the revolution will not be noticed

Responses to the acting-instruction page.
aruffo
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Posts: 1696
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:09 pm
Location: Evanston, IL

the revolution will not be noticed

Postby aruffo » Sat Oct 28, 2006 6:27 pm

Today I ran an audition workshop, which reminded me that I've come to think of my work as the Post-It Notes of acting performance. My approach can't be easily explained because of its novelty; and if I try to explain it easily, it doesn't seem novel, because other strategies are already being used to address the problem I claim to solve. But once a person tries what I'm offering, their perception of the task is permanently altered, and they can't imagine how they got by without it.

That is, once I get a chance to work with an actor, I'll blow their mind-- but the frustrating aspect is getting that chance. Until they're actually doing it, there's no reason for them to suspect that what I can teach em is any different from the community theater down the road, or any better than what they'll learn from the faculty of a theater school.

But Post-Its eventually had their day. So too will this work. Some day...!

aruffo
Site Admin
Posts: 1696
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:09 pm
Location: Evanston, IL

Postby aruffo » Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:22 pm

I probably shoulda mentioned that I was griping here because only two people showed up to the audition workshop. Granted, my work is all designed for one-on-one anyway, and the two people made it possible to all the scenework I wanted to, but it was disappointing not to be able to help more people. I learned afterward that the education director had just sold the course to its potential participants as a plain ol' audition workshop, and there's very little reason to have confidence that you'll actually learn something you can take away with you. Throughout my MFA experience I was subjected to various "audition workshops", all of them run by "professionals", and each of them was ultimately just as useless as the "acting classes" because even when the leader wasn't trying to coddle the participants' egos, there was really nothing to be taken away; just hints and tips which would, briefly, make a person look better while presenting the monologue they'd just picked up.

One of the participants in the workshop was severely dyslexic, and it was an interesting challenge helping him to relate to the words and to his scene partner when the text worked so strongly against him; the other fellow was our props master for Dracula and he was there because he was very curious to know how I do what I do. As we proceeded he kept shaking his head and saying "if only I'd known this for [various roles he'd played before]."

So despite the griping, it continues to be reassuring that whenever I get the chance, I really do help people... where I get frustrated is not being able to help more!


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