Here is a nice lil’ article I found with some basics on how to give a ‘clean slate’ in your commercial auditions! Think it’s the easiest thing in the world? Think again…

CLICK HERE!

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  • A character’s quirkiness comes directly and STRICTLY from their point of view; there is no need whatsoever to add any extra frosting onto it. NEVER GO FOR THE FUNNY. EVER.
  • Jokes need to land with a specific eye line. We MUST know where it lands or it won’t work. NEVER allow a joke to become crop dust- we prefer a DIRECT DOSE!
  • Pace + David E. Kelley = MUTHA FUCKIN’ BRILLIANCE. David E. Kelley is a human treadmill and only those who keep up with him have a shot at making it in a marathon.
  • David E. Kelley and Aaron Sorkin characters ALWAYS function at the TOP of their intelligence; their characters are unwavering in their specific and utterly unique POINT OF VIEW on the world. No SECOND GUESSING! Your P.O.V. is your GOLDEN TICKET TO SUCCESS OF ALL VARIETALS!
  • Just tell the story. YOUR STORY. YOUR take on life is what makes your performance great and uniquely YOURS. If I read ‘The Three Little Pigs’ to a group of kids, it would be nothing at all like Jose or Austin or Abraham’s version, even though we’re reading the exact same story everyone’s heard 14,000 times. The magic is US. The writer merely hands us a wand.
  • Make everything a ‘want’ for your character. Go for the stakes of having your character WANT shit more  than anything they’ve EVER wanted. When someone wants something so badly it’s AWESOME to see them go for it (RISK TAKER!) and either get it OR… NOT get it! We’re rooting for you either way and no matter the outcome, we’ve already identified and related to you and your character and we GET how GREAT it feels to win OR how SHITTY it feels NOT to, but we get the kick out of KNOWING how that feels! (Watch Paul Rudd for masterful demonstrations of this.)
  • STILLNESS. Stillness creates TENSION. Tension is fascinating to watch and makes people horny. Now, staying still might make you wanna chew a handful of razor blades and wash them down with a cup and a half of Listerine (maybe that’s just me?), but those watching worship it. Stillness is like a laser. Unnecessary movement is like fluorescent lighting. Which one do YOU think is more bodacious??? (I’m gonna go with Dr. Evil on this one. “LASERRRR.”)

– Borden

How many times a day do you get stuck? In your acting, in class, at work, in your decision-making? ALL. THE GODDAMN. TIME, right? I think the more we try to “solve” something, the further away from a solution we begin finding ourselves, simply because we are so zoned in on getting a result. It’s annoying as shit. Which is why I am presenting The John Rosenfeld Studios Blog Imagination Workout!

Just like working out physically for better agility and health, we should be shaping and developing our imaginations to stimulate our creativity and strengthen our ideas, two of the most important ingredients of badass acting. That being said, I am hereby challenging all of us to tackle the unpredictability of whatever comes our way, because that’s what happens in this business, right? And we have NO. CONTROL. OVER. THE RESULT. We have to be able to use nothing more than what is right in front of us and have no expectations of ourselves to be “the best.” It’s all about telling a story, that is ALL that matters! So—

Here is your very first Imagination Workout!

(Ladies and metrosexuals, ya might wanna pinch your nose and have the Purell ready for this…)

AT RANDOM, pull out five objects from the trash can. Ask yourself: what can be made using all five of these random objects? Can they be assembled into a car, a dog or cat, or a replica of Mount Rushmore? A velociraptor? How many different ways can they be arranged to form another creation?

This will completely change your focus! You are being forced to see a pile of randomness in a way that only YOU can see it! Does the term “threading” ever pop up in class and during rehearsals?? This is threading! You are being forced to solve a random creative problem using only your creative energies and you’ll probably find yourself being distracted from the frustrating, infuriating (and many times painful!) stress of having to “get it right” and “be the best.”

SEND ME PICS!!! Send me pics of your dumpster-diving masterpieces! What are they? What’d you think when you were putting it together? Were you stressed out? Did you feel stupid? Was it fun? It’ll be AMAZING to see what look like piles of garbage become a story as everyone explains what it means to THEM. THAT’S the point of this- storytelling. NO ONE BUT US CAN TELL OUR STORIES. If you can make someone see how an apple core, a toilet paper roll, a soda can, an old toothbrush, and a wadded up kitty litter bag can turn into the Griffith Observatory, YOU GET THE JOB!

Ya feelin’ me on this??? I call it ‘The Imagination Workout.’ And we’ll be doin’ a lot of them here on the old JRS Blog! Get ready!

SEND YOUR PICS AND STORIES TO:   theJRSblog@gmail.com  – we’ll share ’em here!

– Scott Borden, JRS Blog Editor

Don’t worry so much about the words. Of COURSE, do your homework, but keep in mind that WE are the missing ingredient. They HAVE the words. There are hundreds of copies of the words in dozens of people’s hands. They’re not going anywhere. Will they change? Sure. Will some be cut? Totes. Will this fuck you up? NOPE. Why? Because we have the luxury (YES, LUXURY) of not dealing with formulas, equations, or stenography in our chosen profession; we get to merely tell our story. OUR story. The story that’s NOT on the page. The story that the WORDS they handed us CAN’T TELL because they’ve been so pasteurized and homogenized that they need to be brought back to life. Like astronaut food- they just need some water. They HAVE the other shit. DO NOT. OBSESS. WITH THE WORDS. It siphons the life out of your acting.

