Dear Bill Lawrence,
Thank you for The Speech you give to the actors who have come in to read for your pilot. You tell them to let go and have fun, not to worry about being letter perfect, to improv if they want, to let ‘er rip. You tell ‘em you appreciate that they’re there, you value their commitment, and you welcome their interest in your project. You thank them for showing up. You make them feel special and free, open and supported, ready and able. You tell ‘em they can stop and start again, that you’re on their side, they can take all the time in the world, that the room is theirs. You tell ‘em to make sure to do exactly what they want you to see, and to do whatever they have to do to accomplish that.
Apparently you’ve been giving The Speech to each and every actor who has never read for you before, and even to some who have.
That’s? AMAZING, dude. And while I’m pretty sure your wife put you up to it, still. You don’t have to do it. Yet you do. Over and over again.
We? Appreciate you. A lot. Pilot Season’s a nightmare for almost everyone and you are the silver lining.
Thank you SO much.
- Message of the day/week/year/life: The more fun you have while you’re acting, the more fun you are to watch. So eschew misery!
- How do I make the acting I’m doing RIGHT NOW the most fun possible? Does worrying about what They think make it fun? Nope.
- Jen: “When your ego gets wrapped up into it, the fun goes out of it.”
- The genius is in your intuition, not in doing the thing you think is so smart and clever and adorable — (it’s not).
- If they see you nail the first bit, then maybe they’ll keep watching; and if you keep nailing bits then maybe they’ll think they can trust you with their show.
- Rehearse all week and then have fun in the performance, being in the scene, looking at each other and having thoughts in the moment.
- When it comes to PERFORMANCE, you have to LET GO and LISTEN. If not, we will see an actor working instead of a character living.
- Live in the unknown. Just listen and respond.
When you finally BELIEVE that you’re actually gonna be BETTER when you leggo and listen – and I mean believe it in your SOUL – everything you do will be a freakin’ HOME RUN. -Lesly Kahn to Joe
-Lester the Loud
My audition went seamlessly til I flubbed the very last line. -Flubber
So sorry it took me so loong to respond. I was in the hospital recuperating from what you WROTE!
You’re gonna SERIOUSLY tell me that you think flubbing one little line at the end is gonna kill your audition????!!!!
Your acting is not about your liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiines! I know you THINK it is but you are wrong!!!! Gorgeous but
You think it’s about your lines because you went to schooool forever and we were told to take the book home, memorize it verbatim, and then regurgitate it all over the blue book the next day. That’s schooool. It’s not acting!!!!
And this is not to say that we wouldn’t all prefer it if you got the lines right, yah, that’d be terriffic, but we’d rather you get a few of ‘em wrong but BE THE PERSON!
Be the PERSON!
Not the PERFORMANCE!!!!
You are a crazy person. It’s as if you were a pro basketball player and wrote, i.e., “I made 50 points in the game and we won but I missed the last basket, therefore I suck.”
I worked with a guy yesterday who had ovbiously spent all his prep time MEMORIZING. And he wasn’t even MEMORIZED! I didn’t get to watch this great character that someone had written! I was watching this guy try to remember what he’d failed to MEMORIZE!!!!
(That was a three.)
I said vehemently. What do you think about what was just said by your mom? Done by your dad? That’s an exclamation point; why do you sound like you’re napping? That word is in all CAPS! WHY? What do you THINK about the fact that your mother never listens to you and your father is unconscious? Let that affect your LINE READS! Please GOD!!!!”
Do your homework.
Don’t worry about your lines.
They will come.
I know it’s hard.
Do it anyway.
How much are you booking NOT doing it my way?
TRY IT. You’ll like it. I promise.
So . . . after sending her that diatribe, she wrote me back as follows.
