the day to day of a professional actor in the San Francisco Bay Area

mostly the day to day of a professional actor in the San Francisco Bay Area, but also the home of the Counting Actors Project

Friday, May 20, 2011

2011 Pilot Report: Read it!

The Pilot Report is a document that the president of Premier Talent Group (an LA based talent agency)sends to the actors they represent.

It's basically an age/gender demographic breakdown of all the roles cast in this year's pilot season, with an emphasis on what was cast with name or known actors vs. unknowns.

Read it here, and let me know what you think.

Also, thanks to The Struggling Actress for pointing it out.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

2 books for actors and theater people that aren't about acting or theater

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life,  Anne Lamott, 1994
Anne Lamott teaches you how to write, but really teaches you how to be creative in spite of your fears, and how to work on your creative projects a little bit each day.  This book is terrific.

Emotions Revealed: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life by Paul Ekman, 2003. Paul Ekman is a psychology professor who has studied emotions and facial expressions.  This book is about the roots of emotional response and how emotional responses manifest physically.  A must read.   The photos above illustrate something called the Duchenne smile - the kind of smile that manifests only when one is truly experiencing happiness, and the zygomatic muscles of the cheek and eye contract.  It's a really awesome book.

P.S. JP posted a comment last week!  He's a company member at Porchlight Theatre Company and blogs here.  Thanks JP!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cool People: Melissa

Melissa H is pretty cool.  You can find some of her writing here and here.  And she just got spotlighted (spotlit?) over at 2amt.

Her theater company, Impact Theatre, has a show opening this week, and just announced their 11-12 season, which includes 1 world premiere, 2 Bay Area premieres, and Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus.  And all the premieres are by writers under 35. 

Also making Melissa cool - she retweeted this post, and commented on this one! Thanks!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Stranger in Blood: rough trailer

So a few weeks ago, I worked on an indie film (playing item #6 on this list).

Here is rough cut of the trailer. The first speaking voice you hear is mine, but I'm wearing a wig, so you might not recognize me at first.

At the end of the trailer is a link:  The filmmakers are looking for additional funds to cover some post production costs, festival entry fees, and reimbursements for some of the supplies purchased during filmmaking.  Donations are tax deductible thanks to support by the San Francisco Film Society. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Judi Dench says

From And Furthermore by Judi Dench:

"Sometime I do have a lot of difficulty learning the lines, but the real difficulty is working out why the character says the line, and what is going on between the lines, which is often more important than the line itself.

Before you start to rehearse you are looking at the wood, which is composed of many trees.  You start rehearsing and you are inside the wood; you know that you are in a wood, but you don't know what the trees round you are until you start to recognize them.  Then the moment the audience comes in, it is as if you have been transported away from the wood, and that is when I think the most important part comes in - when you decide which is the straightest way through the wood."

I also learned from this book that:
1) Judi Dench would've been the one singing Memory in CATS, but she sprained her ankle a few weeks out.
2) Judi and just about everyone else from the big British theaters like the National and the RSC seem to love to play practical jokes on each other onstage - changing lines from Shakespeare, saying Russian names when you sneeze (in a Chekhov play), and other assorted hijinks take up a significant amount of this book!