April 20, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Actors What’s Your Problem?

 

by Guy Camilleri

If you are reading this from an actor, writer or director’s point of view (POV), more than likely you are familiar with these terms: Objective, Action, Obstacle, Intention, Need or Problem. As a non-actor, I imagine you can relate to the times in your personal and professional life as well when you have heard or used these words.

Today, I want to highlight the word problem, as it’s one of my favorite words to use in the studio because ‘without a problem, there is no conflict and without conflict, there is no scene, period.’ In every scene, our main character (Hero) is either moving closer to their goal or has moved away from their goal.

As an actor, the work is to identify the problem within the scene and then start exploring various tactics to solve it in spite of the literal and emotional obstacles preventing us from getting one step closer to the finish line.

In our daily lives, we are faced with problems all the time. And, like the hero in a scene in a movie, we can be our own best HERO and find tactics to solve the problem. Joseph Campbell talks about this in The Hero’s Journey, referring to it as “answering the call.”

How many times have you been faced with a problem and decided to either ignore it or walk away from it?  

What separates life (off-stage) and life onstage is that what’s happening on stage is a HEIGHTENED REALITY. It’s not just reality; it’s heightened reality because the stakes are life or death (emotionally or literally) and as we’ve seen in the best stories told, these two can happen simultaneously!

Off-stage, we have the option to either deal with the problem, solve it or just walk away from it. But on the stage, there is another actor opposite us, and we can’t just abandon our fellow actor… well, unless the scene calls for it. But if it doesn’t call for that, then that means the actor has to dig deeper and find another tactic to solve the given problem (provided to us by the writer-director).

As an actor and as an acting coach, I like to approach each scene as a two-headed coin. On one side of the coin, you (THE ACTOR) have to address what is literally occurring in the scene and also what is happening to you on an emotional level (your feelings, interpretations, judgments, etc.) as a result of these words on a page. Then, you need to get down to business, honor the problem and start solving it on a moment-to-moment basis.

On the other side of the coin, you (THE ARTIST) have the opportunity to acknowledge what is literally and emotionally happening to you at the moment. Then, you need to decide if you are going to answer the call and honor your artistic integrity or will you deny it, dance around it or in some cases, walk away from it.

Are you putting your unique stamp on a scene or are you going to be a good soldier and do only that which you are told to do?

Honoring your artistic integrity (imagination, interpretation, point-of-view, feelings, choices, etc.) is the single most important thing you can do as an actor-artist for yourself and your colleagues, not to mention it’s great to avoid a performance that is another cliché of a cliché.

Keep flipping that coin!

Guy Camilleri is a Venice-based actor, acting coach, and poet. He teaches regular classes on Monday and Wednesday evenings at the Electric Lodge, in Venice. His private coaching specializes in audition preparation, self-taped auditions, original reels and career consultation. To audit, enroll in a class or book a coaching session, go to www.guycamilleri.com. Follow Guy on Instagram @guycamilleri and Facebook.

Venice-based acting coach, Guy Camilleri. Photo by Peter Augustin.
Related Posts

Edify TV: Biking Increasing in Los Angeles

April 19, 2021

April 19, 2021

Once considered among the worst places for cyclists, data shows that biking has increased substantially in Los Angeles. Learn more...

LAPD Seek Information on Fatal Venice Hit and Run

April 19, 2021

April 19, 2021

Police are seeking info regarding a hit and run that killed a 60-year-old Venice man earlier this year.  According to...

Edify TV: $2 Billion Beverly Hills Development Proposed Near Westside

April 16, 2021

April 16, 2021

A developer wants to build a $2 billion condo and retail development flanking the Beverly Hilton hotel. Learn more in...

Culver City Video Game HQ Underway

April 16, 2021

April 16, 2021

Take a look at the Culver City headquarters for a $3.3 billion gaming company. Video made possible by Santa Monica...

14 Home Complex Starting at $3 Million Wraps up Near Facebook Offices

April 16, 2021

April 16, 2021

 Work wraps up at Encore development  By Chad Winthrop  Work is nearly done on 14 multi-story homes starting at $3.1...

Edify TV: Venice Handball Courts Encampment Cleared

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

Sanitation crews Thursday cleared a homeless encampment at the Venice Beach handball courts. Learn more in this video made possible...

Del Rey Dry Cleaner Goes up in Flames

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

LAFD put out first-floor fire this week By Chad Winthrop Over 90 firefighters put out a fire that broke at...

Edify TV: LAFD Announces Likely Cause of Ballona Wetlands Fire

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

The LAFD has revealed the cause of a March fire that destroyed five acres of the Ballona Wetlands. Learn more...

Pizza Pop-up Coming to Venice Next Week

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

Lupa Cotta coming to Venice’s Chez Tex next Friday By Kerry Slater A “nomadic pizza business” is popping up in...

Food Review: Griddle Cake Perfection Arrives on the Westside

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

Breakfast by Salt’s Cure lands on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica By Kerry Slater A new Westside breakfast spot serves...

Earth Day Beach Cleanup at Santa Monica Beach

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

Santa Monica Travel & Tourism organizing April 22 event  On Earth Day next week join a “micro-cleanup” to help beautify...

Westside Cafe Helping Save Monarch Butterflies

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

This Westside cafe is doing its part to keep its namesake insect, the monarch butterfly, safe. Learn more in this...

Virtual Venice Art Crawl This Week

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

Singers, poets, painters, photographers, performance artists and gallery owners are all scheduled to participate in the virtual Venice Art Crawl...

Junior Lifeguards Returning to Venice Beach This Summer

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

County-run program returns to LA County beaches July and August  By Sam Catanzaro A few weeks are left for prospective...

SWAT Tear Gas Trailer in Seven-Hour Venice Standoff

April 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

Standoff between police and barricaded suspect over the weekend at First Baptist Church By Sam Catanzaro  An over seven-hour standoff...