Acting Workout: When can I “do” something?

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Today I had my first acting class downtown with Dolores Drake. I am in her class called “The Professional Acting Workout”. I got to be downtown at night which I love, but not the late kind of night (though I got to do that too) but the sunset time of night. The twilight. When the orange (the pretty kind, not like the CMYK kind) kissed the pavilions and the streetlights and the building’s edges.

I learned so much and I really had a positive experience! So many questions and answers.

 I was wondering about how to know when you “can do” something. For example, an accent. Or a special skill. Like playing guitar. When am I competent enough and proficient enough and confident enough to put something on my resume. I suppose I could think of acting as similar to other types of jobs this way. If I don’t want to be hired for 3D Modeling, then I won’t put it on my resumé. If I don’t feel comfortable playing clarinet for a casting director, I probably shouldn’t advertise that either. My teacher brought up some good point too about getting feedback and confidence. Do [insert skill here] for people and if your peers, friends, classmates, teachers, etc. compliment you on your work, then it is something you should promote. Do you believe yourself and feel confident?

COMEDIC SIDE NOTE:

That reminds me… during the winter break this year I went on the trip to Whistler with some friends and for some reason (I can’t recall if this was before or after the alcohol but neither would surprise me) I spent a large portion of the evening pretending to be Australian (because SO MANY people we met up there were from down under). I went to a cafe with an accent (where the owners were legit Australian), I bought lift passes, I went to a bar… I drank more alcohol. LOL.

I got to read three parts today in class:

  1. A short bit from Brent Butt’s CBC show “Hiccups”
  2. A scene from a TV movie where I worked at an eyeglass store.
  3. I am now working on the role of “Lynda” from Savage in Limbo by John Patrick Shanley

I really enjoyed the class for a few reasons. Everyone is very talented. People are working. One of the guys from the last class I attended was in a commercial I saw on TV  recently! Cool! (I still get a bit starstruck : P).

Also, I really like working with Film and Television material. I was reflecting on my time so far in the SFU Theatre Program and I noticed that often with self-directed scenes from plays I couldn’t “figure it out”. What does this line mean? How do we make the scene interesting? I needed a director or outside eye to help me put things together. Perhaps it is because of all the short film work I have done from a Director and DOP standpoint, but I really “got” the scene today. There were a couple times when the rest of the class was confused but I “got” it. That felt good, to be in on the joke. To understand.

I started to see myself in roles while rehearsing in class today. This has been a struggle with me in my ongoing journey wondering if/how I should pursue acting. I am a character. I fit into role. THAT COULD BE ME.

Overall, beautiful, wonderful day. Job well done. Mission accomplished. YES.

How Not To Get Screwed Over as a Freelancer

Zacharias Legal Document Collection - 1743 Power of Attorney

During my travels as a freelance creative (I do photography, graphic design and video work) there have been a few occasions where things have not worked out as I had hoped. Recently I learned some lessons and got lots of different perspectives on how to keep myself safe in client relationships.

Here are the tips I collected:

  1. Create a contract. This contract should have clear terms and conditions such as payment information, cost, delivery method, communication guidelines, copyright information and usage. This site, dontgetscrewedover.com has some great tips and links to http://www.docracy.com/ which provides free, open source legal documents for use.
  2. Someone recommended getting referrals to me before working with a new client. Most of my clients have been friends or friends of friends and with these people I have had few conflicts.
  3. Get 50% payment up front (deposit) and have the client pay the balance upon delivery of the finished product. This is especially important for substantial jobs.
  4. Watermark all drafts and content sent before payment is delivered.
  5. Include a creative brief (either in written or oral format) to explain why you made certain choices to the client. This can be helpful in ensuring clear communication.
  6. If someone does not pay you a substantial amount of money and they are a homeowner, it is possible to put a “lean” on their house, and they will need to pay you before they can sell their property.
  7. Get a new job! Freelance work is not for everyone and running your own business can be hard. A different job might be the best thing your your lifestyle and preferences.
  8. Small Claims Court (at least in BC) can help you with amounts over $1000 but will probably cost you more than it’s worth for smaller amounts.

Stay Safe! Thanks to Allison, Jeremy, Sam, Julian, Cedric, Amanda, Jacquie, Jay, Dari, and everyone else who contributed to this list and gave me their wisdom!

my thoughts on “The Fountain”

This year I have been OBSESSED with Darren Arronofsky. Ever since I watched Black Swan (which he also directed) I have been super into him.

I found this film to be very abstract. To me it sort of brought up the relationship between life and death. It reminded me how connected we all are, across space – across time. In many ways, I think death is life – from death grows new life.

The movie also made me think of the merging of worlds. In many ways I think life is a merging of worlds – for each life and moment serves to connect beings and things together.

