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

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Acting Prep Rituals

So, because I'd just read the third book in this post, I finally saw the amazing Peter Weir film Gallipoli.  And it wrecked me up. Still is.  See it sometime.  However, here was my takeaway relating to acting.

One of the main characters in Gallipoli is a runner.  And, before he runs, he and his uncle always go through this short bit of dialogue:

- What are your legs?
- Steel springs.
- What are they going to do?
- Hurl me down the track.
- How fast can you run?
- As fast as a leopard.
- How fast will you run?
- As fast as a leopard.
- Then let's see you do it.

This is repeated several times in the movie, and becomes a mantra for the main character, something he can turn to when he needs to perform under pressure.

And that got me thinking about how I prep to perform, to audition, etc.  Sometimes, I've got the luxury of 30 to 60 minutes to warm-up voice and body, and I can ease into things.  Sometimes, when an audition is booked last minute, or there's been traffic so bad I call it biblical, I'm running into the performance with minutes to spare.  Is there a quick ritual, like the one above, that could propel me into action?

I'd love to know what you do at those times.  And, if I find something that works for me, I'll let you know.

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