“DO NOT. OBSESS. WITH THE WORDS. It siphons the life out of your acting.” – Yours Truly

Check out this great artcile from Backstage, discussing how it’s the smallest of roles that have the greatest potential to blossom into something great. I’ll give you a taste test here, then click the link to read the article in full! GREAT read and IMPORTANT for us actors to realize it’s not just the series regulars and leading roles we should be salivating after; in fact, it might just be the opposite…

“You never know which roles are going to provide the greatest opportunities. A part may not look like much on paper, but if you invest yourself fully and viewers sit up and take notice, sometimes it can morph into something greater. ‘It’s like an actor fantasy.’

Vik Sahay regularly steals scenes—and has amassed an admirable fan base—as antagonistic Buy More grunt Lester on NBC’s Chuck. Sahay initially auditioned for the role of Chuck’s friendlier sidekick, Morgan, but was passed over in favor of Joshua Gomez. ‘My manager called and said, “They are now offering you the role of Lester,”‘ Sahay recalls. ‘I remember looking through the script, and it was literally one line here, a word there. I was like, “I don’t want to do this.” My manager, smartly, was like, ‘Yeah, who do you think you are to say no to anything?'”

Sahay, who had journeyed to Los Angeles from his native Canada for pilot season, assumed the role was a one-off…until he was asked back. And then asked back again. Each time, the number of words Lester had to say grew a little, and the character developed into a cantankerous social misfit with, as Sahay puts it, an ‘unrequited rivalry’ with leading man Chuck. When the show kicked off its second season, Sahay was promoted to series regular.”

FULL ARTICLE HERE!

Here is a great GREAT article from Now Casting’s ‘Actors Ink’ (Volume 9, #4). Read it then send me your thank you cards.

“Countless actors pour into Hollywood and New York every day. All after the same dream. But what is it that everybody is chasing? Why do so many people want to act? First of all … It looks so easy.

When a small town boy or girl with stars in their eyes watches tv or movies, it is really easy to sit back and think “I can do that”. But what small town America (and all those with similar dreams around the world) are not shown is that with very few exceptions, most successful actors have been working at it for years. If not decades. Remember that the good ones make it look easy. That is part of the job.

Also, media shows only the fun and glitz and glamour.

It is easy to buy into the facade that actors spend most of their time shopping and at spas, at parties, and on red carpets, because, well… That is what is shown in the media. If someone only sees what is shown on entertainment shows, the life of an actor looks pretty darn easy. In fact, the only time any negativity is shown associated with actors is when it is so sensational that it makes headlines. A starlet shoplifts, or an angry star punches a photographer, a legend overdoses, etc…

An interesting question that actors should ask themselves is, WHY do I want to be an actor in the first place? If someone wants fame, one might suggest that there are a lot quicker ways to become famous. And if an individual wants fortune, statistics would show that acting as a profession is probably one of the very worst ways to achieve wealth. 

Yet they still come.

An interesting phenomenon that is prevalent in the acting community is the belief among certain actors that just because they moved to Hollywood and bought some headshots, took some acting classes, and got an agent, they should suddenly have a professional acting career. Just imagine if it were that simple! Just put in a few hours of training and a couple hundred dollars and then in return receive fame and fortune! What a deal! This way of thinking may seem exaggerated to some, yet on many levels, it is actually quite commonplace.

Can you even imagine someone who wants to be a surgeon thinking that they could just practice with a scalpel for a few hours, buy a lab coat, and then just go out there ans operate? Or picture someone who wants to be a professional basketball player just shooting hoops for a few hours and buying some sneakers then sit back and wait for the millions in endorsement deals to pour in? No. Of course not. This only happens with actors. 

This also can be one of the reasons that the majority of actors quit and go back home when the truth of the business starts to seep in. Like many things in Hollywood, a true career as a working actor is not what it appears. When actors get frustrated with their careers and “the biz” it is almost always because their career does not live up to their expectations. This is partially because their expectations were unrealistic to begin with.

Again… Getting a headshot, an acting class, an agent, (and any number of other steps in an acting career) does not mean one should automatically receive in return, the fame, fortune, fun, and artistic fulfillment so many desire. 

This is not to say however, that there aren’t thousands upon thousands of brilliant, hardworking, talented, proactive and positive actors out there that HAVE paid their dues and have put in the time and effort. There are so many actors who are absolutely deserving of a great career. Some have gotten rewarded for their hard work. Many have not. Well at least not in the way they desire.

To the talented hard workers out there… DO NOT QUIT. Plain and simple. You never know what is right around the corner.

Since the competition may at times seem insurmountable, it is vitally important that actors take the time to really understand the game. Make peace with the game. And then actually PLAY the game 100%! And one last thing…. When you allow it to be, The Game can be quite FUN!

Prepare to live truthfully in the moment. In THE moment that you are IN at THAT moment. This means NOT GETTING STUCK IN LINE READINGS OR WHAT YOU PREPPED IN REHEARSAL! What if you were on safari in some wild-ass jungle with the best guide money could buy? Awesome, right? You know where you’re going cuz you have your guide leading the way and all is swell. Until some snake darts down from a tree and swallows him whole right in front of you. Would you just stop and stand there? This wasn’t part of the plan, was it?? So what do you do??? My guess is that you still VERY much wanna get the fuck out of there, tour guide or not, and you keep on going, using what you know, what you recognize, what your instincts are telling you, etc. You ADAPT to whatever the world you’re standing in at the moment throws at you. Right? Why should our acting be any different? LET THAT VERY MOMENT AFFECT YOU. It will affect your acting. It will affect your audience. The audience will wanna blow you.

– scottyB

“Creative risks will always outweigh technical mistakes.” – Alex Guarnaschelli (Iron Chef, Chopped)

Borden Quote

March 22, 2014

“Let your inner dick/bitch out of its cage and maul some people every now and then. It’s exciting to see someone get mauled.” – Borden