On getting rusty...
As an MFA trained actor, I take pride in my ability to perform. However after a two month break, I may be rusty.
I went on a long vacation to the Philippines recently to spend quality time with my family. Didn't really think much of acting while I was there. Now that I'm back, my filmmaker boyfriend asked me to work on a short film with him. Obviously I jumped on it.
Acting on film is heavily reliant on imagery and make believe. Pretend the camera is not right in your face. Pretend you hear your daughter scream and react to it. Pretend you're scolding your daughter when she's not there behind the camera. These were some of the images I had to convince my actor self to believe.
My training is heavy on imagery work or what we call Sensory Work (Stanislavsky/Strasberg based). Where you awaken your senses to see, hear, feel, smell, and taste imaginary circumstances. Normally this technique would come to my rescue at a time like this... but it didn't. Or at least it took a loooooong time.
I had to admit to myself that I didn't really hear the scream... I didn't see a person behind that camera... I did not believe this imaginary circumstance.
I took time from production for me to concentrate and find what I needed to feel truthful. And that kinda hurt my ego. I couldn't just go and do it? I couldn't just give what the director was asking of me? I needed TIME to prepare?
Yup. I got rusty.
It hurts. It hurts to admit that you weren't the same actor you used to be. That you have to go back to the drawing board. That retraining is necessary. That you aren't just gifted with natural acting ability.
Is anyone really? If you exist, please kill yourself. Kidding. Jk.
If a ballerina stops doing her bar exercises, will her turnout be the same? No. If a classical pianist stops doing his scales, will he be able to play Beethoven's Sonata impeccably? Hells no. The same goes with acting. If you don't practice your techniques, your performance will suffer.
And so... I'm back to the drawing board. Would you like to join me?
Here is a link to the short film I mentioned above. I produced this with my boyfriend - Chris Ruiz, the director. Take a look and see what worked and what didn't work - acting wise. Keep it to yourself. My ego might not be able to take it.