The SXSW goodness continued (sort of) yesterday.
I had a coaching session with VO actress and director Marci Winters Allen, who is in town this week for SXSW.
This was a really good session, and Marci is a talented, energetic and fun coach with whom I was very comfortable working.
She identified some of the same hang-ups my ongoing coach (the awesome Lainie Frasier) is constantly trying to get me past ("Slow down, Adam", "Watch ending sentences with the same intonation -- it makes you sound sing-songy", etc.).
She also gave me new tools in the form of tongue-twisters I hadn't used before ("black bugs blood", "Unique New York, unique New York, you know you need unique New York", "The lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue"), and other tongue-twisters that I think most VO actors use (let's hear it for "Toy boat"!).
The epiphany for me was in the area of some of the visualization stuff ("You are this character. What color are you? What animal are you?").
This is by no means new stuff to me, since it's part of my toolkit for filmwork. But the epiphany was I was segregating my "voice" toolkit from my "on-camera" toolkit. After my session with Marci, I've started looking at my tools and techniques in the whole, and have seen some immediate benefit to my acting. Suh weet.
Plus, Marci let me be Captain America for a few lines. Ah, Cap, you rock ...
Acting for Film:
So even though I just had my weekly class Monday night with my current coach Van Brooks, Van called be as I was driving down to Marci's and generously offered to let me play in class for a 2nd night in a row with a new troupe of folks.
Like Monday night's class, the format for the evening was run like an audition, with us treating the whole thing as if we were auditioning for a film -- cold read and all.
Unlike Monday, I felt really good about the experience. I was auditioning for the role of Paul, a violent punk with issues brought in for questioning in regards to "conspiracy to commit murder."
Before I was called in, I stripped down to my t-shirt, messed the hell out of my hair (this is a big deal; seriously, have you seen my headshot?), and I went with my headshot and a loud, angry, and fractured read.
Did the "Casting Directors" like it? They said "no", and had me do a slightly quieter ("but still angry"), more "focused" read.
But the point is I went for something, and I went all-out and hardcore. And when we watched it on tape, we decided we all actually really liked the read.
Which brings up an interesting issue. I might do an audition, and the CDs not like it, but it may rock on tape -- if it's ever seen ...
Ah, such a fickle biz we're in!
Anyway, sitting in on this class reunited me with class alumns Rocky, Sara Kendrick, and "The Mastery" alumn Todd Sauders (the Roadhouse Relics artisan).
I also got to work for the first time with Kendra, Brent, and Nick. I also got to watch and listen to Jessica Robertson, an absolute pro, and blast to be in class with.