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Meisner Acting - The Foundation for Serious Actors
Auditioning is an important skill, not just an extension of acting; it's a separate skill that can be developed in many acting classes. Gaining acting experience on stage, film or television is an important way to develop acting skills, but that won't happen if you don't audition well. Developing auditioning skills may be up to you as some acting classes don't cover this thoroughly. Landing a role is luck and timing but, none of that matters if you're not prepared when the opportunity comes. Acting classes that teach the Meisner discipline are known for turning out highly professional actors that know how to work; Kids Act LA is one of such popular institutes. There is a known connection between the Meisner acting technique and professional, inspiring auditioning techniques.
There are several ways you are guaranteed to fail when auditioning. The first is to be overconfident. At the same time you cannot allow yourself to be overly nervous or insecure, unless the role calls for it. Directors and producers are used to seeing overly confident or insecure actors and this is not what will count against you. The real problem is when you are nervous, and you attempt to hide it, an attempt which in turn makes you wonder if you are showing it, and before long you are completely shut down emotionally.
This is a very bad acting habit, being too closed off and too rehearsed and it's a poor auditioning technique as well. Too nervous, and it's too distracting to you and the auditors and you run the risk of not being open to the performance and the emerging character. It is the character, with all his or her flaws, energy, sorrow, tension, humour, really a balance of all of these human traits that must be present.
So, what about the slate? Stating your name, your agent, at the beginning of the tape helps them track your audition but, it's also their first impression of you. This is not a throwaway moment, it's an opportunity. Here's a shocking fact. Watching past the slate to see the actual audition is not always the norm. With hundreds, perhaps thousands to see for a role, it's an overwhelming process. They are on the lookout for the best of the best and a so-so slate will indicate that your tape is not worth their while. A quick dismissal of an actor's tape because of a lacklustre slate gets them to their goal more quickly.
This may seem brutal; it does speed up the process. Whether it seems fair or not, the fact remains you had better learn how to slate well. Teaching auditioning skills is not part of every acting academy's curriculum. Acting classes may be able to help you practice your slate. Some institutions that offer acting classes will even ask for a slated audition tape for entry into their program. It's something you can do on your own, and do quite well with a little help from a friend. Lights, camera action and give it a go. Practicing slates isn't easy. Communicating to a "presence" or person rather than the camera is important. Record yourself trying several versions of a slate and then assess them. You can get feedback from people you trust, and keep working at it until you feel like your slate is a natural extension of who you are as an actor.
As for the information they want, it's most often limited to your name and the agency that represents you. First impressions should be short and sweet. When auditioning for commercials a hint of character might be okay. You will have to assume what they are looking for in a character and you may not be right. The goal of the slate is to present you as an actor and a person, not as the character. Then, give them what they want and deserve a brilliant, fresh take on the part you are aiming to get. Creating character, building spontaneity into a performance and other essential auditioning skills can be learned by studying Meisner acting.
Kids Act LA Acting Classes
Kids Act LA offers courses designed to teach our children the skills needed to get an edge in the entertainment industry. In business for thirteen years we have helped a large number of child actors harness their dedication. Our children have grown and prospered with us. They have become outstanding, communicative artists who have successfully been booking work in film, television and commercials, and if looks-wise qualifying, they have obtained employment in the fashion world of print.
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