Saturday, 25 August 2007

Visualise - Part 1

Now for the Words of Wisdom:

Visualise. This is slightly mysterious and comes in two parts: this week the first part and next week the second. When you are acting or speaking in public and say anything which has an image, visualise that image in your own mind. In a subtle way this will enrich what you are saying and transmit itself to the listener. If you are filming and talking to space, or a stand-in, visualise the character you are talking to as strongly as you can. If you are on location or in a studio visualise your whole surroundings as you want the audience to imagine them, so, for example, without the crew or their equipment. Do the same if you are on stage: visualise your entire surroundings.

This is particularly valuable if you are presenting an audition piece. If there are supposed to be other characters present position them around you as they would be if they were really there and make sure you are visualising them as vividly as possible. Visualise people and places. Visualise.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Solve the list problem

The Words of Wisdom this week are about how to solve the list problem. The list problem arises when there are three or more words or phrases in the dialogue in a play which make a series of related items. For example: ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen.’ The secret is to not make it sound like a list. Take each item separately and visualise it. Allocate it a space in your mind. Consider its emotional feeling or flavour. Then recreate these when you come to each item in the list in your dialogue. For example, as an exercise, take ‘Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts and Spades.’ For Clubs you might visualise a rough, wooden club, take it in your left hand and recreate a feeling of brutality; the Diamond might be glittering on your finger excitingly; the Heart might be on a Valentine held close to your heart, with a feeling of warmth, and the Spade you might be digging with – and it’s hard work. Try saying ‘Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts and Spades’ now and feel the difference. Try a few more lists: ‘England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’; ‘Ice, Water, Steam’ and so on. That’s how to solve the list problem.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Find words of wisdom

The Words this week are ‘Find words of wisdom’: always be on the lookout for thoughts and ideas that will help you in your profession and on your way through life. And to illustrate this here are five extracts from my own notebook – you do of course keep a notebook, don’t you? The five quotations are about, respectively: stage fright; self-centredness; the difference between show business and sport; age and how to cope with it; and a great virtue.

Frank Sinatra said (as quoted by Tony Bennett) “If the crowd see you’re nervous, they also see that you care”

Shakespeare wrote, in The Taming of the Shrew, “He that is giddy thinks the world turns round.”

Marilyn Monroe broke off her honeymoon with legendary baseball player Joe DiMaggio to entertain adoring American troops in Korea. On her return she said to him “It was so wonderful, Joe. You never heard such cheering” “Yes I have” DiMaggio replied, quietly.

Bruce Tulloh, the champion athlete and running guru, wrote “It’s good to be an athlete when you’re 30, but when you’re 50 it’s essential”

And Jermaine Jackson, on leaving the Big Brother house, said “Kindness is a strength.”

Find words of wisdom.