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  • Writer's pictureMatt Pipes

Actor's Training pt. 1

The beginning of my Actor's Training series and I have to be able to give myself a particular amount of credit. Only putting this on it's feet in three days time is quite good. Letting this be the very first is the most important. You have to jump into filming and then you begin from there. Of course, I've filmed myself many many times before, I haven't done it in a conscious stance like I have now, I just put it up on tape, make it look the best I can and then let it go. For this, in all forms I'm trying to pinpoint everything, even the meta data. Camera angle, height, how far I am from the back drop, light distances, amounts, angles, and heights, then not only that but my camera is this whole other beast I still have yet to step into. You'll notice within the video that it's a bit fuzzy and there is some after imaging, as well as for some reason, there is some coloring happening that shifts between red and green, which is odd. These are all things I'd like to keep a close eye on, and in terms of improvement I'd say my next step is figuring out the best settings on my camera to film in high quality, to then post better.

Now that the equipment aspect is over with let's look at the performance itself. Most of these will be notes within how I felt in the present moment as I performed. Currently these are the only things I'm working deeply with in terms of using the tools in The Power of the Actor by Ivana Chubbuck; Overview, Relevant facts surrounding this scene, #1 Overall Objective, #2 Scene Objective, #3 Obstacles, #4 Substitution. Because the work that I do within these categories are deeply personal and personal to me, I will omit some if not most of this info. But let's do a check in on each of these tools #1-4. The rating will be measure from a scale of 1-100 rating will be based off of how well I attributed this tool in the moment.

#1 Overall Objective: (40) I felt the character of Tom Ripley wanted to be seen, living a life and a past of not being anybody, he eventually got the opportunity to be somebody, and being somebody brings the perks of not being so alone, or having others to laugh with and enjoy life with. This however backfires in his face, as the somebody that he's chosen isn't him.

#2 Scene Objective: (72) More pertinent on my mind, but with the lack of balance from the overall objective, I felt that I could have been more aggressive with my scene objective. I needed to want to win more. I felt I had the circumstances set nicely, and personalized, but I needed to go out of my way to get what I wanted.

#3 Obstacles: (58) One thing that's hard to do in self tape mode is physicalize your actions, bumping into your obstacles becomes imaginary, but it still needs to be highly personalized and the stakes need to be so much higher. I have to laugh when I watch my actions after "Can I fix you a drink" I need to already be intending to get him a drink, the fact that he says no is surprising to me. No body refused free booze! So now I really can't get him to loosen up at all, and if he figures out I've stolen Dickie's identity then It's going to lead to everything else and I might lose this life that I've come to love.

#4 Substitutions: (33) One that is strictly personal so I won't portray that information. It's also something that deserves more time. In terms of seeing your scene partner as the substitution of your choice, that takes a bit of visualization work, and almost in my understanding already a form of meditative practice that brings up the responses of that person. So that's something I'd really like to practice with more time.

All of these are low scores, I feel there's always going to be a lot of work to do, but I also feel I did a great job with the tools I've been provided now. Being an asshole to yourself is a tool I've found not to work at all, and rather leads down a pretty rough hole of negative commentary and messaging. The fact is this is where I'm at, right now, with three days of work. Pretty good. I have a long way to go. SO! Let's not leave off with that because that's simply too vague. Let's discuss next steps.

Meta details include the following

Camera: Playing around with ISO, aperture, and getting more of a basic understanding of how to use my camera.

Premiere Pro: How can I best export my video to match the file quality, how best should I import? When it comes to Audio, what are my capabilities in terms of being able to cut out that low buzzing sound, can I learn that? Can I edit in Premiere Pro without my computer freaking out as much? Oh god, should I be thinking about a new computer :'(

Lighting: I currently have my eye on getting a new light source, for my main light. Angles look pretty good actually, I think I'm going to figure out my camera settings first before I tweak lighting.

Character Creation: I will innately hold more time to create a character in exactly one weeks time, that's seven days. I would like to increase two tools, that means reading two more chapters of The Power of the Actor (Ivana Chubbuck) and writing notes on applicability. I want to do a dress rehearsal 2 days out of the 7. I did only a dress rehearsal/1st up today before I filmed, that preparatory time can be increased.

I'd like to keep it to the simplest improvements for next week. I'll explore a little bit more of my camera, and in terms of time allowed for my practice, I'll see how that makes changes. Along with the tools increase. So with that. It's a practice well done. Again I invite you to practice along with me, and you're welcome to comment any ideas or critiques, remember you'll be my audience as well ;) so responses are appreciated but not required. Would love to see what you're working on too, feel free to message me on Instagram or even send me an email. At this moment I'm not accepting any links to anything for security reasons, currently the safest way is to send me a video that's through instagram or something like that I'd love to see it! Much love and talk to you next week!

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