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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Any Actors/Public speakers/anyone with a clue out there? - October 7th 2011, 12:29 AM

I am Justin, and I am a social retard.

Seriously, yesterday I had my first class in a ten month acting course. It was intermediate, but I figured "Who cares, I've taken four classes before this! Bring it!" and turns out, I'm way out of my leauge.

Like, I've taken four acting courses, and a different guy works at the playhouse to make spare cash instead of holding a part time job. He works as an actor, not a janitor or something.

Other kids have been in school plays, commercials, local television shows, local acts, talent shows... and in the corner is nerdy little Justin who's taken four acting classes before this.

The next woe is that I'm the youngest, and shortest in the class. This was a major throw-back. In my last class I was among the top five oldest, now I'm bottom of the food chain man.

So anyhow, I nut up and decide "Hell, I'll give it my best try." I freeze up, use no dialouge, moving like I'm a robot, metaphorical "Block" the person I was talking to, ended up having to turn by back to the audience (other students) because the guy behind me entered the stage on the opposite side, got nervous and let my voice crack several times, you name it. So for those of you who aren't actors, basically I screwed up everything that could be screwed up, aside from the fact that I luckily spoke clearly for the four words I said.

I made a total ass of myself. I can't drop out now, it's a ten month course, no refunds. My only hope is that the mass email I sent to everyone I've ever met lures in some new actors who will be worse than me, in which case they can defuse the tension.

I've taken more classes than any other student in the class. But for field testing, I've done nothing. I know the technical terms, how to direct and set up scenes, but as far as improv I buggered up. I feel humilated that I screwed up so badly even though I knew what I needed to do. I knew what I wanted to say, and I was going to be funny. Last second I decided to not play to my strenghts and went for a serious (or dramatic) preformance and I screwd up.

I froze, I got a second chance and I froze again. I botched both preformances big time.

Anyone who can give me acting (Mainly improvision) or public speaking or even social tips, please good lord give them to me.

- Justin



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Re: Any Actors/Public speakers/anyone with a clue out there? - October 7th 2011, 02:00 AM

My advice is to stay calm.. try not to think about freezing up. Have you tried practicing in front of a mirror? Have someone give you a topic and just see what you can do. I havnt done much acting, but I did a public speaking competition, and won gold at state. (Idk if that qualifies me for giving advice but i hope it helped).


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Re: Any Actors/Public speakers/anyone with a clue out there? - October 7th 2011, 04:20 AM

Okay, practicing improvision at home, and the mirror thing I can work on. These are really obvious, but my mind turned up blank when thinking for anything helpful. Thanks. And anyway, you didn't have to have a ton of experience in anything really, just someone who has any experience with anything like this. I'm really glad you've given me some ideas.

If anyone else has any other imput, I'd still apreciate it.

- Justin



"Buy it, use it, break it, fix it,
Trash it, change it, mail, upgrade it,
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Write it, cut it, paste it, save it,
Load it, check it, quick, rewrite it"
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Re: Any Actors/Public speakers/anyone with a clue out there? - October 7th 2011, 07:12 PM

how are you like outside in public? if you can hold a reasonable conversation with any person you meet on the street, you should be able to do fine dude! volleyballchick is right, just keep calm and even practise talking aloud to yourself wherever you go. why'd you freeze up? coz you're nervous or run out of things to say?

improv can be the most fun thing on earth, dont wry! just be confident and anyway, all good actors were noobs once and as long as ya persist, i don't see why you cant dish out some awesomeness.

go out more often and talk to strangers, but dont accept sweets pls. improv is a skill, it needs to be practised via a process and there are no instant fixes unlike a rigid script.

have fun! oh and exhibiting your backside to the audience isn't such as religious sacrilege as it is hyped up to be. its just important that you dont gesture or talk facing the wrong way.

improv in its very basic form is accepting or denying, then adding in new input. thats the basis of all conversations. so when i said talk to yourself, i mean pretend to have two conflicting characters in mind that argue about things constantly and provide their opinions. to be natural on stage requires comfort with your fellow actors which of course takes time. and if youre really desperate, you can always turn your weakness into your strength- play a shy character, be your worst fears!

Last edited by falala; October 7th 2011 at 07:18 PM.
   
