It's your comfort zone....step out of it! By Lanny Fuettere
Monday, 05.02.2016, 08:17 PM
It's your comfort zone....step out of it!
By Lanny Fuettere
Let's take a small exercise. Let us assume we are in a classroom filled with fellow Actors, preferably, only those in the Film and/or Television industry. Now, I give each of you a stopwatch and asked that you take a few deep breaths, a few more of same and when you're ready, start the stopwatch and hold that last big intake of air. Hold it for as long as you can without some great discomfort.
There is an excellent probability a few things will happen: First, some in attendance may not even bother to participate...they'll 'fake' it, or some will give up quickly right after they grow tired of having to experience any discomfort what-so-ever.
Let us now suppose you, as a true seeker of growth within, held your breath for 74, maybe as much as 95+ seconds and you noted your 'score' in your work book. Without any explanation, the I then moved on to another subject. Then, about 45 minutes later, I asked all in attendance to repeat the same exercise. Question...how many will hold their breath longer than they did during the first? The real question should be....why not? You've already experienced a level of discomfort, and you do have some initiative to surpass your last 'record'. There is now a 'problem' for those who 'cheated', 'faked' the first exercise. They have no real initiative to even participate....how might you think they felt at that moment, knowing they never set a goal for themselves....one they could have surpassed.
By exceeding your last attempt, you, in one way, stepped out of your comfort zone. So it is with on-camera performance....one must 'do something', one must push oneself into that previously unexplored area that is comprised of both the body and mind working in unison.
How many times have you left the audition space wishing you had 'gone for it'? I urge you to 'take a chance'.... learn to be 'unselfconscious' and make the script yours, not 'theirs' as they wrote it. The words on that printed page can be treated as suggestions only....that is not to say you can do a re-write, but you can 'personalize' it so that it fits YOU!
Here's some script that was given me for the role of a 'grizzly-looking' fella named Willis, that lives alone with his pickup truck, his dogs and his shotgun. Two Law Enforcement officers (Brian, one of which he has known for years) appears at his front door. No problem, they just want to ask him some questions..... my lines (italicized) were as simple as what follows. Brian's lines are not in italics: Your pickup truck ain't here Willis... "Do you know why I called you"? You called?.... "It's stole!", When?...."Last Night", Did ya see 'em?....."I'da seen 'em, they'd be dead". (Looking at the second officer) "Just like you boy if'in you weren't with Brian here, "ain't that right Brian?", Yup! "Make that two 'yups'!"....now...what you gonna do 'bout my pickup truck"?
Not much there with which to bring to life? At first read, one might say "No!". You'd be wrong. There are many off-script utterances and embellishments available to you...if you will 'look' for them and....no.... I'm not going to share them with you. So....should you wish, run the lines and find where you can 'step out of your comfort zone' by making those words your words. Make the moment your moment! Give 'em something to talk about after you've left the room.
Why? Because anyone can 'read' the words....our Craft mandates we 'make the words ours'. It mandates we bring something to the moment! The writer, the Director will not 'tell' you what to do, what to add, what expressions are to be used. They are not going to tell you 'how to act'! They are looking for a Talent that can fulfill the role when, at the very same time.... they most often don't know what they really want until they see it! You've heard of 'Book a Look', even if a Talent walked through the door that was actually a 'Willis' from the bottom up, what are the Auditors to do....teach him how to 'Act'? So....take a chance....step out of your comfort zone because you never know just what might become of the process. Need an example?; you were so proficient during your read, they gave you another role in the film that you didn't even know existed. It happens...and it has happened to me. Lastly...please...no 'acting'....re-act! lmf©
OF NOTE: The E-mail link you find below may not function as it should. Only if you might wish, please type same into the Send to portion of your E-mail. I thank you! Lanny
Lanny Fuettere has over eighteen years’ experience and in excess of 560 combined bookings as a professional on-camera actor, and voice over artist in the television, film, and radio broadcast industry. His range of talent is diverse: He's a published writer, a recurring On-air Spokesperson and Guest Host on HSN, a mixed-media artist, motivational speaker / humorist and talent coach. His speaking and teaching style has earned him the moniker as that of an "Edu-tainer". His company name, Edutainment, Incorporated, is based on that very same moniker.
Lanny Fuettere can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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