Sunday, August 8, 2010

Acting Observations from Scream Queens

Set the DVR to record VH1's Scream Queens. Why? Because it is great for picking up or reconfirming acting tips, etc. OK, I admit, watching scream princesses compete to become queen is on the enjoyable side. But that would be a if I happen to catch it scenario. And there are many reasons, all irrelevant to this blog, that I might miss the actual airing. For those unfamiliar w/the format, there is two challenges, the safe from elimination contest, and the challenge to see who gets eliminated and who is queen of the week. Also, an acting class. The contestants get to watch each other - either in the room or on monitors in another room.

Acting observations, etc. from the pilot episode:

1. Remember what the scene is about. If you wake up from a Freddy Kruger-ish dream and discover your significant other is not in bed, don't make where's my S.O. the main focus. Oh, you're being attacked by Freddy. I wonder where your lover is is probably not the audience reaction to go for.

2. As an actor you know what is going to happen. The character does not. Using the Freddy example, until Freddy actually reaches out, the character thinks it was a dream and they are awake. It is important to convey the character's knowledge, not the actor's.

3. Actors do play mind games with each other. I saw this in the safe from elimination challenge results. One actress decided to point out to the winner why her winning the challenge was a minor success (she was safe from elimination for the week after all) and not something to build up her acting confidence.

4. When you are on set, be on set. False starting several times is probably not a good thing. Hint: The correct start time is when the director says "action". Yes, that actually happened. It was the safe from elimination contestant. The judges pointed out that normally it would result in calls to get you replaced. Also, be able to register when the director explains the shot, gives adjustments, etc.

5. Leave the character some place to go. If the scene is you walking into a room looking for your S.O. and discovering that your S.O. is part of a Satanic cult, do not walk in like you are expecting to find something bad. One actress decided to enter like her boyfriend had run into the room wearing nothing but whip cream. She went into the room happy. Other actresses entered like they heard a noise and where looking for a prowler. Whip cream actress was named queen of the week. (I'm pretty sure this involves things other than bragging rights, but can't remember what.)

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