All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, I know. I firmly believe in getting things done, so it’s more like, all work until the work is all done, and then we can play. Like the title of today’s blog, I excel on my work ethic. I’ve always put aside my social life and my entertainment for my passion in acting. With my lines, I like to make sure that I have them all memorized, with no sort of character inflection yet, before rehearsal even starts- or about a week before a class performance date. Then I work on the characterization. I always research first, and then I dig deep into my life and fine a commonality that I can add to the character making it more personal. From there, I let whatever happens naturally take it’s course. I never let my personal life and/or emotions get in the way of the truth in the character. I do relaxation exercised to rid my body of any stress throughout the day before rehearsal so that I don’t let any unaffiliated drama into my character’s life. Like the first reading said, I exercise daily. While exercising I control my breathing and it is one of the few instances where I can think and come up with new ideas- the adrenaline gets my brain pumping. I make sure to practice in quiet places every time so that I am not distracted. Sometimes, if people are around, i’ll subconsciously get embarrassed to do things that I would normally do alone, and it really limits my exploration on my character and blocks my creativity flow. When I feel my piece is stable, I perform for several, and different, groups of friends. This allows me to get a variety of feedback from not only theater majors, but non theater majors. I feel the best advice comes from those who know nothing about theater. If you can move and make a person understand your character that isn’t head over heals involved in any type of theater, its a huge accomplishment in my eyes.
They key to constructive criticism is to know that the person criticizing you is only trying to help, not harm. Don’t get me wrong, some people suck at this aspect of performance, and so we have to bear with them and maybe teach them a thing or two. However, never let someones criticism discourage you, or cause you to have actor’s block- the inability to grow with your character because you’re constantly worried that its wrong. If, at a point, my practice is becoming pointless, or I’m practicing but getting nowhere, I nap! Napping is part of my work ethic too. I don’t play but napping is okay! Sleep rejuvenates my mind, and sometimes while I sleep I dream of things that I can’t even think of when I am awake. That’s the power of the subconscious mind, our most inner thoughts, thoughts that we are capable of thinking but incapable of attaining, are set free once we close our eyes. Like the 2nd reading said, reduce stress. If you are stressed out, maybe do some relaxing exercises, or sleep.
“never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game” -Babe Ruth. If you, and only you, feel as if you’ve failed at accomplishing the character you wanted, then don’t give up, try harder. Set new goals, bigger goals, more challenging goals, as said in reading 2. That is something I personally do for myself and it works. If you believe you can accomplish something harder and be successful, do it. Even if you’re shaky on your success level, do it anyway. Work ethic has a lot to do with belief. If you don’t believe in yourself, of course doing things and accomplishing them will be hard. With me and my character building, I think like the quote in the picture above-sometimes I just have to dig a little deeper. If I stay at the surface of my character, the lack of depth and personality, the realism will be lost. If the realism is lost the character is flat, i.e. boring, fake, forced. Sometimes we have to allow ourselves to feel real things, to unleash real things into a character. Think of it this way, if you do, no one will ever know where your emotion is coming from or why unless you choose to tell them. It’s a safe and satisfactory way to let some emotion out. 🙂