Aaron Speiser: Scene I Class 11.15.2012


Even if you are having a good day, something like a minor car accident can ruin the rest of your day. Think about this in your scenes. The first scene starts off with a man and woman entering her home at 4AM. If a woman invites you over at 4AM, this can only mean one thing. However, as she walked in, she missed a phone call and she knew that it was from her ex-boyfriend whom she has desperately thinking of. Only she knows this, however, it definitely impacts her behavior.

S2) Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

**NOTE: What do Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Forrest Witaker, Clint Eastwood, and other leading men have in common? Well, a lot of leading men features, but one that you wouldn’t immediately think of is a strong voice that is connected to their body. This is why voice classes are important. A deep, connected, powerful voice that has vibrato allows the audience to feel. It is sexier, manlier. Let your voice into your body, not into your head.

It also helps that August Wilson was a genius and wrote plays when read sounded like songs. They have different rhythms among the characters — the hothead versus the educated.

S3) Disturbia

In the scene, it is between the guy who was played by shia labeouf and the girl in the bedroom. He is talking about how some dude saw him blah blah. Main point is that at one point during the scene he like grabbed her and like threw her around to make her listen. How often do we do that in real life? The only time we physically throw people around is in acting, not real life.

We asked the guy what is their relationship. He said, a friend that I like. That is not good enough! Like is the worst word. In acting, don’t settle for this. I want the butcher at Ralph’s to like me so he cuts my meat well.

Then he said, a friend that I love. Still not specific. I love my mom. I love my best college buddies. We can love a lot of different things.’

‘Pushing’ in acting is when you are so tense you don’t even know whats going on. In the scene, the guy was tapping her lip gloss while she was putting it on. He didn’t even realize it. Pretty much he was just blacked out.

**Technical Note**: Generally you want to be a little underweight. The camera makes you bigger. Many actors cut about 10 pounds before getting on set.

Tap into fantasies. If you are a bad guy , they gotta love hating you…

We don’t always make eye contact with the other actors. You can listen without looking (however this can sometimes indicate that you aren’t paying attention.) Don’t look unless you have a reason.

Monologue 1): “We were just hanging out” says the actor in the scene. We are never just ‘hanging out’. When we watch the game with out friends we aren’t just ‘hanging out’. It is about loneliness. Seeking advice. Talking about our lives. Talking about our problems. Never just ‘hanging out’ without motive.

Life is simple. Don’t make it more complicated than it is. Even if you are gay and add layers. It is irrelevant in the scene. It’s something you know about yourself but you hide it. We shouldn’t know about it. Never over-complicate. 

Humans are like moths in a way. We always go through the flame even if we know we shouldn’t

Monologue 2): From a play by August Wilson.

I loved watching Aaron’s critque on this monologue because it is something I have trouble with. In scenes, monologue, acting in general, we often make it more dramatic than we need to because we think that this is ‘acting’. The way you talk in the scene — obvious acting. DON’T ACT. LIVE. Don’t give it any preconceived emotion, make it natural, let it happen. You cannot decide it is emotional and push your instrument. Let it evolve. Slow down. If you are putting any more than 0 effort you are acting. Do your character preparation, then get up, talk and listen. If we see anything more than nothing it is acting. Nothing = living.

Moment before in Monologues. Sometimes it is out of context because as the audience we can’t look at the moment before. We don’t know what the conversation is. No assumption just stay neutral for many monologues in the beginning. Start neutral.


August Wilson Monologue being critiqued by Aaron.


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