Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Red herring?

My initial problem
Is characterisation by actors in current work changing alongside notions of identity?
Wooster, ERS and others playing with characters and so acting; notions of inhabiting, believing, feeling, embodying not as relevant as adopting, mimicking, detaching,...

So what kind of actor training can engage with these new acting identities.

Where does media come into this?

Some transmedia work tells stories differently but presents conventional ideas of character. Linear, logical, psychologically motivated, with firm identity. So is it a red herring in my search for modern character and how it concerns actor training?
Is that fair? Or does the multi platform tell us something different about character in itself?

This is where I keep getting stuck.

So I go to this: can technology help you act better?

Presenting at Manchester in the morning. 

Watched an episode of the wire and rate the acting very highly. How did they learn to do that? And can you teach it?

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Digital Learning

In a US paper about digital literacies, the following skills are listed as important to students.

Looking at these, i'm struck by how relevant they are to the student actor. Within a digital environment of devising, are these not the skills that actors need either within their role as performer, maker or indeed character actor?

Talk with Hannah Rowlands character constructs/ acting

Thursday, 18 April 2013

acting skills

I'm trying to distill what acting is; what are the qualities that are most important and how can new technologies help develop those skills. I will focus on acting at the moment rather than performing.

So, here goes  a risky shortlist.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Viewpoints training and new digital technologies

Thinking about actor training; one of my favourite tools for training is 'Viewpoints'. So beginning to think what the two have to do with each other. How could digital technologies reinforce, enrich or enable viewpoints training for actors?

Saturday, 6 April 2013

skype conversation with Christine Weitbrecht

Just been talking to Christine who works and blogs on transmedia in LA.

Some very interesting points that refocus my thinking now to take in some very mainstream work and the role of the actor.

some of the points she mentioned:

  • actors have to now share their backstory through different media.
  • inhabit the rabbit holes and make decisions both conclusive as an experience but also open to audience to inhabit in the storyworld
  • they have to understand each platform and how the story can engage with it but also how the audience engages with it.
  • know the everyday, mundane life of the character as they tweet, facebook etc. How does the character they are playing use each medium? how do they write? what do they post? what language do they use?
  • they have to portray / represent/inhabit? two experiences in one: the story and moment have to be both satisfying and provide closure but also open to sequels, other platforms, audience requests.
  • tell the story of the character in all platforms, but also in each one. Audiences don't necessarily follow all.
  • in mainstream work, now 'there are no small characters' even truer; a minor character might develop through a rabbit hole into something much bigger. Example from Lord of the Rings
  • where are your audience when you are reaching them? in same space, in the living room, on the road....
  • your performances are reviewed live! As you perform, others tweet about your performance.
  • Do some audience follow your character on twitter as well as yourself?
  • for this kind of work, actors don't necessarily have to prepare differently, they just have to learn to engage much more in more ways.
  • when you agree to play a part, how many platforms, time, commitment are you agreeing to? 

Thursday, 4 April 2013


  Does this apply to actor training?


Barton 2010

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Actor training apps so far.

Northbrook students and staff coming in with suggestions of apps they would like for their training:

  • quite a few requests for voice apps; programmes for breathing, vocal warm-ups. With some kind of interaction with the user to measure improvement. And incentives; eg extra exercises unlocked after few days use.
  • a wii/ playstation etc game that helps you practice different movement training. 
  • an app that can record your deliver of lines; then it decodes it and suggests what your objective was. 
  • a green screen app; records the actor as against green screen and poses different scenarios and challenges for you to act with. Then you can watch back the video.

    some apps i would like..

  • a voice app that registers variation, pitch, volume and makes a graph
  • an app to read audience engagement? measure their pulse maybe or visual focus at any given points?
  • an app to detect correct volume for specific venues and their vocal demands. it might beep if you fall below certain level.