Saturday 11th September
The discussion was 'frank', as usual and quite personal. Personal, because we discussed how each of the students participating in the sessions felt they had coped, as well as what they felt they had learned.
There were a number of things that were learned in both sessions and following those sessions, I had a keen desire for the students to enjoy their acting this week.- without the pressure of feeling that they were being observed, or 'analysed'.
Acting is a really fun activity. It's why we get hooked. Drama tends to involve lots of games and fun, exciting challenges.
When we begin applying the pressure of having to succeed in auditions, or having to compete to be able to have greater opportunities, it's a different matter. Carolyn McLeod mentioned the old adage that an actors life can be a case of 'Feast, or Famine'. One extreme to the other. She also gave some hard hitting facts to the students about what is expected of them at an audition, by a professional casting director.
We don't 'sugar coat' things at Totally Lit! and none of the creative team (all working actors) are being chauffeur driven, from place to place. There are times when we find it tough- very tough! We all have accepted that to be in this industry will require us to be 'on our game' in a casting, in order to be in with a chance of being chosen, or selected for a role. It's not the 'X-Factor'. We don't put in a few weeks hard work, in the hope of a successful and instant reward. We know that we are competing against other actors and we all work tremendously hard, even before being offered the job, to ensure that casting directors see us in our best light. If I want someone to pay me for the privilege of being in a show/film, then I have to be worthy. There are a lot of other people out there that can possibly do the same job as me. I need to have an 'edge', or at least come out of the room knowing that I couldn't have done any more.
I don't think that some of our student realised that there were so many people that they were competing against, just to be shortlisted to be seen for a film, or TV show? It's a very tough business and you have to be outstanding. So when some of our students had a bit of a terrible time in their casting sessions, despite being well prepared, they had learned a very short, sharp lesson. You have to be able to bring your 'A' game in with you.
Some of the mistakes were put down to nerves, but to be frank and honest- not good enough FOR THEM. Personally, I was pleased to be able to see just where "the wheels fell off". Nothing to worry about and with no job at stake and an opportunity to put things right, with a second attempt, we had reached that moment that we cannot simulate in class.
Some will have left disappointed. All will have left wanting to ensure that they are better prepared in future.
The truth is, that each of them had shown enough of their true potential, to impress the casting director. Some handled the pressure really well. Some learned hard lessons very fast. Some worked are to prepare, but are in need of help, when learning their lines. Simply having someone to read out the other persons lines aloud with you, whilst you are learning, can improve your performance.
None of our students have anything to worry about, as far as their acting is concerned. They all have tremendous potential and my hope for them, is that it always remains an enjoyable pleasure.
They're not here to show me how great they are. They are here for me to help improve them and their chances of working frequently.
The school has grown in size quite quickly over the summer. the new additions bring a new vibrant energy and, more importantly, new expectation!
We are about to embark on a hectic schedule of filming all of our students in showreel scenes, over a 28 day period. It's tremendously exciting. I hope to be able to keep up to date with the 'Blog' as we go along.
This is our company Blog, re-capping previous weeks sessions.