Archive | Acting

Character Sketches

In our short history as independent screenwriters slash independent producers, my partner and used to write character sketches after the script was finalized. We would make them available, rather than give them, to the director and the actors.   Some directors, the ones I label “Visual Directors” were not a bit interested in the sketches.  […]

Sawing the Air: Bad Acting

I did an internship I did with Shakespeare Santa Cruz. We were in class doing the R & J balcony scene with various permutations of players.   I was playing the scene with a man who was sawing the air too much. He put one hand on his hip, struck a pose, and lifted his […]


The director should know how each actor works, how to get the best out of each actor and when there’s nothing more to be gotten.  Yesterday i learned how a director can screw up an actor. Our director did take after take with most actors (6 to 12 takes for most scenes); yet with one […]

Unbalanced Actor Writes Haiku about The Life

At South By Southwest // I split a motel room with // Four goddam zombies //   Wardrobe BestBoy Grip // TenOneHundred Props TenKay // Random Gaff HeyYou  //   David, acting coach, // Proclaimed himself deity // Us, his worshippers //   Acting class.  Take five.  // Everyone standing outside. // Stretching limbs, smoking. […]

Editors Can Hurt You

Directors reading this are probably thinking, “Editors can save you!” Yes, they can. However, this column today is directed at actors.  Actors reading this may or may not know that editors can hurt an actor.  Kill an actor.  An editor can make an actor look good or she can remove a poor actor entirely from […]

Art & Therapy

I worried about therapy ruining my instrument.  When I went to a shrink to alleviate my desperate unhappiness I wondered if being “fixed” the way non-artists would get fixed would take away my sensitivity.   When I first started learning Meisner work (after an early training in Fake Acting), I had so many layers of […]


The closest thing to religion that I ever experience is room tone.  There is the closing of eyes, the time-bounded secession from intercourse with my fellow humans.  Still, all the emotions are echoing in my head: all the noises and excitement, all the rituals, the catch-phrases, the rules of the secret club.  The mighty presence […]

Albert Kent & The Weird Auditions

Tell it. So, I went to an audition. Albert Kent is the director. They call us into from the waiting room into the stage area one by one. Camera & lights are set up in the stage are.  After I read, they ask me to go back to the waiting room. In a while, Albert […]

The Unfinished Work Which Haunts You, Part Two

See, I think if you rehearse a play or film and then if you don’t take it to its intended conclusion, its orgasmic peak–or organic peak–then the universe is disordered. That intended conclusion is the working out–through the period of 6 weeks shooting condensed into 90 minutes viewing–or through a 14 week run each day […]

Letters From My Readers

Dear Michelle, I know you said broaden our horizons and meet other people outside the industry.  And, um, like, find the truth about different characters we could play. But, I mean, like, what could we possibly talk about with non-actors? I mean, like, I’m all like what do they know about bad agents and directors […]

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