A WORD FROM ANNIE:
I start with “what does it mean to be an artist?”. In this town, in these times, that question has more relevance than ever before.
Studios are more often going with a ” sure bet” . So it is crucial that an actor walks in the room with their imagination flowing. Understand that the writer put 50% of it on the page, and the rest is up to you. Embrace that you too are a creator, a storyteller – and start building the story beyond and to support what the writer has given you. Use the writer’s words of course, but think and play beyond that. Having a specific point of view about everything you say allows you to take ownership of the words and “make them yours”.
The minute you pick up the script, the words are no longer belonging to the writer. Embrace that!
I am a stickler for thinking in the “I” as opposed to “the character”. The only way to get out of your head is to accept and believe that the events of the story are happening to you.
The simple premise of what I teach is ” if you don’t believe, they don’t believe.”
I teach actors to take ownership of the material by examining 3 basic areas:
1. The Stated aka the lines. This is where actors spend 85 % of their prep time. Huge mistake! By the time you get in the room thay have heard these lines a hundred times.
2. The Unstated aka the pauses, this is where your creativity truly stands out. You need to create a life, a thought process that links your words together. So often when I put 12 actors on tape for the same role, what they are “not saying” is the most compelling and interesting part.
3. The physical life. Too often the actor feels restricted physically in the audition room. Even if you have to sit in a chair, there is a lot you can do to tell the story with your whole being. Tell the truth, live the life and your body will respond.
And lastly, I deal with mentality. I help actors shift their focus from ‘booking the Job” to fully experiencing the story that they have the opportunity to create.
This is especially crucial when you get to the “network level”. With so much on the line, if your mentality is not in check, you will be caught playing toward a result, not truly allowing the experience to affect you.
And that is what I do.