Tuesday, September 18, 2018

It's in the Words, Words, Words.

‪Like Kathleen Turner and Cherry Jones, I think that everything an actor needs is on the page. Immersion and observation in ‘real’ life are helpful, but story (and appreciation of rhetoric) is for me more crucial. When actors rely too much on emotional connection, they miss beats (e.g., for me, 'substitution' makes me less specific, as I end up washing over the text with mood; imagination-grounded-in-story helps me more than memory, most of the time. Substitution might help me with an isolated reaction shot but rarely for navigating a scene.)

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Poetic Justice

I think it's time for someone to write a dissertation, or book, on how the critical idea of "poetic justice"--which holds that literature and theater (both 'poetry') must reward virtue and punish evil--describes how we still watch tv and film in the po mo age, in ways which I think both hurt and harm us as active viewers. It's worst manifestation is a common insistence by scolds, on both the left and right, that 'poetry' must accurately represent the virtue of those who produce it, i.e., writers, performers, directors, as if no good can come from the art produced by anyone we deem 'bad,' a patently stupid idea. It's best manifestation may be as a tool to parse our responses to particularly complex characters, both 'heroes' and 'antiheroes.'

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Mixing Up One's Act

In the past year, *TV I've auditioned for includes BLINDSPOT, THE BLACKLIST, HAPPY, RAY DONOVAN, HOUSE OF CARDS, BULL, GOTHAM, QUANTICO, THE SINNER, Z NATION, YOUNGER, TURN, HOMELAND, and GRIMM (and multiple times for 9 of these 14 shows). I only booked one (so far) and 'pinned' another. I'm grateful, but man, it's not easy. 
The job is just to keep showing up until the tumblers click into place. That happens at a different time for everyone, it seems. Sticking it out without succumbing to feeling delusional--neither unjustifiably optimistic nor pessimistic--is a spiritual practice; the art of letting go of expectation.
And that's why I'm adding professional scuba diver to my portfolio: it doesn't pay any better than acting, but you can plan for it. I recommend that artists maintain mixed portfolios of skills and interests; those who do seem happiest to me.
*I also auditioned for, and booked, a short film, film, and industrial, and will perform again in PROTEST, for THE ALLIANCE FOR NEW MUSIC-THEATRE, this coming December, in Miami, which--along with a bunch of pro bono readings I've participated in for TITAN THEATRE CO.--helps keep my soul fed.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

What I'm looking for in a Director of WT

I'll be looking for a film director who is as sensitive to literary language as s/he is to cinematic image, at home with Shakespeare, and will be inventive in adapting stage conventions to film conventions. I'll be looking at reels. In reels I'll hope to see a feel for dialogue, understanding of verse and how to support verse cinematically, and a feel for relating characters to landscape and setting. A liking for such as Sorkin, Malick, Taymore, Branagh, Akalaitis, and Orson Welles would be helpful.

Monday, July 09, 2018

WT Journal

(Note: I'm working on adapting Shakespeare's THE WINTER'S TALE for film, and will occasionally throw an entry up about it.)

Has anyone done research on the audience for Shakespeare FILMS? Have smaller budget Shakespeare films found an audience or made money? 
Film adaptations of MACBETH don't count (every kid with a camera tries a MACBETH adaptation and they're all terrible); neither do large budget films by Al Pacino or Orson Welles.
My favorite big-budget filmed Shakespeare are CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT, TITUS, and Branaugh's MUCHO ADO ABOUT NOTHING, though Pacino's MERCHANT OF VENICE has a lot to recommend it. Branaugh's HAMLET hasn't aged well. Tenant's HAMLET has aged better. I also like the opening of Olivier's HENRY V and there's a lot to like in his OTHELLO, though the blackface is cringe-worthy. Whedon's MUCH ADO is interesting but falls flat for me.
Almereyda's CYMBELINE and HAMLET interest me but I want to better match visual interest--or 'spectacle'--to the heightened language. I have some ideas about how to achieve that while staying mainly inside a naturalistic approach.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Soon to be 'Divemaster David!'

I'm super close to completing my PADI Divemaster certification--just need to spend a couple of pool sessions assisting Open Water students and complete my EFR refresh. This training definitely made me a MUCH better diver so I'm excited to turn 'pro.' I look forward to helping friends with their certification refreshers and further assisting the good and capable people at Dive Connections, in Charlottesville, VA.

Monday, June 25, 2018

How I Roll

When I was bothered by nagging anxiety while scuba diving I decided to become a PADI Divemaster. When I was paralyzed by what other people thought of me, I became an actor. That’s how I roll my stone up the hill.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Madam Secretary, or, 'The Good Family'

Because I'm a NYC actor, I try to keep up with tv that's shot here, so finally started watching MADAM SECRETARY, which is better than I expected to be, and turns out to be the story about a happy family, in the guise of a political procedural. I'm all for watching happy families.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

In FB Recovery Mode

Now that I no longer make political or personal comments on FB I feel like I escaped a cult—a jealous, hydra-headed, indignant believer in THE RAGE God—when I peruse the home page. I tried to be a reasonable and inquiring FB citizen but that Village of the Damned didn’t allow it.