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Sunday, May 14, 2006

After a Semester of Acting

Am I walking or acting?
What did I learn this semester? A lot is the short answer. Acting for me a challenge. Music has always been easy, especially playing the guitar and composing songs. I have been in love with acting since I could remember the first time I was the ‘acting’ as the superhero in front of my elementary friends all those years ago.

When I went to college, I took the Theatre Appreciation class and was shocked how great the downstage plays were. Then I knew than that I wanted to write plays. At that time, I had too much to do with music to start writing. I needed to graduate with a music composition degree.

A few years back, I wrote a novel. I had all of these great stories I wanted to tell, I started to write despite all the naysayers. You can’t believe how many people told me that I couldn’t write a novel. So I had to do it to show them that you could never underestimate me.

While writing the novel I learned that I didn’t enjoy writing the description part. Describing how a table look just bored me. Dialogue is what I love to write and hear, so I took the playwriting class and never looked back.

When I write plays, I ‘act’ them out. After writing a page or two, I would stop and read the parts out loud to make sure that my dialogue sounded ‘real’. I soon found that this was the best way for me to write plays.

Since I had taking both playwriting classes, and I make Sci-Fi films, I thought why not try to become a better ‘actor’. Before the class, I knew that I could act. In public I have my ‘caricature’ that I acted out daily, which is great fun and I do help people because the Captain of the Enterprise can do and say things that I could never do or say. And it is fun to be the internet legend of the “I’m a Nerd” fame.

So to improve my acting for my playwriting and my Sci-Fi films, I took the acting for camera class. The first day we acted, I was a bit frighten. Everyone else were real actors that I had seen on the stage before. Over the years I have learned to face my fears instead of running from them. So I got up there and did what Captain Kirk would do. Sell what little talent I had to the world. To make everyone a believer.

The first week of class, the teacher told us that if we didn’t sound like ourselves, you suck. And he was right. After that I was the man that Herbert Midgley was saying the lines the way that I would. I may be an evil businessman, a psychiatrist or parole board member, but I was still Herbert Midgley on the surface. All of my life experiences, the good and the bad, make me the person that I am today. So I don’t really have to ‘act’ out anything. I’m just saying the lines as a human being because I have a lot of emotions running through me. And I am willing to share them with the world.

By taking the acting for camera class, I learned a lot about me. I often have students tell me that they learned more than just music in my classes. That makes me feel great. I can honesty say that I am a better person and know myself better now through acting.

Every time that I got a role, I imaged that it was the best part ever. Every role that I got was important to me. No matter how great or lame the lines were, I wanted to give each part I acted in a hundred percent. If the movie suck, it wasn’t because of my acting or the lack of my trying to sell the part.

I learned that is cool if you suck as long as you can deal with it. This has helped my songwriting, music and playwriting as well as me a person. It is amazing how many of the arts are combined. And it is also amazing that when you know that you suck, you can get better. In America we are too nice, if you tried that’s good enough. In reality, we all know if we are doing a good or poor job. In acting and in life. The act of trying to improve one’s self is a major step to be the person you are suppose to be.

One thing that I do now that I didn’t do before is say what is on my mind if I truly believe it. In my other creative work I’m doing the same thing. Hold nothing back. In my writing, if I think that I shouldn’t write something, that’s exactly what I should write down. In the play that I have been working on this semester, I did just that and it is the best play that I have written yet.

The Timetorians Sci-Fi movie that I made this semester was my best short movie to date because of this class. I was able to get a ‘real’ performance from the actors and non-actors. And I learned some different camera angles and lighting techniques that I had observed during the vignettes. Also I learned how to ‘direct’ a bit better too.

Right now I know that I could have a small part in a play and do well in it. The hardest part is memorizing lines and I know now that I can learn a lot of lines in a short period of time.

I also know that I could be in a movie or a television show. Being the movie star is not in my fortune cookie, although being the heavy, dad, doctor, professor or computer nerd are all possibilities for me at my age and the way that I look. On the big screen I know I look real and with my aura, I can bring others along for the ride.
When I go to Hollywood or London to audition for parts, I now know that if I got the part, I could do a good and believable job. Acting for the camera is fun. Acting for the camera and making a believer out of everyone is a challenge. I’m up to that challenge though. And I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Right now I feel that I am a better writer and song writer than actor, only time will tell which I am better at. I should get better at acting over the next few years. It will be fun and a great test to see what I can do.

Here I am acting before the class:
What a Piece of Work is a Man (Before the Acting Class)

Here I am acting after the class:
What a Piece of Work is a Man (After the Acting Class)

My writings:
My Plays
My Songs

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