David Loftus question

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

Moderator: Moderator

Richard Keeney
Posts: 174
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:22 pm

David Loftus question

Postby Richard Keeney » Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:41 pm

We should continue with this one, I think; David's question re:"...the writers we esteem highest"..."in the broadet sense"...

I'll have more to say on that later. In the meantime, I wanted to open the thread and also to mention two westerns that I can't believe I left off my remarks:

A PRAYER FOR THE DYING by Stewart O'Nan and
PAST ALL DISHONOR by James M. Cain

If you love Cain, but haven't run across this one, let me tell you it's hard to find. I found it in a hardback volume packaged with POSTMAN. $8 would be a bargain in just about any condition.

Rick

User avatar
Jan
Posts: 1817
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:25 pm
Location: Köln

Postby Jan » Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:06 am

I suggest you repost (copy) this with a proper thread title, though. And try not to attribute any typos to David or he will surely kill you.

User avatar
David Loftus
Posts: 3182
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Postby David Loftus » Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:13 am

Yes, I'm just waiting to pounce.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

User avatar
Steve Evil
Posts: 3519
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Some Cave in Kanata
Contact:

Postby Steve Evil » Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:46 pm

Questions for Loftus? I've got one!

How should one prepare for an audition?

Prey, share with this neophyte the wisdom borne of thy experience! [/i]

User avatar
David Loftus
Posts: 3182
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Postby David Loftus » Sun Sep 28, 2008 8:34 pm

Steve Evil wrote:Questions for Loftus? I've got one!

How should one prepare for an audition?

Prey, share with this neophyte the wisdom borne of thy experience! [/i]



Depends on what you're auditioning for. Ideally, one should have several one- to two-minute monologues prepared, to roll out at will, at any audition. One or two classical ones (Shakespeare and a Greek), one or two contemporary -- all suited to the sort of role you could play/would be likely to be cast as. (Now, to be perfectly honest, I've never had more than one or two ready at any time, and that's been enough to get me into lots of shows in community to mid-level theaters here in Portland for a couple years, but I'm aiming to move to the next level in my aspirations and auditions, so I hope to have seven to nine monologues in my pocket come next spring.)

In practice, unless you're auditioning for a top Equity theater, you'll only be expected to do one monologue, so you should choose one that's calculated to make you look like a good choice for the show they're going to do, perhaps even the particular role you want. (But NEVER use s monologue FROM the play they are casting!) Also, you might choose a monologue that can be delivered in 60 to 90 seconds; but if you notice that they're not being tight with time with folks who go before you, and once you're rolling you can see they're keyed in and liking what you're doing, you have material to pad it to 2-3 minutes, perhaps.

For a general audition -- that is, a cattle call audition at the start of the year when the theater company is looking for people to fill out several shows across the coming year -- you'll do two monologues, 3 or 4 minutes total (occasionally as brief as 2), and this is how a top Portland actor from whom I've been taking classes described your approach in this situation:

You are "auditioning" the second you step through the door; the auditors immediately size you up as a "type," so your first monologue should confirm their prejudices: it says, I know how you see me, how most people would likely see me on first sight, and I can do that. (For me, that's an earnest, intelligent, articulate, David Strathairn type.) The second monologue is your change-up: it says, but I can also do this, check it out. (I've done a Shakespeare, then a Woody Allen; or a speech from Ingmar Bergman's "Scenes from a Marriage" in which a man confesses to his wife he's been unfaithful, then a mock-Restoration comedy bit.)

Sometimes on the first audition, but more often during the "callback," when you're brought back a second time after a lot of other people have been weeded out as totally unsuitable for this project, you will read "sides" -- scenes from the play that will be cast. So practice reading material -- especially dialogue -- cold. You don't want to be stumbling over unfamiliar words; you want to be able to grasp the proper rhythms, intonation, etc., on the fly. Sometimes you'll get to practice the scene out in the hall first, sometimes you'll have to read it totally cold. So practice reading aloud is a good thing. A lot of fine actors are not very fluent readers.

What else can I tell you?
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

User avatar
Jan
Posts: 1817
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:25 pm
Location: Köln

Postby Jan » Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:48 am

Do you like ball games and Frisbee playing?
Do you chew tobacco?