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Re: Any Actors/Public speakers/anyone with a clue out there? - October 7th 2011, 07:36 PM

Justin, this is just such a refreshing change here, not to make light of your concerns, but this, we can fix.

First, you write extremely well, it's very animated and very humorous. You're a likable person, even anonymously. That's unusual, people often have difficulty conveying their appeal. This is a strength, and maybe it's what you have to keep in mind when you're up on stage.

There will always be someone out there who's a little better or a little taller or a little something than you are, and if you always notice that and grind over it, if you compare yourself only to the qualities you feel you're deficient in, you'll freeze. Or worse, go nuts.

What I'd recommend is you not do that, those negative, searing comparisons, they're a recipe for, well, what you've experienced on stage, when it's your turn. Rather, try to focus on those qualities you have that make you special. And if you're in doubt, spend time doing those things other than acting that remind you of this, and/or be with your 'regular' (non actor) friends (as a btw, a lot of coaches, both theatrical and athletic, recommend this to boost self confidence.) What you need is a more realistic sense of who you are as Justin, not the thespian. What makes really good actors is who they are and what they bring to their characters as people, it's not something you get simply by memorizing lines or being tall.


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Re: Any Actors/Public speakers/anyone with a clue out there? - October 7th 2011, 09:34 PM

This is my area! I am in an experienced conservatory company and go to class 3 times a week.

Improv is hard for everyone. It may not seem like it but I promise it is. And it gets easier with practice. Learn to enjoy it cause it really can be so much fun!

First you need to remember the 5 rules of Improv:
1. Dont deny
-Never say no or contradict a statement your improv partner makes.
2. Give a gift
-add to the scene. If you make your partner look good, you'll look good.
3. Dont state the obvious.
-Stuff like "Your a girl." or "That grass is green."
4. Don't ask open ended questions
-Like saying "Who are you?" It puts all the pressure on your partner.
5. Dont try to be funny
-Improv doesn't have to be funny! If your funny then great your funny, but don't try to be.

And just chill out. Just relax. I'm sure in your class they have you "Clean the slate" and when you do, just really concentrate on relaxing. Have fun with it, acting is fun! It also helps if when you all warm up, really participate in the warm ups, especially tongue twisters if your having a hard time with diction. And if you get nervous and start stumbling, just take a deep breath, and keep going.
As far as being the youngest, who cares! Nobody will I promise The great thing about kids in acting classes everywhere is you have something in common and they're going to be way more accepting of you than "normal" people.
It also helps to take the pressure off if you make friends with the kids in your acting class. Then it wont be as embarrassing if you mess up.

Answering your post made me miss my acting buds!
Good luck with your new class and have so much fun!!!
<3


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i love you.

YOU are beautiful no matter what and dont YOU forget it!!! <3

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Last edited by justfallinginlove; October 7th 2011 at 09:39 PM.
   
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October 7th 2011, 09:34 PM

Thank you Dr.Bobby, any piece of advice is much apreciated. Today is an extra workshop class just so we all get a second shot. It was a surprise from our instructor. I'm going to try harder, and stay calm this time.

- Justin

Quote:
Originally Posted by justfallinginlove View Post
This is my area! I am in an experienced conservatory company and go to class 3 times a week.

Improv is hard for everyone. It may not seem like it but I promise it is.
First you need to remember the 5 rules of Improv:
1. Dont deny
-Never say no or contradict a statement your improv partner makes.
2. Give a gift
-add to the scene. If you make your partner look good, you'll look good.
3. Dont state the obvious.
-Stuff like "Your a girl." or "That grass is green."
4. Don't ask open ended questions
-Like saying "Who are you?" It puts all the pressure on your partner.
5. Dont try to be funny
-Improv doesn't have to be funny! If your funny then great your funny, but don't try to be.

And just chill out. Just relax. I'm sure in your class they have you "Clean the slate" and when you do, just really concentrate on relaxing. Have fun with it, acting is fun! It also helps if when you all warm up, really participate in the warm ups, especially tongue twisters if your having a hard time with diction. And if you get nervous and start stumbling, just take a deep breath, and keep going.
As far as being the youngest, who cares! Nobody will I promise The great thing about kids in acting classes everywhere is you have something in common and they're going to be way more acting of you than "normal" people.
It also helps to take the pressure off if you make friends with the kids in your acting class. Then it wont be as embarrassing if you mess up.

Answering your post made me miss my acting buds!
Good luck with your new class and have so much fun!!!
<3
Thank you for the advice. I knew number one and five, but the others are really, really good pointers. The other posts were great as far as psychology, but tips from someone who knows acting are valuable in their own way. I really apreciate the post.

I'm feeling way better about tonight's bonus class, and next week's class.

- Justin

Quote:
Originally Posted by falala View Post
how are you like outside in public? if you can hold a reasonable conversation with any person you meet on the street, you should be able to do fine dude! volleyballchick is right, just keep calm and even practise talking aloud to yourself wherever you go. why'd you freeze up? coz you're nervous or run out of things to say?

improv can be the most fun thing on earth, dont wry! just be confident and anyway, all good actors were noobs once and as long as ya persist, i don't see why you cant dish out some awesomeness.

go out more often and talk to strangers, but dont accept sweets pls. improv is a skill, it needs to be practised via a process and there are no instant fixes unlike a rigid script.

have fun! oh and exhibiting your backside to the audience isn't such as religious sacrilege as it is hyped up to be. its just important that you dont gesture or talk facing the wrong way.

improv in its very basic form is accepting or denying, then adding in new input. thats the basis of all conversations. so when i said talk to yourself, i mean pretend to have two conflicting characters in mind that argue about things constantly and provide their opinions. to be natural on stage requires comfort with your fellow actors which of course takes time. and if youre really desperate, you can always turn your weakness into your strength- play a shy character, be your worst fears!
Again more good tips. Play to your stengths, have faith in others. Just talk normally. Again these are all basic, but having them mentioned outside of my head makes me think about them more. Thank you for the information.



- Justin



"Buy it, use it, break it, fix it,
Trash it, change it, mail, upgrade it,
Charge it, point it, zoom it, press it,
Snap it, work it, quick, erase it,
Write it, cut it, paste it, save it,
Load it, check it, quick, rewrite it"
Technologic

Last edited by PSY; October 8th 2011 at 12:31 AM. Reason: Merged consecutive posts.
   
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Re: Any Actors/Public speakers/anyone with a clue out there? - October 7th 2011, 10:04 PM

I can't public speak to save my life, but acting I love.
The thing for me that makes acting different and easier, is that I don't have to be myself. I'm awful at being myself in front of a bunch of people, but I can be someone else no problems.
Try being someone else, just as you would in a play. You can make up a character in your head and play them, it always helps me.
Have you gone ice breakers with the group? And by that I mean games that make everyone, look ridiculous ... they really helped me when I started out in drama. If you see everyone else looking silly, you won't feel so self concious.
I would talk to the guy and explain you haven't done as much as the others, but you're keen to learn. As an actor he probably has a few great tips (along with the ones given above!!) and he can also be aware of it when you're in a group and do things to make you more at ease.
I think my biggest tip is to just go for it! It's hard, but if you listen to all the tips on here and just think "screw it", you'll have a great time!! Good luck!!


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Re: Any Actors/Public speakers/anyone with a clue out there? - October 8th 2011, 02:16 AM

I did awesome on tonight's workshop. I mean awesomely.

I had an easier goal this week, which was to be a crazy person who is extremely posessive of a park bench. I completely nailed it. I had hysterical laughing, screaming, random sound effects, and a muscle spasm that made the other person in the scene break character to be sure I wasn't really siezuring. I killed it.

Also, unrelated, but I'm bragging, I got a crappy haircut today, but I got six comments on how it looks better than before, so I can manage until it grows back.

- Justin



"Buy it, use it, break it, fix it,
Trash it, change it, mail, upgrade it,
Charge it, point it, zoom it, press it,
Snap it, work it, quick, erase it,
Write it, cut it, paste it, save it,
Load it, check it, quick, rewrite it"
Technologic
   
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Re: Any Actors/Public speakers/anyone with a clue out there? - October 8th 2011, 10:31 PM

Congrats!! Glad you did well


"When you've forgiven but you cant forget feels like your drowning but still got breath"

i love you.

YOU are beautiful no matter what and dont YOU forget it!!! <3

PM me if you need to talk!(:



   
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