A reoccuring meme this week for me has been the notion of solving ‘difficult’ problems. Most recently, I came across this observation from the New York Time’s interview of Bain Capital member, Edward Conrad:
it makes no sense to look for easy solutions. In a competitive market, all that’s left are the ruly hard puzzles. And they require extraordinary resources.
This got me thinking about problems and methods for finding solutions which led to a cool article in wikipedia about different problem solving methods including such exotically named approaches like morphological anlaysis and method of focal objects.
I then found an article about the 8D Method of Problem Solving which lists … well, 8 steps to solve problems. The last step is congratulate your team.
This is all very interesting, but I’m not sure what problem I’m solving with all this.
Imagery is a great tool for an actor to develop characters, visualize textual images and establish a context for the relationships.
Recently I’ve started to use Pinterest to collect and display images related to the characters and scenes I have been working on. It’s great that it’s so easily accessible so that I can look at it during down times like riding on the bus.
I’m doing some revisions to an older title and came across these gems embedded in a system file.
We used to collect funny quotes that would invariably occur during long hours of production. Here are some of the better ones:
Karen: Why do you smell like lighter fluid?
Donovan: I have a Zippo in my pocket.
So we’re getting a better squish? – Karen on our new codec
The only free cheese you get is in a mouse trap. – Alena bestowing Russian wisdom
I’m finger-oriented. – Karen explaining the smudges on her monitor
Take that out of your mouth, son. It’s not real. – Wayne’s fatherly advice
That’s a lot of mustard. - Jan misinterpreting a carafe of orange juice
But… you shouldn’t have changed my body. - Robert exerting too much ownership over an animation
I like a chair that’s already formed to my butt. - Kyle
I am working on a new audition piece and continue to find the whole process vexing. Like Catherine O’Hara once said – it’s something between opening presents on Christmas morning and being burnt alive.
I chose a piece from Joe Orton’s devilishly funny Loot. Before working with my audition coach, Annnette Toutonghi, I did all of my character homework, I defined my action, I came up with my element of truth and pondered the prior moment.
You’re not feeling it!
It wasn’t that the preparation was bad, it was more that I didn’t allow myself to inhabit the circumstance and allow myself to be in the moment. A common trap for me but one that I well understand.
She made me give the monologue as a muppet and that loosened me up to start to play and really feel the words I was saying.
And I never really thought that much how the words of a dramatist give the actor that punch to follow through on an action.
So I get why people say Orton is a genius. And yet, it’s so well done it’s so easily missed!