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Acting Class 4

2016 September 14. Wednesday.

What is this?

Notes on today’s acting class. Theatre 126. University of Kentucky. Fall 2016. Professor Matthew J Schneck. These incomplete notes are not endorsed or proofread by Dr S or by UKY.

Veracity Project

Last Wednesday, 7 days ago, Dr Schneck gave us this homework to get done by today:

Come up with a scene to act out. One to three minutes long, alone, no talking or vocalizing. It should be a private moment, maybe not something that happened to you, just someone’s private moment. E.g. brushing your teeth. It should have a second layer, some tension that’s in your head as you do this task.

Also, you get to choose a song on Spotify for us to play as your background music. Your character can’t hear it, it just helps set the tone.

Like before, props and costumes are highly encouraged while miming or being slapstick is discouraged. Be as real as possible.

Last year, a guy wore a full suit and brought a pair of scissors and just sat at a desk for two minutes while playing with the scissors, staring out the window. Afterwards we asked him what was happening and he said he was considering whether or not to murder his wife (by stabbing her) after just finding out she slept with someone else.

Pick your own.

Today, ten of the twenty people in the class acted out a private moment.

Three Lessons

  1. Trying to look like a beginner while doing something you know really well is hard, and usually doesn’t work. One person who clearly can do pushups tried to fail at a pushup and it looked fake. My character was learning to tie a tie, and luckily the real me doesn’t even know how, so I didn’t need to fake it.
  2. Related, it’s usually more believable, and easier to act, if you have a character that is actually doing something. Making a grilled cheese, removing makeup, whatever. It’s much harder to just walk around a room giving a speech. This might be more advice for writers/directors than actors.
  3. Our class is about ten guys and ten gals. Today, by chance 9 of the gals sat in the right half of the room and nine of the guys sat in the left half. The result? It is much easier to see and notice who speaks up, who moves around, who talks over who, who talks to who. Interesting…

Public Domain Dedication.