This past Tuesday and Thursday’s monologue filming had a strong focus on the super objective, and everyone advanced in leaps and bounds in that area. That is key. If you’re in those classes and are still feeling frustrated, we’ve talked and you know where you have to go. As you said, you have to bear down, and that *^^%ing ego has got to go. It will come.

From the last round of monologues I’m sharing a video from Paul and Josh’s work. Both gave us good scenes, but aside from that they are illustrative of specific positive traits.

Josh, in the first scene, came to Actorium not for acting, but to overcome anxiety. He’s coming from a place of extreme shyness: I don’t know what other word to use – withdrawn? something like that. Because he’s been so shy, he could never push it just to ‘act’ or to make something happen. He actually physically couldn’t do it – his body wouldn’t allow him. From time to time, working partners could get frustrated, wanting more from him or something else. But it’s been worth the wait, and as he advances, his shyness is manifesting positively, as it is linked to a core of truthfulness in his work, and we are starting to see the external results. In scene study, he stays in this truthful place – he’s so accustomed to living there on his own. In his work, when he steps forward, it’s natural for him to stay with his truth – he doesn’t stray from it.

In the second monologue, Paul’s monologue we see risk-taking, both internal, and external. Paul didn’t want to do this role at first. The character is someone who is on the brink of disaster and is hanging on for all it’s worth. Paul told he just didn’t want to go “there” – and he knew the challenge wasn’t to show what a loser looks like, but to find that loser in himself and expose and live in it.

But he gave that to us, and, taking this risk is a great working habit to practice. A lot of actors will play a ‘loser’ and be fine with it because they will not actually touch that hidden part of themselves that feels exposed as less than capable. Or, another example, if an actor plays an angry person, but never touches that ‘ugly part’ part in themselves, and they move into the realm of caricature. The hell place of acting. : )

I read Phillip Seymour Hoffman talking about the risks in playing a role. Safe choices *are* safe, and with bigger choices you run the risk of failing big. I feel like Paul is stepping into those risky places. He’s taking those bigger steps. What keeps him from “failing big” is, just like Phillip Seymour Hoffman, he is personally exposed in the role, so it stays real.

I attached a longer version of Josh and Paul’s work. Here you go. Let’s support and inspire each other on this path.

– Michelle Meyrink