I had a great opportunity Wednesday to do a workshop for a director for his next pre-production feature.
I'll tell you, this actor/director is absolutely incredible. It was a great night watching him react to the actors he had invited to the workshop, watching his directing process, and see his "ah ha" moments when actors brought something he hadn't considered for the roles.
I learned some concrete stuff in the workshop too -- like how to maintain control of a two- (or more) person audition, when you partner accidentally (or unintentionally) upstages you.
The director did a quick drill down into the class to find out who was working on projects of their own. He encouraged us to get a hand cam, a bunch of colleagues, and fully cast and produce our projects in a low-fidelity sort of way. That was pretty much my "ah ha" moment -- with 5 projects of my own, it totally makes sense to take the next step and make them more real.
Y'know, it's a industry truism that "there are no small parts; only small actors." And this guy gave a very cool, specific anecdote from his own career that made that a little more real.
Some of my favorite actors were with me last night -- Adam Langley, Chel Simon, Christine Wolf, Nicole Graf, and Sarah Paige -- professionals who are a joy to watch, and incredibly humbling for me to see them working their craft.
I also found a new person of whom I think I'm going to be a very big fan -- Tammy Holland. She jetted before I had a chance to tell her, but she was a lot of fun to watch perform, and is incredibly talented.
The only downside of the night was a brief tangent by the director, where he said if you have a particular stumbling block in your acting, you don't belong in the Biz. I've got that hurdle, and it was tough to hear his read on the whole thing.
Hey, I'm nothing if not a survivor, and I'm fairly innovative, too ... ;-)
Great night all around, though.