By Guy Camilleri
Do you believe craft (skill in planning, making, or executing) is important in your pursuit of being an actor? If so, what is the level of your craft as an actor?
In New York, when I was starting on my path as an actor, I sought out to study and train with a ‘master teacher’. I felt it was in my best interest to invest in learning from someone who was not only proficient in their field but also someone with life experience, compassion, insights and a sense of humor to boot. I found these traits in Gene Frankel at his studio, the Gene Frankel Theatre. It was here I learned, practiced and developed a way of working as an actor.
After years of study, practice and application of said craft in film, television and theatre, I felt that I could rely on the tools I developed. It was important to me to have a sense of freedom to relate and respond spontaneously opposite my scene partner without exhausting my instrument (body, mind and spirit).
In hindsight, I would have been lost without a sense of craft…like a sailor on the ocean unable to read his instruments. Often, I witness actors with that ‘lost at sea’ look on their face unsure of what to do in the moment. With craft in hand, actors can read, navigate, adjust and calibrate critical decision making, moment to moment.
Without craft, an actor may deliver what is needed by a director once (or twice), but it’s rare to witness an actor repeat what is being requested of them multiples times on any given day and over a longer period of time. This is where the tools come in to play and prove to be invaluable.
“We have not the strength with which to fight this man; we must … win, if we can win, by craft. – Jack London
The use of craft is empowering, liberating and will ultimately serve you throughout your journey. It will also impress those who watch you in action. The last thing an actor wants to hear is that someone could see them working (in their head) vs. experiencing an actor engaged with another human being and reacting to what is actually happening in the moment!
The teaching and commitment to the craft of acting are part and parcel to the RAW ‘methodology’ I developed at my studio in Venice, CA. I look forward to being of assistance to you to develop and/or deepen your craft as an actor, writer, director.
Guy Camilleri is a Venice-based actor, acting-life coach, and poet. His classes are packed with actors, writers, directors and creative people from all walks of life on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at the Electric Lodge, in Venice.
His private coaching specializes in building characters for film, television, stage, audition preparation, self-taped auditions, original reels and self-expression in any field of interest. To audit, enroll in a class or book a coaching session, visit www.guycamilleri.com. Follow Guy on Instagram and Facebook.