The first day was a bit slow to be honest with only two activities for us to do but we think that’s because it was the first time any of them have done this course. We have one professional actor (who turns out to be Colin Firth’s brother!) and two MA students who are doing the film course at Central are our teachers for the week.
The last two days have picked up though and have been really informative and interesting. We are given a script to learn a night and then perform these the next day with a partner to camera. They are filmed from three different angles to give us an idea of how this would be on set. They use master shots and single close-ups, and allow us to use the clapper and the boom in each other’s work.
It’s been really interesting but difficult to adapt to the film genre and be ‘natural’. We watch it back afterwards though and are given individual feedback each time to try and help us improve our technique for the next day.
We’ve also had short classes in Active Listening, Active Watching, hitting the Mark and script analysis. There’s a big stress on showing a ‘journey’ in your pieces to achieve ‘drama’ and thoroughly preparing for your scene; thinking about character, context, character objectives, relationships etc. It’s interesting to see the differences between screen and stage acting and how this can be achieved effectively. For example we are told to think of the camera as ‘eavesdropping’ on us and not to acknowledge a ‘wider audience’; only focusing on the person you are talking to and the scene you are in.
Overall, it’s going well and we’ve met some really interesting people from all over the world. On Friday we’ll be taught about audition technique and have our own mock auditions!
Anyway, thank you for the chance to do this, we couldn’t have done it otherwise and it is a great taster for what is to come!
The rest of the course was fantastic. We both had a brilliant time and learnt a lot from the feedback we were given. The last day involved a mock audition, to see how we would fair in an audition situation but also to give us a chance to watch back our performances and see how we would come across to a casting director.
We had to read from Star Wars! They were trying to show us that as an actor you will have to bring ‘bad writing’ to life and so chose Princess Leia. It was really challenging, particularly as I had no idea what it was that I was meant to be saying. But after they had explained the plotline and redirected me, it was much more accessible.
Overall, the course was challenging; particularly when given scenes from ‘Doctors’, ‘Teachers’ and ‘Casualty’, and tested us as actors as in an entirely different field of performance. It was also a good chance to have a look around Central and see what the place would offer. We were given some really interesting advice about drama schools/ agents/ where to go from here.
Thank you again for this opportunity. We would certainly not have been able to have done it without the support of the fund.