If you’ve been following along with this teaching on ‘PROCESS’ then you know that we’ve covered some of the most important aspects of THE CBSI PROCESS of ACTOR DEVELOPMENT. If not, here’s a brief review:
- Ice Cold Read – ICR (Reading your material for the very first time, speaking it aloud as you go.)
- Cold Read – CR (Line Lifting after you’ve read your material over a couple of times.)
- Memorized – SS1 (You’re now off-book after some scene study and character investigation.)
- Fully Memorized – SS2 (In complete understanding of your scene through script analysis and character development.)
We now move on to:
- Performance Level – R2S (This is it! You’re living in the story, owning your character and creating interesting moments.)
PERFORMANCE LEVEL is exactly what it sounds like — you’re at your BEST LEVEL of performance available to you. You’re operating at the TOP OF YOUR GAME. The highest level that you’ve worked toward at this moment in time. All of the training, rehearsing and work must now stop! IT’S SHOW TIME BABY! And, no matter where you are in your PROCESS, still developing or content… you’ve got to OWN IT and SHOW IT! And, that can be a bit daunting.
YOU MUST MASTER THIS LEVEL! YOU MUST TRAIN, TRY, FAIL, GET UP AND DO IT AGAIN UNTIL YOU CAN TAKE IT CAPTIVE… AND EVENTUALLY LORD OVER IT!
There are SEASONS with your process. And, just like anything else in life… the better you know and flow with seasons… the more effective you’ll be. PERIOD!
There’s a time to explore and a time to play. There’s a time to try and a time to test. There’s a time to fall and a time to fail. There’s a time to get up and a time to think about it all. There’s a time to work and a time to rehearse. Then… there’s a time to STOP ALL OF THAT! Because, next comes… a time to PERFORM!
PERFORMANCE LEVEL can not be taken lightly! PERFORMANCE LEVEL is actually the ULTIMATE SHOWCASE of all the work you’ve done and ultimately, from the audience’s perspective, WHO YOU ARE!
There’s a pretty well known expression — ACTING IS SCARY!
What the heck does that actually mean anyway?! Let’s take a look:
- PERFORMANCE – The action or process of carrying out or accomplishing an action, task, or function. Presenting a level of success.
- BEST – That which is the most excellent, outstanding, or desirable.
- SCARY – Being fearful.
- FEARFUL – An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. (REALLY?! It’s just an emotion…)
OK. So let’s do a little REVERSE ENGINEERING here.
- REVERSE ENGINEERING – Taking something apart to see how it actually works.
If you take a second look at the definition of fearful you’ll see it incorporates the words, dangerous – threat – pain. YES! Putting your stuff out there for the world to see can be a bit intimidating. Why is it fearful? It’s not! It’s only fearful when you’re doing something WRONG! What’s wrong? You’re misaligning your VALUE.
If your value is connected to what others think of you… you’re in BIG TROUBLE. And, that right there may be the seed of your concerns. WHAT YOU CONNECT YOUR VALUE TO WILL ULTIMATELY CONTROL YOU. Soooo… what the heck is VALUE?
- VALUE – Worth, importance, opinion.
Who’s opinion? Who’s opinion really matters to you? Someone you don’t even know? Someone made up in your mind that doesn’t even exist? And, if they do exist, do you have any sort of relationship with them at all? A face in the crowd? Someone who could care less about you — yet you act as if they are GOD or something?? Come on!! You know what I’m talking about.
Why not just connect your value to GOD Himself. After all, religion aside, GOD is LOVE... and love doesn’t pass judgement. Love doesn’t devalue. Love thinks you’re ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! Connect to that!
- LOVE – An intense feeling of deep affection. Love is kind, does not dishonor others.
- GOD – The supreme being.
- SUPREME – Superior to all others.
- SUPERIOR – Further above or out; higher in position.
Connect to that! When you do, you’ll get a real handle on it all! You’ll be performing at such a magnificent level that you yourself will be amazed!
I could go on and on but I think this is enough for now… and besides, I’ve got to eat something soon or I’ll soon pass out! So… let me conclude. Then put you to work!
You can’t take the PERFORMANCE LEVEL for granted. It’s the ULTIMATE ART! The ability to show your stuff… without stuff in the way.
Keep practicing taking chances. Put the training wheels on when you need them… then take them off and ENJOY THE RIDE! GO BABY! JUST GO!! WORK IT OUT!!!
THE ACTORS FREEWAY – [Your free weekly exercise.]
Pick up something to perform. ANYTHING! It doesn’t have to be anything specific and you don’t have to be good at it… at all. Just pick up something, anything. Sing, dance, perform, create, whatever. Then, go where ever you have to to do it and feel free! Now, just flipp’n GO FOR IT! Just do it! Do whatever you can at the highest level you’re able. . . JUST DO IT! 100%!
Find a place to go where you’re not being judged (or have the feeling of being judged) then you’ll be able to detect where you celling is. You know, that place where you TOP OUT! When you do top out… reassess and go for it again. Bring emotion and commitment into it. Work the instrument! WORK YOUR INSTRUMENT! AGGGGGRRRRR!!!! This is your life kiddo… use it or lose it!
- My first BMW Story
- Tap Dancing
- Singing in the Waves
- Yelling in the Mountains
Bringing it all, all the time!
And, there will be a time when the performance is over. The dust will settle. The audience will leave. Only the residual will remain. A time to reflect. To appreciate. To discern. Then… we do it all over again… from the beginning. This is the life of the performing artist! ~ CB