Will is an incredibly talented and personable actor, coach, producer, writer, and director (not necessarily in that order), and last night was a great opprotunity for fun and learning.
Be sure to check Will out in Sonny's Last Shot, running at the State Theatre (719 Congress). The play runs Thursday through Saturday nights (and a Sunday matinee) January 6 through February 5. Call 512-469-SHOW for tickets.
In class, I did a piece from Sexual Perversity in Chicago (David Mamet). It was the "singles bar scene", and I was Bernard Litko. You can actually read the scene on Amazon.com. For those who are worried, we stopped the scene on page 12 (though it's actually page 15 where things get interesting; if no more family-friendly) ... ;-)
By the way, Mamet wrote The Untouchables, one of my two favorite all-time movies. Now you know a little more about me ...
One of the in-class scenes (that wasn't mine) I most enjoyed was one from the sitcom Dharma & Greg, with talented classmates Frank Brantley, Chel Simon, and Adam Powell (dude needs his own website). These three absolutely nailed their roles, and it was a pleasure to watch.
We also did a "get-to-know-you" exercise where the men/women in the class paired up and cycled through 1 minute, 1-on-1 conversations, and wrote one-word "first-impression" summaries anonymously on notecards stuck to our backs.
The summary I netted?:
- Beautiful (never got this one before; I wanna know who wrote this)
- Family Man
- Very Nice
Awe, shucks ...
Seriously, I was encouraged by the diversity of reads I got by just being me, and talking and listening to other people.
What else did I learn in class? A bunch of stuff that it never hurts to hear over and over again. just a couple of examples:
- Don't "mock" actions in an audition (opening doors, driving a car, etc.), unless specifically asked by the auditioner.
- Don't try to "justify" the scene -- let it work on its own.
On a more sober note, I learned some of my fellow actors don't "connect" unless it's "necessary" (like for a class scene, audition, etc.). When we finished with the class, while I was trying to chat with a few folks who I didn't know, they kind of brushed me off as they waited in line to try to get to Will. Bummer.
Folks, it's about the relationships -- it's not about the networking. At least for me ...
Luckily, I've been blessed with genuine relationships with a number of authentic actors, and enjoyed chatting it up with them.
Special thanks to actor extraordinaire Adam Langley who organized and coordinated this whole thing, and gave up his birthday to attend and make sure it ran smoothly.
Also thanks to CastingWorks LA for generously hosting the whole thing! With special, special thanks to Leigh for hanging out late to lock up afterwards ...