User avatar
David Loftus
Posts: 3182
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Postby David Loftus » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:28 am

No. No. No.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

User avatar
markabaddon
Posts: 1790
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:24 pm

Postby markabaddon » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:44 am

What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

Richard Keeney
Posts: 174
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:22 pm

swallow

Postby Richard Keeney » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:49 am

european or african swallow?

User avatar
markabaddon
Posts: 1790
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:24 pm

Postby markabaddon » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:54 am

I don't know..............AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

User avatar
Jan
Posts: 1817
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:25 pm
Location: Köln

Postby Jan » Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:01 pm

David doesn't enjoy anything. :(

User avatar
Steve Evil
Posts: 3519
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Some Cave in Kanata
Contact:

Postby Steve Evil » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:52 pm

Well he apparently enjoys theatre!

Thanks David, that is actually really helpful. I'm not trying for anything professional or nothin', just the campus musical. But I figure any oportunity to get on stage is worth giving one's all.
They said they would provide a monologue for a cold read, and expect one to sing. So I've been working on "Luck Be A Lady" (from the musical, not Sinatra's). I'm not sure how stiff the competition's going to be, but figure there's no sense going in half assed. If one wants to keep one's toe in the theatre, then it helps to know something about the audition process, which quite frankly scares the shit out of me.

Merci boucoup Monseur!!

User avatar
Jan
Posts: 1817
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:25 pm
Location: Köln

Postby Jan » Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:43 am

Why don't you put that on your website, David, that IS good advice.

Not that I've been asked, and David is the professional, but this made me think back, and you can all ignore this.

The only thing I really know is that, at an audition, we have to be able to become the character in the fictional setting indicated by the text. When we KNOW we can do that, from practice, nervousness is not a problem. Our job at an audition is to deliver a short performance or two. All focus needs to be on that. The audition concept should be of secondary concern.
Regarding practice, one of my acting teachers made us repeat our monologue several times, without pause, until we were as far inside of it as we could be. Most actors and especially amateurs can't do anything cold - not as well at least. After going through such a build-up process you can access the emotions more easily in the future, though you still need to "warm up". That's why I said an audition should not necessarily be an audition TO US. We need to think about emotion, and we already carry the character in us before and when we enter.
(Cold reading, on the other hand, is just solid dramatic reading - they want to hear you speak and see who you are. Nothing to be nervous about.)
More should be said, but there are good, small, inepensive books about auditioning. For example, "The Actor's Audition" by David Black which is one I have. Reading something like that will give you a sense of knowing what you're doing, which is good to have.

User avatar
David Loftus
Posts: 3182
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Postby David Loftus » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:09 am

Steve Evil wrote:Well he apparently enjoys theatre!

Thanks David, that is actually really helpful. I'm not trying for anything professional or nothin', just the campus musical. But I figure any oportunity to get on stage is worth giving one's all.


But of course. To challenge oneself, if for no other reason.


Steve Evil wrote:They said they would provide a monologue for a cold read, and expect one to sing. So I've been working on "Luck Be A Lady" (from the musical, not Sinatra's).


What a coincidence! Portland Center Stage, the top Equity professional theater in town, is opening the new season with "Guys and Dolls," to which Carole and I have tickets for tomorrow night.


Steve Evil wrote:I'm not sure how stiff the competition's going to be, but figure there's no sense going in half assed. If one wants to keep one's toe in the theatre, then it helps to know something about the audition process, which quite frankly scares the shit out of me.


Just remember, nearly everyone else in the room will be as scared as you -- some, surely more -- and the auditors will know how hard it is and will likely be very courteous and sympathetic.

My acting teacher is set to do his very first nude scene ever -- at age 40!; having been a classical Shakespearean actor for most of his professional life, he never ran into this before -- and he's scared. His scene partner, who will only have to strip to her lingerie, told him to remember that the people in the audience will be more uncomfortable than he is.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

User avatar
Steve Evil
Posts: 3519
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Some Cave in Kanata
Contact:

Postby Steve Evil » Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:11 pm

" Guys and Dolls" was my first theatre experience. When I was twelve, I put on excerpts of it at a performing arts camp. Some of the numbers were re-arranged for young lungs, and for a couple of them, I actually like the way we did it better! It's still one of my favorates to this day.

Well, I'm off. Wish me luck!


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests