Serious Actors Develop Deep Audition Skills – Acting Techniques

July 26, 2012 · Posted in Education · Comment 

Acting involves the development of many skills, one of which is auditioning, a skill you can develop in some acting classes in NYC. Gaining acting experience on stage, film or television is an important way to develop acting skills, but that won’t happen if you don’t audition well. If auditioning is not being taught in your acting classes in NYC, it’s a skill that you will need to work on developing. Being prepared, with a deep set of auditioning skills is necessary if you expect to exploit every opportunity to audition that comes your way. Acting classes in NYC that teach the Meisner discipline are known for turning out highly professional actors that know how to work. Meisner acting techniques are strongly connected to powerful auditioning skills.

One or two ways actors tend to crash and burn during auditions are common. The first is to be overconfident. At the same time, being deeply insecure won’t help either. Being overly nervous or overconfident is not what will count against you in an audition. Being nervous or confident projects a sense of “self awareness” which can kill a great acting performance.

This is a very bad acting habit, being too closed off and too rehearsed and it’s a poor auditioning technique as well. Too nervous, and it’s too distracting to you and the auditors and you run the risk of not being open to the performance and the emerging character. The many layers of human traits, communicated in a thousand smalls ways is what must shine through, how you feel personally can’t inhibit this.

Many preparing for auditions consider the slate unimportant. As many of you know, the slate is when you state your name into the camera so the auditors can keep track of everyone they’ve seen. What may seem to have little importance, in fact may be the very thing that keeps you from being seen. The bad news is this. Watching past the slate to see the actual audition is not always the norm. Seeing hundreds of actors audition for a role is a daunting task. Anything to speed things up, like a poor or boring slate, is a good excuse to just move on. A quick dismissal of an actor’s tape because of a lackluster slate gets them to their goal more quickly.

While this may seem harsh, it is certainly expedient. Fair or not, this is the way it is more often than not. While some acting classes deal with auditioning, many don’t. Acting classes in NYC are a great resource for learning about slates. Slating on an audition tape is sometimes required to enroll in acting classes in NYC. It’s something you can do on your own, and do quite well with a little help from a friend. Enlist a friend to help record your efforts on tape and you will instantly see how well you are doing. Practicing slates isn’t easy. Looking into the camera and truly communicating to a presence beyond the camera is an art form in and of itself. This is something you can record, playback and assess. Feedback from people you trust is also important, the slate should communicate who you are.

Keep the information to a minimum and keep it simple. The shorter the better so they move on to the critical thing, the audition. When auditioning for commercials a hint of character might be okay. If you fall short of their expectations they may hit the eject button before the actual tape. The goal of the slate is to present yourself as an actor and a person, not as the character. Once the slate is done, move quickly into character and give them the portrayal they could never have anticipated, the character they didn’t even know they wanted. if you want to know more, look into Meisner acting NYC, for tips on how to create character, emotional preparation and scene study for auditioning.

The Maggie Flanigan Studio provides meisner acting training in New York City. For more information about acting classes nyc visit the studio website where you can get specific answers to any question you have.

Acting Coach Los Angeles- Being Vulnerable

June 29, 2012 · Posted in Education · Comment 

True actors are not created in one day. It is only through rigorous study and training that actors can reach their goals. To reach this goal, an actor must delve into his soul and discover who he truly is as a person.

Every character that an actor creates is multi-dimensional as are the actors themselves. The three dimensions, in particular, that compose the human person are the tragic flaw, the public persona, and our ubiquitous lifelong insecurities and difficulties. Working with an acting coach has been shown to be highly effective in helping an actor to see past his own exterior and that of his character to reveal the heart of the person within and create characters that are both real and relatable.

Our public persona, according to Carl Jung, is the image that we present to the rest of society and is designed to mask our true feelings, emotions, and insecurities. This created persona presents itself in numerous ways throughout our lives. Characters also have personas that they create to protect their true selves from the rest of the world and actors must learn to utilize their own personas to create those of their characters.

Although the public persona is the dimension that is the most easily recognizable and obvious in a character, it is only an exterior facade and not the core of the individual. The root of a person’s character is grounded in their growth and development from childhood. Acting classes are designed to instruct actors in identifying these difficulties in themselves so as to form multi-dimensional characters that audiences can relate to on a personal level.

These difficulties from our childhood remain with us to adulthood and shape the persona that we create to protect ourselves. Both actors and the characters they create form their public personas as a means of defending themselves from these insecurities. Both actual persons and characters use this public persona to cover up their insecurities and fears so as to reduce their helplessness in the world.

In order to become an exceptional actor, a student must learn to remove the superficial exterior of both his and his character’s public persona in order to uncover the true self. The best coaches will aid their students in both uncovering and portraying the inner workings of the human condition.

All persons in the audience, like the actor and the character, have both a personal core as well as a public persona they have created to protect it. Presenting a character of similar dimensions is sure to create a bond between the audience and the story being told. The exceptional actor is one who is able to create such a character.

Kirk Baltz has been an acting coaches los angeles for more than 15 years and maintains a website about acting workshop los angeles where you can get answers to the rest of your questions.

The Right Acting Coach Balances Truth and Vulnerability

June 9, 2012 · Posted in Education · Comment 

There are numerous benefits that an actor can obtain through the use of an acting coach, assuming they are amenable to being trained. Personal training with a private instructor is quite rigorous and can often make actors view their own talents in a completely different light. With an acting coach, the actor should be able to look past their own exterior to who they are as a person. This will allow them to better understand themselves and to create more unique characters.

It is often difficult for actors to bare their souls when in a class of many people. Instead, acting coaches need to make sure that they foster an environment of trust and security that will encourage actors to be honest about themselves as persons. In this way, acting teachers act not only as coaches but also as parents and psychologists. Along with instructing, the best acting coach in Los Angeles will also be an avid listener. This is a necessary skill as the main goal of the coach is to use an actor’s words and body language to discover who they truly are.

The best acting coach will strive to understand the uniqueness of each student so as to determine how to make improvements in the actor’s skill level. Although their instructive techniques may seem harsh and overly critical at times, it is important to keep in mind that a certain amount of manipulation is necessary when it comes to improving an actor’s talent. As long as the techniques are working towards the end goal of a more successful and unique actor, then even these seemingly brutal techniques are encouraged.

A coach must, first and foremost, be highly skilled in listening and assessing personalities. They should listen to your goals and get a feel for how you view your own talent. Next, the coach should determine the level of actual talent and share this information. After this process, an appropriate training plan can be formulated.

An essential aspect to coaching is the bond of trust between instructor and student. At the same time, it is essential to choose a coach that will be open and honest and will provide harsh criticism if necessary. A great instructor will structure his or her class around a specific format with particular emphasis on constant improvement. When approaching coaching, it is essential that actors remember that they will never have nothing left to learn.

Lastly, coaches should be thoroughly encouraging and should remind students that they will get to their goals with a lot of hard work and determination.

Kirk Baltz has been an acting coach los angeles for more than 15 years and maintains a website about acting workshop los angeles where you can get answers to the rest of your questions.

Truth and Vulnerability- Acting Coaches in Los Angeles

June 4, 2012 · Posted in Education · Comment 

There are numerous benefits that an actor can obtain through the use of an acting coach, assuming they are amenable to being trained. Undergoing a one-on-one instruction period with a private acting coach can be very challenging and can even change many of the actor’s previous beliefs regarding their acting talent. The goal of acting coaches is to strip away the actor’s exterior to the person within so as to allow the student to be better able to develop characters based upon their own identity as a human person.

Making yourself vulnerable in a large group of people is often difficult and this can be a problem in large acting classes. The best acting coaches will make it their business to create a safe environment that will encourage trust. In this way, acting teachers act not only as coaches but also as parents and psychologists. Along with instructing, the best acting coach in Los Angeles will also be an avid listener. This is a necessary skill as the main goal of the coach is to use an actor’s words and body language to discover who they truly are.

The best acting coach will strive to understand the uniqueness of each student so as to determine how to make improvements in the actor’s skill level. Although their instructive techniques may seem harsh and overly critical at times, it is important to keep in mind that a certain amount of manipulation is necessary when it comes to improving an actor’s talent. Ultimately, the goal is to create an individual who is truly unique in their character.

The first thing to look for when selecting an acting coach in Los Angeles is their assessing and listening ability. After the student shares his or her beliefs regarding their acting skills, the job of the coach is to evaluate and determine the actual possessed level of skill. Using this as the starting point, the instructor will be able to develop a plan for improvement.

An essential aspect to coaching is the bond of trust between instructor and student. At the same time, the best acting coach in Los Angeles will not be there to laud your every move but will be honest and straightforward about your strengths and weaknesses. Specific techniques should be used to improve an actor’s skill level. The acting profession requires constant growth and improvement. No one is ever done learning.

Lastly, coaches should be thoroughly encouraging and should remind students that they will get to their goals with a lot of hard work and determination.

Kirk Baltz has been an acting coach in los angeles for more than 15 years and maintains a website about acting workshop in los angeles where you can get answers to the rest of your questions.

Acting Classes in NYC – Emotional Expression and The Actors Instrument

June 2, 2012 · Posted in Education · Comment 

Actors who study the Meisner Technique are likely familiar with the term the actors instrument. An analogy between an actor and an instrument is a good way to help define all the aspects of the acting craft and help actors take in idea, information and lines and put out high quality work. Even the most inexperienced audience knows when acting is good or not, simply by how engaged they are in the material being presented. They don’t need a great deal of theatre going experience to sense when the acting is fantastic. They can also sense when an actors instrument is not well developed, because they don’t “believe” the character portrayal.

The actors instrument is comprised of six different elements, all important. The aspects of the instrument include sensory expression, emotional, empathy, intelligence and sensory and physical expression. These six aspects of the actors instrument are identified and developed when studying the Meisner Technique. Many actors have mastered many of the six aspects of their instrument and audiences can identify with and respond to those the most. Legendary actors are those that have mastered all six.

Take, for example, Sylvester Stallone who is know for his commanding physical presence and physical expression. While this does not mean the Stallone cannot express a character emotionally, he is general know for his physical expression, which is the most powerful of his acting tools. As an actor he expresses emotional in a very physical, often external way. Actors must focus and learn about all the aspects of the acting instrument, which will help them be diverse and capable of many types of roles.

Emotional expression is the most common aspect of the instrument that actors are focused on. Obsessing about how a character feels about something and how to express it is usually the primary thing actors concentrate on. While it can be short sighted to put too much weight on any one aspect of the actors instrument, emotional expression is certainly a key acting tool to master. It’s important to remember, however, that each of the six aspects of the instrument are related and must be developed and work together.

Meaning in a story is derived mainly from the emotional expression of its characters. It clues the audience in to what the character is about, the conflicts they face, what their deepest needs are. It is common in classes teaching Meisner acting in nyc to create an emotional history of a character, imagine it in detail and then use all the aspects of the instrument to express them. Meisner acting students are masters of human emotion, the full range and complexity of the human experience. They in fact, build a library of emotions and reactions and methods for communicating them. Specific characters can be created by delving very deep into the imagination and using the “library” of human behavior they have created. This created life, its emotions and patterns of behavior, are then drawn upon moment by moment, not in rehearsed ways, but spontaneously.

Just as an example, vulnerability can express many characteristics, from innocence to deep insecurity. There are many actors who, with hard work, can learn to differentiate and express this complex emotion. If the actor has also worked hard to develop other aspects of the instrument, such as imagination, sensory expression and intelligence, the complexity of emotions will be there. A single tear, without words can accomplish this, but how about a sense of vulnerability shown while one is smashing a clock to pieces? This is a subjective, creative process.

Acting is not pretending to have an emotion. However, acting is not simply reciting words using certain inflections and gestures to communicate emotions. Sanford Meisner was often heard to say, “acting is DOING.” You must be in the moment and allow emotional reactions and behaviors to appear, and you must follow them. Great acting is, moment by moment, opening up to the character and allowing them to take you places you may not have imagined. Legendary actors do not force themselves to show emotion. What they feel is genuine, and the results can range from crying and screaming to sitting perfectly still to express an emotion. Developing a deep capacity to understand and feel the full range of human emotions and experiences is a great way to become an open, flexible acting student, the best kind of student. Actors must give themselves permission to feel strong emotions, and express them (or not, if the role requires it) in physical, intelligent, empathetic ways.

The Maggie Flanigan Studio provides training for serious actors committed to improving their craft. Find out more about meisner acting nyc by reading this article about actors instrument by visiting the studio website.

Acting Classes in NYC – Sensory Expression and The Actors Instrument

May 13, 2012 · Posted in Education · Comment 

Actors who study the Meisner Technique are likely familiar with the term the actors instrument. The instrument analogy can be helpful when breaking down all the various aspects that can determine how good an actor is. As an audience member, it becomes apparent very quickly who the good actors in a piece are or who might be falling short. It may also just be a sense of something not coming across in the right way. They can also sense when an actors instrument is not well developed, because they don’t “believe” the character portrayal.

There are six aspects to consider when looking at the actors instrument. They are: physical expression, emotional expression, imagination, sensory expression, intelligence and empathy. These six aspects of the actors instrument are identified and developed when studying the Meisner Technique. It is easy even for non actors to identify professional actors who have mastered the different aspects of their “instrument.” It is the true legends, the icons of stage and screen, that have mastered all six.

For example, an actor like Stallone is known mainly for his physical expression and presence. This doesn’t mean that he can’t express himself emotionally, it just means that his physical presence is the most developed of his acting tools. For Stallone, emotion is an internal process but it is reflected in a very physical way. It’s very important for actors to learn and develop all aspects of their instruments, to become well-rounded performers.

Emotional expression is one of the first things most up and coming actors focus on. Obsessing about how a character feels about something and how to express it is usually the primary thing actors concentrate on. While it can be short sighted to put too much weight on any one aspect of the actors instrument, emotional expression is certainly a key acting tool to master. It’s important to remember, however, that each of the six aspects of the instrument are related and must be developed and work together.

Of course, it is meaningful emotional expression that draws people into any character or story. Emotional expression is they way that the internal aspects of a character’s conflicts, needs, and feelings are expressed. Those that study Meisner acting in nyc use an imagined emotional history of a character which they must then express using all the aspects of the instrument. Students of Meisner acting must study the range of human emotions in all their complexity. They work hard to create a foundation of human emotion and way of communicating based on real people and fictional characters. When called upon to create a specific character, they dig very deep and create and imagine (another part of the instrument) what that character’s emotional story is. Having created a full emotional life and a foundation of behaviors, thoughts and ways of reacting, the actor can then bring the character to life, in the moment, in a spontaneous way.

Vulnerability, for example is an expression of the emotion of insecurity. It’s one thing for an actor to understand that and work with it. But, if they have strongly developed other aspects of their instrument, such as physical expression and empathy, they will be able to present an authentic, vulnerable character. After all, vulnerability can be expressed through tears, or smashing something to pieces or just walking through a park. There is no predictable, safe way to do this.

