, it’s more difficult for the thought to sustain you through the ensuing moment. . . . there is a difference between the actor trying to get through the uncomfortable feeling of having to “have a thought” and the character simply having these thoughts. I guess another way of saying this is…is the actor commenting, in a way, on his/her own insecurity of having to quickly come up with a thought or is he/she just having the thought, as the character, in the moment, which, I suppose, is what we all aspire to? . . . Fascinating stuff…the class, I mean, not this email.” – From one of Marc J’s First Week of Intensive Rehearsal Reports, September 2012
The Comedy Intensive is actors’ “boot camp.” It demystifies the process of acting and auditioning for film and television, familiarizes us with your individual strengths and challenges, and provides you with a community.
We focus on technical and organic aspects of both single and multi-camera situation comedy, as well as other genres such as drama, action, adventure, romantic comedy, etc. In addition, we explore issues relating to auditioning, on-camera acting, marketing and the business of the business (including Lesly’s beliefs and practices with regard to creating a successful acting career in film and television).
|Offered:||Monthly, days and times vary|
|Meets:||Once a week over three weeks|
|Length:||Five or more hours|
|Group Size:||Six to approximately 14 actors, directors, writers,
|Material:||Assigned to include past audition material from sit-coms and other comedies|