Class Notes, by me, scottyB

April 25, 2014

– Being approachable is swell. People could, like, approach you with a paycheck and stuff.

– A good actor’s brain is like a clubhouse. This clubhouse has a sign on it, written in black marker: “NO ACTOR THOUGHTS ALLOWED! GROSS! YOU HAVE COOTIES!”  We must only allow character thoughts. Strong moment before and opening thought. That is ALL you can allow in your clubhouse at the top of your scene. Some of us need to do more than others to get the focus that is needed to smoothly and safely head into the scene. Whatever YOU gotta do for YOU? DO IT. Cuz other stuff will fuck it up. Something, somehow, some way, regardless of whether you think so or not WILL fuck it up. It’s like termites: you never know those little fuckers are there until the sofa falls through the floor just before the end of ‘Game of Thrones.’ Those microscopic bastards have been there by the billions just gnawing away for a LONG time. And you had no idea. So check your clubhouse for termites. And cooties.

– ELLIPSES: rather than dragging them out for purposes of trying to create an awkward/funny silent pause, try making them faster/shorter but more thought-filled. Smaller, fuller ellipses pop more. Like Lisa Rinna’s lips if they weren’t fucked up.

– Focus on what your character wants rather than what they don’t have. It’s the much shinier side of the same coin. And people dig shiny coins.

– CONNECTION. You gotta be connected to your partner (s). Pay attention. Live your character’s LIFE. Listen, think, respond. The scene won’t work without being connected. Same goes for appliances.

– I think we want our work to be seen. It’s almost as if we don’t trust that our homework will be given credit if it isn’t handed in before the exam. (God I hated school) That’s why the whole ‘throw it all away’ thing can be difficult. How the fuck do you do that? Well. Time helps. Repetition, REHEARSING. That shit helps. It soaks in. It just becomes part of us. I, Scott Allyn Borden, openly admit to this being a prominently featured issue on my newsstand. SHOW THEM EVERYTHING! If they don’t see EVERYTHING it won’t make sense, or they won’t believe it, or they won’t grasp the entire picture I painted! Well. A lot of people enjoy a really great meal, right? What’s better than a great meal? We LOVE great meals! Even if the chef doesn’t sit next to us and read the recipe and preparation instructions, right? When we see a gorgeous building our jaw drops without the architect mapping out his blueprints and the crew bringing out all the bulldozers and scaffolding, right? Prep and time and dirty hands is all part of the PROCESS OF CREATION. And when it’s time, it’s time; when it’s not, it’s not. THROW IT. ALL. AWAY. It’s there! TRUST THAT. I’m calling myself out here- I REALLY REALLY STRUGGLE WITH THIS ONE! So I’m calling my own ass out here. (Please join me. Guests welcome.)

– Stakes have absolutely nothing to do with volume. Raising your stakes means raising your stakes, not your volume. Save your volume for a No Doubt concert. (#BordenObsessionPlug)

–  Note to self: beats are paychecks. You have to earn those beats by working your way through ALL the text that appears BEFORE the beats. EARN THE BEATS!

– There are two types of people in the world: actors and civilians. We must be careful not to allow the laws of civilians to invade our actor territory. Rules in the civilian world are often times disruptive on our turf. For example- my mother is a civilian. One of her thousands of quotes for me has always been, “DAMMIT Scotty, MUST you ALWAYS dive into the pool without checking for WATER FIRST?!” (it’s true guys- mother knows best). In civilian territory, that is a bad thing to do. My myriad of experiences in civilian territory sometimes make it very hard for me to go there in actor territory. Because when I do that sorta thing I end up face-planted on the cement at the bottom, broken and bleeding. (Then I blame the sun. For evaporating H20 too quickly, see?) BUT. That hesitation, that fear, that prediction that if I leave the diving board I’m going to end up broken and bleeding at the bottom of a cement hole? Is so very restrictive and limiting to one’s potential in actor territory. That EXACT rule of good ol’ mama’s is PERFECT- for the LEFT brain. But we’re not worried about that hemisphere in our acting- we’re on the OTHER side. And the BEST POSSIBLE THING we can do in actor territory??? RUN off the fucking diving board, IN our day job clothes, NOT looking where we’re gonna land, LOVING the tickle in our stomach and the wind slapping our faces, and TRUSTING that our CLASS and our TEACHER and our SCENE PARTNER(S) are the water in that pool. We are not civilians when we are together- we are insane, lewd, hilarious, vibrant, rad, fucking awesome actors. It isn’t possible to face plant in our pool. CANNONBALL THAT SHIT.

– scottyB

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