Monday, June 16, 2008

Hollywood is a Classy Town...

...or at least one with a lot of classes! You name it, you can find it out here: music, all kinds of dance, cooking, singing, directing, spiritualism, martial arts, and, of course, acting. Right now, I only have the resources to take two classes -- both of which I really enjoy: yoga and acting. The yoga class I take meets only once a week as it is a beginning yoga class. I am learning all of the various poses and positions: cat, dog, camel, tree, cobra, boat, etc., etc. I really enjoy the relaxation it brings me (and I'm getting more flexible!) -- I can see why many real yoga gurus seem so healthy and at peace...

More important to my goals out here is my acting class which is taught by writer/director/actor Paul Kampf. I think it is essential for an actor to continually practice and hone his/her craft by being in class, and I was so fortunate to find the one I did. Mine meets weekly and has so far been an invaluable experience for me. I'm sure I won't explain things as eloquently as he could, but much of Paul's teaching method revolves around the importance of preparation by properly tuning your instrument (yourself, your imagination). You prepare so that when you go to audition, you are ready to do good work no matter what happens. We spend a lot of time in class working on building truth in performance, that is, that what the camera/audience sees is the actor experiencing the emotions present in the scene and not just 'acting.' Much of that truth comes from being completely present in the scene by clearly defining the relationship you have with your scene partner and really listening. It all sounds more esoteric than it really is - all of you have seen 'good' acting and 'bad' acting, and can no doubt recognize examples of each even if you can't pinpoint exactly why it is good or bad.

Anyway, as I begin to establish myself out here, I look forward to taking advantage of the many, many class options there are -- maybe someday I'll even learn to tap dance ;)

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