- Jo Kelly
#12- Don't act, just BE. "You book the lead role, but it's poor writing..."
A couple weeks back, I was coaching an actress, - BOOGIE- for the lead role in a TV movie she had booked.
I have been working with Boogie for several years now and she’s a very experienced, talented & opinionated actress.
So what could go wrong?
Boogie was excited for the “job’, but she was judging the writing because it was a “TV movie” and she was more of an “artist type” of actress. In it for the real deal.
Has this, or could this happen to you? That you’d have such artistic standards, that you’d end up feeling stuck cuz the material is not well written enough?
I have actually worked with a lot of actors who have this issue. For the big parts and quite frankly maybe more often for the smaller parts.
Come to think of it, it happens more often than not.
Turn on the TV, or go to the movie theatre… Do you wanna see all the movies out there??? Certainly not. We can’t like it all because it is not meant to be liked by all of us.
Each story targets a different audience.
Now let’s get back to Boogie’s case:
She’s worked A LOT, she gets lead roles in movies, she’s been the lead on a tv show for years. And if that wasn’t enough, she also writes scripts now.
Needless to say, she’s good at what she does and she has opinions about this industry. She is always looking to stretch, evolve, expand and reach her next level by working on her instrument because Boogie is a genuine
T I S T
So though I could understand where her frustration was coming from, I couldn’t let her judge the material like that.
As her coach, I asked her to stop judging the writing straight away so we could roll up our sleeves and get to work.
We were gonna dive in even deeper than with a script she would have loved.
The idea is: we were NOT gonna take anything for granted. So we revisited EVERY piece of information until it made total absolute inspiring sense to her.
By guiding Boogie through a couple creative imagination exercises we therefore bypassed her initial judgement and she was able to get straight to the core of her characters’ struggle.
After all, her character wasn't responsible for the “on the nose” type of writing. It was just a soul waiting to be defended in the story.
As she was creating and embracing her character, Boogie very quickly realized that the quality of the writing didn't matter to her anymore, because she had added to it, she had completed it by putting her heart in it. She was invested in her character’s journey and all that mattered to her now was to defend her.
Here’s what it comes down to: wether a movie is good or not in the end ( and some often seem promising in the script phase but they end up being terrible on the screen) the only thing that you are responsible for is to commit to give life to your character by making your unique choices.
And that is the only power -you have- that could possibly affect the quality of the movie;-)
Put your head down and do your work!
Thank you for reading and if you liked it, I invite you to share this post with like minded artists!
See you next week in the next Blog!