Acting is not pretending to have an emotion. However, acting is not simply reciting words using certain inflections and gestures to communicate emotions. As Sanford Meisner always said, Acting is DOING. Being in the moment, and opening up completely to whatever emotions the character might present to you is the secret of great acting. This may feel risky at first. Great actors do not force themselves to cry. What they feel is genuine, and the results can range from crying and screaming to sitting perfectly still to express an emotion. Acting students who have developed a deep capacity of raw, true human experience that can express it using all aspects of the instrument are the ones that learn the most about the craft. Give yourself permission to feel fully and strongly, and express it in ways that are physical, intelligent empathetic and real.

The Maggie Flanigan Studio provides training for serious actors committed to improving their craft. Find out more about meisner acting in nyc by reading this article about acting classes by visiting the studio website.

Sensory Expression and The Actors Instrument – Acting Classes in NYC

May 13, 2012 · Posted in Education · Comment 

By studying the Meisner Technique, actors have a chance to explore the concept of the actors instrument. The instrument analogy can be helpful when breaking down all the various aspects that can determine how good an actor is. As an audience member, it becomes apparent very quickly who the good actors in a piece are or who might be falling short. They don’t need a great deal of theatre going experience to sense when the acting is fantastic. If this is the case, it is likely that the actors instrument is just not well developed.

The actors instrument as six general categories. The aspects of the instrument include sensory expression, emotional, empathy, intelligence and sensory and physical expression. These six aspects of the actors instrument are identified and developed when studying the Meisner Technique. Many actors have mastered many of the six aspects of their instrument and audiences can identify with and respond to those the most. Legendary actors are those that have mastered all six.

Sylvester Stallone is a physical actor who commands attention simply because of his physical presence onscreen. Stallone is certainly able to express emotionally, but overall his most powerful tool onscreen is his physical expression. For Stallone, emotion is an internal process but it is reflected in a very physical way. Actors must focus and learn about all the aspects of the acting instrument, which will help them be diverse and capable of many types of roles.

Actors often focus mainly on emotional expression, thinking it to be the most important. Obsessing about how a character feels about something and how to express it is usually the primary thing actors concentrate on. While it can be short sighted to put too much weight on any one aspect of the actors instrument, emotional expression is certainly a key acting tool to master. Each of the six aspects need to be studied and mastered so that they can all work together.

Of course, it is meaningful emotional expression that draws people into any character or story. Emotional expression is they way that the internal aspects of a character’s conflicts, needs, and feelings are expressed. Meisner acting in nyc is very popular, and these actors work hard to develop an emotional composite of a character, which they in turn, figure out how to express using the other aspects of the instrument. Students of Meisner acting must study the range of human emotions in all their complexity. They work hard to create a foundation of human emotion and way of communicating based on real people and fictional characters. Specific characters can be created by delving very deep into the imagination and using the “library” of human behavior they have created. Having created a full emotional life and a foundation of behaviors, thoughts and ways of reacting, the actor can then bring the character to life, in the moment, in a spontaneous way.

Just as an example, vulnerability can express many characteristics, from innocence to deep insecurity. It’s one thing for an actor to understand that and work with it. If the actor has also worked hard to develop other aspects of the instrument, such as imagination, sensory expression and intelligence, the complexity of emotions will be there. After all, vulnerability can be expressed through tears, or smashing something to pieces or just walking through a park. These are very nuanced yet, essential things to study.

One common myth is that acting is pretending to have certain emotions. Acting is not “emoting,” by injecting emotion into a script. As Sanford Meisner always said, Acting is DOING. Being in the moment, and opening up completely to whatever emotions the character might present to you is the secret of great acting. This may feel risky at first. Legendary actors do not force themselves to show emotion. There are genuine emotions in their performances, often unpredictable ones that appear as they work as character. This process requires that an actor develop the capacity to create and feel true sensations, and then express that through all channels of their instrument. Actors must give themselves permission to feel strong emotions, and express them (or not, if the role requires it) in physical, intelligent, empathetic ways.

The Maggie Flanigan Studio provides training for serious actors committed to improving their craft. Find out more about meisner acting in nyc by reading this article about acting instrument by visiting the studio website.