“Oh no no! I meant that even though I flubbed the line, the CD didn’t care. At all! And it was refreshing to see that he didn’t judge my performance on that last moment. I know we learn that over and over again in class, but sometimes it doesn’t resonate until you actually experience it. We took it back a few lines, and he said it was amazing–it didn’t matter! I was really pleased with what I did and he seemed pleased as well. “
Never pre-plan. Always pre-pare! – Lester the Loud via Tiffany E
Don’t try to be good! Dare to suckkkkkkk!!!! – Lester the Loud
No word on my audition, so I guess they didn’t like it.
Dear No Word,
Why you gotta go there?
Why you gotta think they didn’t like it?
Here’s something I wrote for THE BOOKED IT! BOOK that didn’t make it into the final version . . . hopefully it’ll help.
You gotta find a way to believe that your audition was –
in all likelihood –
not the horrifyingly embarrassing, career-ending
tragedy of catastrophic proportion you believe that it was.
You were probably pretty good.
But casting, as we know too well, often has very little to do with you.
The wedding dress I ultimately purchased
was not hands-down the most beautiful one in the entire store.
Can you believe it?
One in particular was gorgeous on the hanger –
but significantly less attractive when gracing my particular frame.
Another was stunning from afar (but only from afar),
Yet a third looked vaguely like my Aunt Pearl’s tablecloth,
and several were too expensive
(though the fact that I was getting married at all was, in my opinion, nothing short of a miracle and therefore justified almost ANY expenditure).
That left, lessee now . . . yup!
About a zillion OTHER amazing dresses from which I hadda choose!
But I could only buy one.
Did the rest suck? Were they awful? Ugly? Bad? Talent-free?
Nope. They were all gorgeous.
It was simply not. Their lucky. Day.
Whaddaya gonna do?
I can’t seem to let go and allow myself to do it “wrong” or “suck” – which is funny because I already suck so what’s there to lose?!
Try to remember the cookies. You gather all the ingredients onto the kitchen counter and then you put ‘em in the bowl and stir ‘em up and drop ‘em by rounded teaspoonfuls on greased cookie sheets but YOU CAN’T GET IN THE OVEN WITH ‘EM. You gotta LEGGOOOOO and let ‘em cook.
Let your acting cook! That’s the fun part! ‘k?
Bob Lefsetz, my personal guru, writes, “… I don’t believe in selling, I believe in creating. I’m better off staying home and writing than doing any publicity. Because publicity is so bad at hitting the target. … But if I win online, my minions will forward what I have to say to like-minded people. I win through my art. …” Do you see what this has to do with acting? Yah, sending out pix and resumes and doing casting workshops is important, but the BEST thing, the thing you should be spending MOST of your time doing, IS MAKING SHIT. (And I don’t mean shitty shit. I mean good shit.)
Bob further writes, “I revere Tom Wolfe. But he took a decade to write a novel that was poorly reviewed and it sank like a stone. He could have serialized it online and worked out the kinks while he was building an audience and had a huge hit. That’s how he did it with “Bonfire Of The Vanities,” it originally appeared in serialized form in “Rolling Stone.” But NO, as John Belushi once bellowed, he had to do it the old school way, he had to employ a traditional publisher and get that big fat check. I hope that money keeps him warm at night, while he’s absent from the public discussion. . . . Create. Display online. Good and bad, warts and all. Build an audience. Have fun. Don’t worry about money.” Yah, Yah, I know. It ain’t easy. “And if you hang in there for years, and are truly exceptional, you will be a star. And the kind of star you’ll be might look different from the radio and video stars of yore, but chances are you’ll be bigger than the radio and video stars of today!”
From “What The Hell, One More” by Bob Lefsetz
Visit the archive: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/
- PREPARE, REHEARSE, HAVE A FIRST THOUGHT & LET IT RIP!!!!
- Fun fact: dancing feet disappear when you have CHARACTER THOUGHTS!!
- Recognize when your actor thoughts take-over your mind; you can’t hear anything else in there!!
- Don’t set anything in stone. When you get up and act, just have a thought – listen.
- Indicating is acting twice. DON’T DO IT.