Monday, March 01, 2010

Stage Craft ≠ Camera Craft

I'm pleased with how my theater auditions are going.  I'm working loosely, allowing my training and my personality to support each other, important because an actor's personality will so often overlap the character's personality for whom he is well cast by at least 60%.  But, these initial couple of weeks of on camera auditions have been more challenging.  They are lightening fast.  If I fumble a technical element:  'poof.'  The least satisfying audition I gave was a couple of weeks ago for a principle in a Hollywood film.  I was given one shot at laying down on tape dialogue that would be sent to the director, who would make callback choices from the tape.  My face squished up with tension and there was no time to release it.  In another audition, I showed the requisite charm and ability to relate to the 'cohost' of an instructional video, but I mangled the teleprompter copy.  The auditors might chuckle in a friendly way at that but:  'poof.'  Clients want to lay down takes quickly and cleanly.  I am getting better, though.  The last audition I did seemed to please the client.  However, I'm also quickly learning that this is a bigger market than Portland--there are actors here who are making a full-time living doing nothing but regional ads and instructional videos--and the competition is tight.  The client can be delighted by me but likes the height, pot belly, laugh, twinkle, shoe size, voice--whatever--of another actor.  I think I may end up being better at the film than at the commercial auditions, though I do think I'm a good fit for spokesperson roles, we'll see.


Jon said...

This is fascinating stuff to me, David. Thanks for sharing it.

Kay Browning in DC said...

You mention tension in your face during auditions. That's a problem for me as well, also during filming. What do you do to release it?

David Millstone said...

I have ideas about this, but not enough recent experience on camera to write about it here.