Extremely Interesting Things That We Think

What it means to be an actor in a Post 9/11 World

David . - Sunday, December 14, 2014

- These days a lot of younger actors ask me how do you do it David?
How do you and Ben consistently make great work and wrestle with huge
controversial topics but always wind up out on top. This is a great
question young actors. For this I turn to what Ben and I call the 5
Point Plan for creating Political work.
I'm going to share it with you here.
1. Rustle EVERYONE's feathers. If your audience is coming knowing
your show is about women's rights, throw them off early on with
something they're not expecting like maybe open and say "Hi I'm David,
thanks for coming to the show tonight, just for starters want to put
out there that I believe women belong in the kitchen." When they boo
and stuff, take a step forward and say something like "That was a
character. I'm David. There's gonna be a lot of that kind of stuff
tonight," so stay alert.
2. Always incorporate as many political topics as possible. When Ben
and I did a one day workshop of "Russia and Crimea A Love Story" we
had one of the Russian characters be a transgender, Mexican-American
farmer with a heart of gold who was being held captive by the
Republican Party because he was gay. A lot of people were not
expecting that.
3. Don't leave any room for uncertainty. Tie everything up in a nice
bow. Some of these political issues are really complicated and
delicate, so make it easy for everyone and tell them how to feel.
4. Assault your audience. We are well known for really getting up in
an audience's preconceptions. We have something we're writing where
we ask for a volunteer and bring a black man forward (hopefully very
large) and a latino man forward (who hopefully has a lot of tattoos)
and ask the audience who did the crime...Point out prejudice by saying
guess what everyone...neither one of them did it...Ben and I did. The
white guys.
5. Be Self-Depricating. After Ben and I list our awards at the end
of the show during the "credits" section of the Curtain Call, we
usually do something self-deprecating like "If you liked the show tell
your friends, and if you didn't like it tell your enemies!" And then
we end with the "Feedback" part of the Curtain Call where we ask for
compliments.


Commercial Audition Advice from Ben

Ben . - Monday, December 01, 2014


David and I have had a ton of commercial auditions. So lets just start with that. And we have a lot of advice, but heres just three tips which we abbreviate as BAT. Remember to step up to BAT folks!
B- Be Yourself- Easier said than done am I right? Its sometimes not the easiest thing to do when the cameras are rolling and the pressures on. Am I right or am I right? But here's a tip. Imagine you're naked. It's never worked for me, but it usually takes my mind off of how weird my audition has been going up until then. Bat! That's the B in Bat!
A- Always Joke- If you are in the waiting room for a commercial audition and you are NOT making jokes consider your audition all but over. The other actors who look like you are sitting there wondering how funny is this guy, and if you don't show them you're hilarious, basically figure that you're done. And it doesn't stop there. When you enter the room- jokes. When they ask you to slate your name- jokes. When they ask if you're willing to shave- jokes. Do not stop joking until everyone is convinced you are hilarious. Bat! That's the A in Bat!
T- Try Harder- I have never booked a commercial when I wasn't trying. One of my famous two commercial callbacks came after I gave auditions that I really exerted a lot of effort in the room. If the product is a soda, and you're supposed to like it...really show that you like it. Sell it sell it sell it. For my callback for Pyramus Cheap 99cent Pizza, I kept saying "mm" like eight times even though in the script there was only one "mm" in the script. They said just leave it at one "mm" but I didn't, I gave them more, and they gave me the coveted callback. They were so embarrassed to not cast me they called the whole thing "a mistake," and asked me to leave immediately. Bat! That's the T in bat.
So step right up boys and girls of all ages, step up to the bat!



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