Archive for August, 2016

Acting Is Empathy

Is Empathy The Key?

Reese Witherspoon once said, “Acting is empathy.” And truly, she’s right. Without the ability to feel what your characters are feeling, you can’t possibly bring them to life. The Merriam-Webster definition of empathy is:
“the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another…”

Having taught acting to young people as a Senior Teacher at The Playground for the past 9 years, and having studied acting for most of my life, I know there are many ways for expressing the need for having empathy in the acting world. Some teachers encourage students to truly “connect” with their character. They talk about really “getting inside” the character’s head—about “becoming” them.

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Become a Writer

Take Control Over Your Acting Career: WRITE!

Rainy Kerwin, Senior Staff Teacher at Gary Spatz’s The Playground, a Young Actor’s Conservatory Writing is great creative outlet for young actors. Often times, teens want to jump ahead in their careers. They want to be the lead in a television series or a feature film. And they want it by tomorrow. Scratch that. They want it by yesterday.

First things first and that is that you must study your craft. Learn the basics. Develop a toolbox of secrets that will help you deliver the goods when on set. But after you’ve got a few years of training under your belt, WRITE. Writing can give you a leg up in this business in so many ways. Don’t wait on your agent to get you an audition. Don’t let the casting director tell you when you can and can’t act.

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Yoga For Young Actors

Yoga For Kids & Teens

You may be asking yourself why there is an article about yoga on a website for kids’ acting. You may have an idea of yoga as holding a series of arduous poses in a steamy room or people sitting cross legged for stretches of time, while meditating, neither of which may seem particularly child friendly.

To dispel the myth of the first scenario, there are many types of yoga, most of which advocate practicing at a comfortable temperature, and one of these is yoga for children, which is vastly different from yoga for adults. In addition, although children can learn to practice stillness through yoga, silent meditation is not necessarily part of yoga practice for kids.

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What, Who, When, Where, Why..

The Five W’s

The Five Ws form of analysis pre-dates the 12th century ( At Gary Spatz Acting Conservatory we teach our young actors to be able to look at a script and come up with the answers to the Acting 5 Ws, which differ slightly in that the “Who” is who you’re talking to in a script, the “What” is what you want and the “Why” is why you want it.

(There are a few additional items in script analysis that I’ll choose to leave out for simplicity’s sake.) We also teach our students that two of the most important things to figure out is their WHAT and WHY. What does their character want. and why is it important?

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Acting & Stress Part 2

Stress And The Creative Life, Part 2: The Way Out is The Way In

By the term “creative life” I don’t mean a life of taking on Martha Stewart craft projects, but rather, a life that may not have a predictable daily structure. It can be a life that offers little in the way of financial or emotional stability, but at the same time holds a wealth of possibilities.

Most artists live such a life–actors in particular. And not only do we need to use our creativity in our chosen path, we need to be creative in our daily lives, because life is unstructured. Most of us are honing our crafts, hustling acting work, as well as performing side jobs to support ourselves, because work in the former is extremely competitive and jobs are quite often few and far between.

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