Acting Workout 2: How Do I Act??? What is Acting???

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It’s nights like this I question why I am doing this. And why I am not doing this. In some ways, performing and creating are what keeps me alive. Every time something bad happening to me or I have to overcome a challenge I think to myself, it’s okay because this is great songwriting material, or this will give me more to draw on as an actor. Sometimes though, the process of channeling those things is very difficult.

 

Tonight I was playing a character who had just experienced a breakup and was crying. At first I got really caught up on the crying and just wanting to make myself cry. Then I let that go and worked more on trying to achieve my objective in the scene. I was trying to bring my own life experiences in to channel the required emotions within myself but I couldn’t connect the two. It wasn’t like I didn’t have ample things to draw on, or that I didn’t understand what the character was going through.. but I could not bring those emotions into my body within the scene. I felt like I needed to sit there for hours preparing myself to have the intensity and emotions required. I tried getting ready on the train before coming to class but when I got in the room I was overcome with the desire to be social and talk with the class as we waited to get started. I also noticed that as the scene was going I would yawn every time I felt like some emotion was going to come through me. It was like my body was working against me…

 

I remember when I was a kid I was THE BEST at crying on cue. I could cry anytime. I used to play the game “graveyard” at daycare, where someone walks around tries to make everyone laugh… and I would always end the game weeping. I was a fairly lonely kid and didn’t really fit in with most groups (or at least this is how I remember it) so I would draw on that, but mainly I would remember scenes from movies that made me sad. I used to think of this scene from the Grinch where he looks really lonely and everyone is mean to him and I would cry every time….

 

 

I even considered calling my boyfriend and asking him to pretend to break up with me, or having a friend yell at me… Or finding a friend and asking the specifically to be really mean to me when I ask.. or getting into an argument with a stranger. How do I

I feel like I should invent my own method that works for me, but then people have been acting for centuries – why do I not just follow their training? All of the Grotowski and body training from my classes at SFU finally started to make sense… being aware of my body and how I am being… accessing my emotions… the effects that posture and position have on my emotional life… I finally started to get it… but when I think of the possibility of doing that for a year and a half I dread the idea. I don’t think I could handle being in this hard, tired, yawning place for that long. Where is the play? The make-believe?

I know that acting is an important part of my life but I am not sure how I want it to fit into my career and world.

I think Angsty Music Makes Me More Angsty

Circa February 2012:

This past weekend I went to see some of my favourite bands play downtown – ALL TIME LOW! Mariana’s Trench, These Kids Wear Crown… oh and the headliner Simple Plan. I mainly went to see the openers and I was really excited to enjoy the mosh pit and throw myself into other people for a few hours.

It was super squishy at the beginning – we were almost like an ocean the way the whole crowd swayed together – literally leaning on one another during ATL. I was glad that a bunch of girls actually started a pretty wicked mosh pit during Simple Plan’s set. I got my wish! Yay! I love it when dreams come true : )

MT was pretty awesome! They had glitter! And I love how harmonic their music is. And Simple Plan has been around for a really long time so it was nice to know so many of their songs.

At the very end they played one of their really old songs, perfect:

And do you think I’m wasting my time doing things I wanna do?
But it hurts when you disapprove all along

– Perfect, SImple Plan

I find this song awkward. I feel uncomfortable singing song of the lyrics. Maybe it’s because to me they represent an awkward phase of life… those angsty teenage years… Anywho this one really hit me. I was sitting at the back of the floor enjoying a full view of the stage, and I cried. Well almost. My eyes got all watery and my face was all screwed up. Anyways, I was very sad, but very grateful at the same time. And I think it is totally valid to feel these things and need to express them – I have written my fair share of things like this – but I can’t help but wonder if these types of songs influence the world in a negative direction.

Recently a friend of mine in Sociology was telling me that some research says that in cultures where suicide is talked about more often there are higher rates of suicide. I wonder if music describing sad themes is the same way.

And now i’m all excited to see Ingrid Michelson next month!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Last week I finished reading Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”.

I think this is my favorite book (probably because i read it most recently hehe). The first half was really funny, so many good lines and funny moments.

“It was so delicious, it almost scared me.”

I think people out of high school with some life experience will especially appreciate some of the scenarios and the humor. It was like looking back and going yup been there. The author really captures that phase of life.

“Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve.”

The end was very touching and it taught me some valuable lessons. I won’t ruin it for you but basically in order to really love someone you need to show them you love them through actions. Love isn’t something imaginary in your head, it is proven. Wise words Charlie. SuperForest introduced me to tis video and I think it helps illustrate what I mean.

You see, saying those things and talking about them (though beautiful) doesn’t mean anything. Neither does thinking them. To really love someone you need to do those things and share the experiences with the person. It can’t be in your head, because that’s not love, that’s just a crush. I shared this with a friend and they said it would be good on stage… I think i’m writing a monologue : )