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  • Matt Pipes

Lessons Learned From an Intensive Training Period.

It's been five weeks creating the Actor's Training course and WOW. There has been so many changes, improvements, insights, and other challenges/opportunities because of this. It's really incredible the momentum that something like this can do, the decision to start something and to stick with it, and to PRACTICE! There's a few of the things I found that I'd really like to share here.

Firstly, let's remap what I've been up to. 5 weeks ago I decided to challenge myself and get up off my butt and begin an intensive training program, placed upon myself, that would increase my ability as an actor, and artist, and also, I guess, as a YouTuber/Photographer. I set out to learning a scene from a movie, play, or tv show every week. I also was incrementally going through The Power of the Actor by Ivana Chubbuck. I would perform the scene, develop a YouTube video surrounding the lessons I learned and the critiques I had for myself, and then I would export that and dive right into the next weeks work. I created a massive note taking system, bought an entirely new computer, a kindle, but still worked at my job like mad. Got it? Pretty neatly summarized. Well, here's what really happened.

Welcome Matt... to toxic productivity. Ah yes, as an all or nothing kinda person I like to go really far into things. When I'm enjoying highs I climb high, when I'm going through lows I go deeper. When I find something new I go real far, real hard. So I went really hard here. Context necessary is I used to get really down on myself that I haven't been practicing my craft. I kept sitting around doing nothing, thinking that someone should or would hire me to work on their project. Sure I got a whole BFA (in Musical Theater) so that's four long years, and about 150,000 in debt, but like, hey, whatever, HIRE ME! Hoping for someone to call and offer me the greatest role of the century wasn't going to happen. So I got sick of expecting someone else to do something for me, and realized that I'm fully in control of myself, and the only way I'm going to get work is to put the work in myself. Wonderful development, and still important, as long as you balance it out.

So I was going every week without a break. I was finding every moment that I could to work on this craft, while also spending my time at work, at times, studying lines at work. I would have to find the correct time to film, the time for my family members to actually read lines with me, and the time to EDIT, which I don't know if you know what it's like being a beginner in Premiere Pro, but oh my god. I've sunk so many days to learning new things about importing and exporting, file sizes, camera settings, lighting setups, seamless backdrops, photoshop masks, LUTS, etc. etc. etc. I'm exhausted I'm over caffeinated, my mood is rough, so then why don't I just stop, right?

What? Who ever said that anything worth doing is easy? Sure, this was immensely difficult, and I struggled but the amount of joy that I found through this process overstepped the difficulties and challenges. I think the thing that's really hard to understand, but needs to be understood is that, it's as if you're flexing different muscles, muscles that you haven't used, either ever, or for a long long time. In the beginning it's meant to be hard. It's meant to be difficult. You're going to be sore, and more than likely, you'll probably burn out, and you'll potentially have to take a break to recover. That's ok! The amount that I've learned in five weeks is expansive, and something that I can use for a very very long time. I developed skills that I never thought I could do, I learned things that I thought were impossible, and look at that, the goal of being a better harder working actor is a reality now. That is something that is achievable, and I did that.

I'm gonna take a proper break, but I'm continuing. I'm going to rebalance, as you should after a long session and journey. I'm going to see how my body feels, and review and assess the work that was done within this period. I'm moving forward and I'm learning and developing as I go. I'm putting a pause on my Actor's Training as I'm going to be in a show this coming fall, so I want to place focus into that area. I don't want to put a pause onto my Youtube though, there's so many more things I want to learn with that, and I've been really enjoying the process, the collection of material to drive the story, and the editing process is actually really enjoyable for me. It's pretty relaxing at times, especially now that I have a powerful enough computer to take on the workload. Thank you mac. So there will be more coming. I will continue Diluting my knowledge to send out to you, and I'd love to become even more informative as I go. I want to learn so much, and I really believe that helping others learn helps you learn even more. So I'll see you back again for another blog next week, and let me know also what else you'd like to hear from some of the work that I do. I'd love to hear your thoughts! Much love!


-M


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