Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Links and Miscellaneous Items

Here is a link to the script for Diss and Datt, if anyone is interested in the piece itself. It was written by two underground artists in Arizona in the 90's. They were writing a lot before the internet became big, and so none of their work is accessible online. I thought it was so great to be working with material that people hadn't heard of before, and having the opportunity to shed light on some great writers' piece was a lot of fun.

The writers were in a relationship when they wrote this, and the play itself is based on their relationship. They split shortly afterward and remarried I think. One of them lives outside modern society now (traveling between small villages and cults or something of the sort), and the other's whereabouts are unknown.

Purely for my own cataloguing purposes and not to toot my own horn, I'm going to post the nice words my director wrote to me after the show. I'd like to keep a record of my correspondence with my directors, and it's bound to get lost in the shuffle of my own untamed inbox.

Hi Sascha,
I just wanted to tell you how deeply I appreciated your artistry, commitment of time and energy, and creative intuition in taking Diss and Datt to the stage in less than a week. Your fine tuned interpretive sensibility is inspiring, and it is always a (somewhat rare) treat to see actors work together in such a spirit of mutual shared discovery to find the truest notes of the music of  a piece.
Despite the chaos of a Seattle “blizzard” (three or more inches by definition), cannibalistic parking meters, and a truly truncated rehearsal period, you beautifully evoked the key notes of your character while bringing out subtle dimensions through posture and gesture as well as dialogue. It was exciting to hear the little gasps, rapt silences and punctuated bursts of laughter from the audience at all the right moments during the performance.
I will be in touch with you this week to coordinate dates/times that fit everyone’s schedule for the video version.
I have no doubt that the Seattle theatre community will be greatly enriched by your presence here.
Make of each day a festival of joy,

My film director also emailed me.

Hey Sascha,
I just wanted to thank you for joining us on Sunday for our test shots. I really enjoyed working with you. There is no doubt that you have a bright acting career ahead of you. I'm looking forward to seeing you at auditions.


I'll be posting soon about my film experience this past Sunday, and the headshots I had the opportunity to take as soon as I have a little more time. I should get my headshots back by Saturday to share with you.

For now, here are some pictures of me dressed and ready for my film shoot. I was required to wear warm, tight athletic clothing since we'd be out in the cold and I would spend the day running from a 'robot'.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Back in Session

It's about time I get back to the roots of this blog.

Things I've learned in acting class so far:

1. Stella Adler is a boss.
2. Objectives are not just what you want out of a scene. In order to make your objective more playable, choose strong actions that are universal and easily physically embodied.
       * Old Ex: I want to be loved.
       * New Ex: I want her to coddle me.
It's difficult to play being loved, since that is an emotion. However, you can play it by using strong actions such as coddling, hugging, reassuring, teasing, or complimenting.

This is a differentiation I never thought about much in college, though Professor D always told us to use strong words. I'm finding this specific technique much easier to embody because it's broken down better.

3.  Actions have three parts: the nature, the physicality, and the tone.  You know your action is strong when you can instill the message without the words from the script, and instead saying '1,2,3,4,5.'  If you can say 1,2,3,4,5 and your scene partner still understands what you want from them, then you have a strong action.

Actions should also come with a physicality. There are motions that you do when you judge people, condemn them, shake them, blame them, mock them, or apologize to them. If your actions don't  require an action from your body (even if it is to be still), then you probably haven't made a very strong choice.


Katie and I have been relearning a lot of our old technique in a new way. Stella Adler is very similar to Uta Hagen. Some things are being explained in a better way and it's so nice to have my memory refreshed.  Our next class assignment is to rehearse our scene with our actions, but we have to stay 4 feet a part at all times. Acting Coach thinks we get into each other's personal space too often, and I'm inclined to agree with him. We're also supposed to start a '100 Action Words' list without the outside help of movies, TV, dictionaries, or a thesaurus. I'm excited for both.

I had three rehearsals for Diss and Datt before we opened (and closed) last night at Gallery 1412. My scene partner and I were able to dig up a lot of the internal struggle in the scene on short notice, and I had a great time working with him and my director. My director was very hands off, which made it easy for my partner and I to try out a lot of our own ideas until we settled. After the show my director introduced me to his actor/director friend whose, as chance would have it, mother went to my college in the 60s. He actually attended my college's 'rival' school, and roomed with a man that directed at my college my senior year. The theatre world is so small.

I'm excited to be done with one project and moving onto the next. I feel like I'm just barely getting my feet wet. I have my General Audition pre-screen coming up in the next two weeks, so I'm working hard to prepare for that. As long as I stay under the time limit, I should be good to go. I'm really excited for the general auditions because that's where all the larger theatres that will be paying actors to work for them will get to see me audition. The larger theatres don't tend to hold individual show auditions throughout the year, so this is my chance to put myself out there and see what happens. 

I've auditioned recently with Seattle Talent Agency, and they put me in touch with a good commercial photographer that's going to take some new headshots for me today. If things go well and I can get a hold of some more details, I might be getting to meet with LA agents once a month or so for exposure and experience. I'm really not looking to break into stardom, which it's been a bit difficult to convince Seattle Talent of. They think everyone wants to be a star. Now that I put myself in a position where I have to make a choice, I have to admit I'm interested in meeting people, learning new things, and seeing where my art can take me. I'm looking forward to new opportunities, but I don't want to limit myself and my career to one avenue at this point.

I'll be filming a short test shoot this weekend for an VFX production. Basically, I get to do some green screen action outside in the cold and rain, and then they're going to animate it, I think. I'm so stoked. I love the idea of running and jumping around in front of a green screen and film crew. I love my job.

I've also been hired as full time with my day job. Things are really moving in a good direction!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I had my first Seattle audition on Monday, the 9th. It was for a short film that is being shot locally. The script sounded really interesting and I was excited to finally be back in the game.

I had a great time auditioning. I automatically fell right back into the feeling of doing what I love. I got to improv some crazy scenes. One of the directions I was given was to mime playing a piano, and the closer my scene partner got to me I was supposed to react like a vampire would to sunlight. I love acting.

Tuesday I had my first theatre audition for a short play titled Diss and Datt. It's an absurdest drama that explores relationships, failure, regret, and ultimately the way we measure success. I had a great time in the audition here as well. The director asked me to read three monologues consecutively from the script, which I was given access to beforehand, and do them as many times as I liked in as many different ways as I wanted. It was so much fun to stand up on stage and feel like there was no pressure to get it right the first time. I said the monologues at least 3 or 4 different ways, and then the director and I played around with the script a little. The director complimented my college at the end of the audition, which was just amazing to hear so far from home.

I ended up getting cast that night! I'm very excited to go to work with a director that is so nurturing and knowledgeable in the realm of absurdest theatre, since that is one of my favorite genres.

Also on Tuesday, Katie and I met with an acting coach that holds classes and private lessons in the area. We did a short audition and interview and now we'll be having private classes with him weekly.

I'm feeling so happy to be back doing what I love again. I've missed it so much. I'll be jumping into rehearsal this week, and the generals are coming up soon so I'm preparing for those. I have my first acting session this week, and after I save up a little more I'm hoping to start taking some of the great classes they offer around town. I'd really like to refresh my Alexander Technique, and take a course in Biomechanics.

Here's to 2012 and all the fabulous things that are happening so far!