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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Herbert as King Henry VIII

Today, I am King...on film.
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Like last year, I got casted in the first vignette. The part was that of King Henry VII. Ok, even if you don't know much about old Henry, you all know that I am about half his height and one third his weight. So I would have to 'act' to get the presence of one of the most famous Kings of all time, on film.

I had a couple of pages of lines. Last year, this was frightening, now it's not that big of a deal if I have time to learn my lines. Memorizing lines isn't easy for me. I'm not at a point that I can rely on my short term memory and do a performance that I want on film.

Doing this acting thing for about a year now, I have learned that the words don't matter near as much as what the words mean. Huh? What the lines don't matter. In the end, not really.

This is not to say that you are making things up, rather you are sharing the emotion and the passion of the character that you are portraying. If you are saying words that are in context, that's what matters. This is different than stage acting.

Many actors are so worried about forgetting their lines, they don't know what they are saying. If you don't know what you are saying, how could we know what your thinking?

So do I know my lines? Yes I know them. If I say 'gift' rather than 'present', who cares as long as you believe it. If the spirit is there, and it looks great on film, that is all that matters.

The whole part of acting for the camera is to look like you are not acting. What? That doesn't make sense. Well, it's true. That's what I spend most of my time doing, trying to look like I do when I don't act. I bet you didn't know that you are an actor too, huh? This is why when I shoot my own movies I tell people to talk to me and forget the lines.

Here is are a few tips that I do to get ready for a role. First get your script ASAP and start to say your lines. At this point, I'm not learning them, I'm trying to make them flow out of my mouth as natural as possible. If I look fake saying the words, you can't believe that I would say them much less understand what I am saying.

While doing this, I do research on the character. I spent time learning what a king thought, knew, talked, walked, sat, moved and wore. During my research, I learned that a king wore a ring on his left ring finger as a bond between himself and his people. So I knew that I had to wear a ring to play King Henry. When I put that ring on, I now felt like a king.

Now that I knew how a king behaved, I could learn my lines. Say them like a king. So I am no longer memorizing words, I say the words as the king.

And this year, learning my lines was a lot easier than last year. This shoot went really fast, perhaps because I knew my lines so well, that I didn't have to think of them. And the rest of the actors knew their lines too, that always helps too.

It was fun to play a king. However acting ain't easy. A lot of work went into that four or five minute vignette. And to be honest, I don't know how it will turn out on film. I could look great and everyone look fake. Everyone else could look great and I could look stupid.

Until I see the final edit, I won't know if all of this hard work turn out as something you could use on film. All I can say is that I gave it 100 percent of my effort, so if I look good it's on me. And if I look bad, it's on me too.

Also, I can't wait for the next vignette I am in. I want to play the heavy, please let me be the heavy.

Behind the scenes at the shoot.
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