Seventh Meisner class: Revisited
So, everyone was there this time, including a sincerely apologetic instructor. Everything was cool until the class actually began. I was so flat… I was so flat I can’t even think of a cheesy analogy to describe it. I was awful and everyone knew it, especially me. I had no energy, probably because I’d worked nine hours the day after I worked 12 hours two days after I worked 8 hours and spent 3 hours driving downtown and back for no reason. That run-on sentence is symbolic of how run-down I was.
No matter how much I wanted to, I couldn’t give any energy to what I was doing. I was in a grumpy mood and my instructor’s fairly abrasive teaching style didn’t ameliorate that in the least. Long story short, I spent two hours watching the clock and counting seconds. Finally, it was over and I went home, knowing how bad that just was.
There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is I have another class and I’m not looking forward to struggling through it. The good news is I’m starting to feel a little spark. That spark is telling me that I’ll have the day off work when we meet again and that I should have tons of energy. That spark is telling me I can perform well, even if I don’t particularly enjoy the exercises. That spark is telling me it’s time to do or die, in the basketball parlance that I grew up with.
My confidence has been shattered lately: I didn’t book Noon Preview though I was essentially told I had; I’ve been seriously struggling just to make it two hours each session in this Meisner class; I couldn’t even find the stupid Noon Preview when I tried to go today. I’m beginning to question my ridiculous decision to forsake engineering for a career in acting.
But then I think how far I’ve come, even in the last month. I’ve gotten headshots, gone out on my first audition (and felt really comfortable doing it), taken a super difficult class and gotten myself in a position to start sending out mailers to agents and film schools. It’s very possible I’ll be represented early next year and I could be working. I know I have to give this thing time and muster all the patience I can.
I get a break this week as I head home to Florida for Thanksgiving. I’m going back to LA for a few days early in December. I get almost 3 weeks off for Christmas. I should be very refreshed in January and then I’ll be ready to roll. Right now, I just need confidence. I need the confidence necessary to ‘get out of my head’ and succeed in my final Meisner class. I need the confidence to find an agent and start working. I need the endurance to keep pursuing acting and working full time.
I needed a pep-talk and who better to give it than me?
Well, after all that hype, the whole thing fizzled. Why? Apparently, both MapQuest and Yahoo! Maps conspired against me today. I was all dressed up with somewhere to go, but that somewhere was off of Creative Way and I couldn’t find that little side street for the life of me. So, prepped up in my ‘I’m an actor’ outfit with headshots and resumes in tow, I drove around for about 40 minutes and decided I’d passed the point of no return. I decided it would be worse to show up 45 minutes late and hand out headshots then to not show up at all. No one was expecting me and I’d rather my first impression not be ‘the late guy who didn’t book this gig’.
So, that’s that. Good news is I have 10 packets ready to mail once I get the addresses of some local agents and film schools.
Fifth Meisner class
We changed things up a bit tonight by bringing in some students from another class. Instead of the usual four, we had about ten and the dynamic was totally different. Result? We all felt a little more at ease and it was a really fun class. I got good notes on the scene I did and I felt like I opened up a bit; but most of that was due to my own preparation to sort of thwart the unknown aspect of the exercises we’ve been doing.
After class, I talked with some of my classmates and realized that we’re all pretty much on the same page: what we’ve been doing is very difficult and we never feel like we’ve quite got it right. They both said that I would see the benefits of this class after the class. They said once I get into scene studies and other work, I’ll see what I’ve learned in this class.
First rejection: Noon Preview
Well, I got the e-mail with the list for Noon Preview and I didn’t book it. I guess the most confusing thing is that I felt the casting director essentially told me I booked it (and I don’t think I was being overly optimistic or mis-reading between the lines). I am just trying to realize that I’m learning about the process and that rejection is not only inevitable, but essential in this business.
I’ll still be attending Noon Preview with headshots in hand since the casting director said I could bring them to her there. Moving right along then…
First audition: Noon Preview
A few months ago, I joined a local actors’ support group called S.T.A.G.E. They occasionally have a showcase called Noon Preview. Basically, there’s an audition and then the show is two weeks later. Today was the audition and it went really well. I’m pretty confident I booked it, so I need to start preparing for the actual show.
The best part of the audition was I felt completely prepared. I felt totally calm and comfortable before, during and after the audition. Mostly, I think that’s because my coach spent about 4 months helping me learn the technical aspects of acting and auditioning. I have no idea how many times he emphasized that most of getting bookings in this market is having good audition etiquette and being comfortable with the technical aspects of auditions, but he was right on.
Anyway, my first audition went well and I couldn’t be happier with the result.
Third Meisner class
I’m totally exhausted. Problem is I was exhausted before the class tonight. I was flat all night and everyone knew it. The good news? I get to do it all over again tomorrow night! … Super.
This stuff is just plain tough. I constantly feel like I’m trying to build a house out of toothpicks and I can’t seem to do any part of it right. I can’t seem to get out of my head and overcome my own inhibitions.
I think, when this course is over, I’ll be a lot more comfortable with working off a script. I think the next course offered is a scene study course; I expect I’ll be more comfortable with scripted scenes after this course.
Anyway, it’s been tough and I can only hope that I’m learning in spite of myself and how I feel. If I was to judge, I’d say I’m just spinning my wheels in this class. But, an acting coach has told me repeatedly not to judge myself and to do the best work I can do. I’ll have to go back tomorrow night with the mindset that I’ll do the best work I can and continue to learn.
Friday, I have an audition for Noon Preview. I’ve been working through my monologue for a while and I feel pretty comfortable with it. I’ll be curious to see how it goes.
I finally got one. Dell was having a big fat sale today, so I took advantage. It’ll be a couple weeks before I have it, but I’ve been waiting to buy one for about 3 years, so what’s a couple more weeks? Anyway, it’ll be good for traveling, playin’ poker on the couch, yuppy-ing it up at Starbucks and ‘going wireless’.
Busy time comin’ in November
Things I could/will be doing in November:
- Going to Cali again–strictly business this time
- Going to Florida for Thanksgiving
- Taking the Meisner short course
- Auditioning for Noon Preview (a local showcase by a group called S.T.A.G.E.)
- Hopefully performing at Noon Preview
- Shopping for an agent
I guess it doesn’t look like much ‘on paper’, but I’m gonna’ be busy next month. I’m pretty excited about it because I haven’t been doing much since my coach split for L.A. I’ve enjoyed my time off, but I’m ready to get back to progress.