Learning and growing is a big part of life and any career and profession and acting is no different. About a month ago, my best friend Randy, emailed taking an acting class with him. Now, just being honest, I signed up and totally forgot about it til he texted me about it last week. I told him, “As long as you pick me up, I’m good!”
Next thing I know, Randy is texting me saying, “Here brahhhhhhh” and we are on our way! The class was with Michael Kostroff, an actor that has appeared on a lot of TV shows. His class was designed for booking those co-starring roles that are five lines and under. I go in for a lot of auditions for these kinds of roles so the class was definitely something I couldn’t pass up.
Walking in, it was welcoming and fun to see so many familiar faces of other actors and friends that I’ve worked with including my friend, Leigh Foster who has an amazing podcast for actors called “Action the Pursuit of Acting”. He’s helped me a lot in my own acting career especially when I first moved to Chicago so it was nice bumping into him (and he could text me more often!).
The class in itself was amazing. We did several exercises that required us to stand up, one by one, and act out the scene at hand. Since the class designed for roles “Five Lines and Under” most if not all of the scripts only had one line or simple a few. These roles included things like a receptionist,a flight attendant, or a waiter, you know, roles that didn’t have many lines. In the class, I learned that the main purpose of these roles were to move the story along, and to give the story some life.
Auditioning for these parts is challenging because there’s not a lot of dialogue or information in the script and sides that you’re given. In the class I learned to read all the information that you do receive even if your part is very small. Clues to the world of the story and what’s going on can be seen through the dialogue of others, the notes shared with you and things like that. Instead of looking at the role as something you’re trying to get, I learned to look at it as more of a “how I can fit in this world”.
One of the parts that I had in the class was a doctor giving good news to someone. After investigating the script with the guidance of Michael the instructor and the class, I learned a whole lot of information about those few lines: the doctor was giving information to a bystander who came upon someone who took a stranger to the hospital. How would the doctor? Maybe authoritative in his expertise, relieved that his patient would recover and maybe even grateful to the stranger that helped someone else. Taking the time analyze the scene and come up with different approaches, will help me as an actor deliver the lines and understand what’s going on in the scene.
The class opened my eyes in so many different ways. I was able to connect with so much of what Michael said, connected with some of my actor friends and even had the opportunity to make new friends. It felt magically to live and learn and it’s exciting to be able to bring these new skills into my own auditions moving forward.