From a more technical standpoint…

  • The surreal imagery was very beautiful, and at times proved a distraction for me.
  • Hugh Jackman was delicious.
  • I also liked the ending credit font. Type = love : )
  • To me the carefully considered sound design was clearly conceived : )

What have you been watching lately?

Love!

Jenni

SIAT Showcase tomorrow! Come vote for me 12 to 5 at SFU Surrey : D

What are you up to tomorrow?

Come see my work and vote for it at the SIAT Spring Showcase!

Location: SFU Surrey – it’s by Central City Mall (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada)

Date & Time: Saturday, January 28th, 2012, 12:00-5:00pm

Facebook Event

I have several projects being featured…

( And vote for me! ;D )

Pay it Forward as a Christian Allegory and A Poem about Loss

SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! 

Last night I re-watched Pay it Forward. This movie gets me every time. So beautiful and tragic * sigh *

I had never viewed it as a Christian Allegory before but that was definitely the reading I got this time. I think the kid represented Jesus, the people he helped were his disciples and well… you know how it ends. I think the Mom might have been some sort of Mary Magdalene figure.

Then I got to thinking, what if all of life is a Christian Allegory. I mean Jesus is Love right? And since everyone is a “divine creation” we are all Love. And if all of life is here to teach us about love and compassion then each death is for our sins. So we are all Jesus, in a way. Possibly? (Note: I am not Christian and I am not trying to be sacrilegious by writing this… I just like thinking about how love shows up in the world. No offence intended). Anywho I was really upset last night. I started pondering some recent events that have transpired in my life. The unfairness of loss. I think taking life is the worst thing one can do (weather it be the life of another or your own). I wanna watch some more Leo Buscaglia and go hug everyone. Love more. Yes…. and now a poem
Loss

 A POEM ABOUT LOSS

the inescapable feeling of all the air suddenly disappearing from my lungs,

and the unsatisfyable need to be anywhere but here.

and the sinking knowing that in this moment everything is not alright.

and the uncomfortable notion of observing the bloodshot and tear stained eyes of my weeping self. and the search for beauty in that moment but the finding of only emptiness. vast, cold emptiness.

and despite all of the happiness and joy I might have had today I want nothing more than I cry myself to sleep.

and grab, squeeze, reach any part of you or anyone who has ever known you, or would want to, or would pretend to.

bolting from the room as if to vomit up my pain and shock.

and thinking deep down that everything will be fine, and there is a lesson to be learned, and this challenge will make me stronger… but not caring because I cannot breathe.

and sinking down, away, into the bathroom stall.

but not caring because I cannot breathe.

and I think that it’s unfair. But a life taken doesn’t care.

and I think that it’s not right. But that won’t bring you back tonight.

And I am at a loss.

of life.

Shake It Media + Wintercoast PRESENTS

Happy Holidays from Shake it Media and Wintercoast : )

I’ve been working on this all week (ok i’ve taken lotsa breaks) but it’s done just in time to wish you a very Happy Christmas!

PS: I’ve been enjoying saying “Happy Christmas” to people because it makes me feel British (like Harry Potter) and it reminds me that WAR IS OVER IF YOU WANT IT : )

Hypnosis – My Cognitive Science Project

THIS IS WHAT I DO AT SCHOOL…

I took a cognitive science class this semester as an elective. It was taught by a professor from my major program (Interactive Arts + Technology) so instead of writing a final paper or exam I got to work on this. It was a really cool class that really opened my mind up. If you are curious…

cognitive science is the interdisciplinary scientific study of mind and its processes

– wikipedia

The course I took was called COGS 310: Consciousness. I wrote a bit about some of my insights and musings during the semester here and here.

Our project focuses on hypnosis, which is a form of brainwashing that shares some similar techniques to mind control and meditation. Our experimental video montage draws inspiration from the techniques of self-imposed hypnotism where the viewers perform hypnosis on themselves rather than having a manipulator to conduct the process. This

Ok, so I might have ripped of this amazing video a little bit…

But great artists steal, right? Though the visual style is similar we crafted our script on specific principals of hypnosis and we made all of the materials and the soundtrack from scratch.

l’histoire de la vie – an interactive multi-linear narrative

This is what I do at school…

This project is intended to take inspiration from the concept of a “semordnilaps”. A “semordnilaps” is a word (or pattern of any sort of thing) which creates
something new in reverse (the word itself is a reversal of the word palindromes). The project uses the visual film medium and the power of storytelling to create a
piece which can be viewed entirely in either directions of playback, creating two different experiences for the user, the giving the user control and agency over their
experience. The story could also be described as a “mise en abîme” because it is a never-ending narrative loop. The beginning is the end and the end is the beginning.
In this way, the narrative structure symbolically represents the central theme of the piece: the circle of life (hence the title, l’histoire de la vie).

FORWARDS

BACKWARDS

an IAT 313 final project
featuring Manon Pouget