My Most Awesome Audience

My world is full of experiences, of people, places, events, battles; some won, some lost, falls of various degrees except that I never stay down long enough for any one to notice I just had a great fall. However, I have decided to freely and truthfully share with you these encounters and the lessons learnt, decisions taken and standards set. I promise, it will always be an interesting read, plus you might find helpful tips on how to be the best or the worse at whatever you decide. Many start off fighting whatever they do not understand because the thing, place or person come across as intimidating, complicated and confusing. One of such places is the movie set, and your work with the camera.

Your first experience when you walk into a movie set, you notice that so much is going on, and you don’t understand what’s really going on. There is an African adage that says what you don’t know is your enemy. Until you understand a thing it seem the most difficult and unfriendly thing. A movie set for a first time actor may seem like a place packed full of unfriendly people. People jealously guarding equipment. Everyone seems too busy at something. The famous ones stay offish, it looks like an uphill tasks getting to start a conversation. You sometimes think it can never be done. Relax! As soon as you understand the principle around this environment handling the task becomes simple and easy. It is amazing how you can comfortably deal with everyone and everything as soon as you understand how to deal with it.
A movie set can be really confusing especially for a first time actor. There are too many people running around doing something that you just don’t understand how that sums up to being part of the production. Believe it or not every one and everything is as important as you even if you were playing lead.
Camera, lights, microphones, reflectors, hanging on stands, location being set up by busy production crew and assistants. Costumiers, wardrobe attendants, make up artiste, stylist everyone calling for your attention, wanting to get you ready for the role. This business is not like any Other! This kind of looks tough and puts this young first timer under severe stress and yes some truly chicken away.

What ordinarily seems like a fun job is turning out to be war! And in this war everyone must win together. It is serious business. Winning no matter what, is the principle here, with everyone absolutely in serious mood, no dulling!!

I am an actor. Multiple award winning. Trained as an actor and performed severally on stage. Great thespian as my colleagues and directors say. Yet with the theater background, acting training, performance technique and outstanding stage shows, I never bothered about my relationship with the camera even as some of those stage performances were been video recorded. After all they were simple used to review the play and my interpretation of the roles.

Until this day I never heard anyone say anything about playing for the camera but here I was before all these strange people and on my first movie set and the director wants me to play for the camera. All through my training and during the video recordings I have never cared where the camera was positioned or what it was doing. I just played for my audience. Now a camera has become important that I must build a relationship with it? Instead of my “My audience” being on the opposite side of the stage, my audience ; the camera is on set with me. Instead of my stage, now I am on set. I have to work with it and for it, because this audience is so close to me, therefore no point projecting and exaggerating those movements.

Now every movement is intimate, less exaggerated. Lower voiced, less intensive expression. Based on my understanding of the theater These acts may not be discernible on stage. Is my acting school training a waste of time and funds? No! No! No! you need to have that training, it enables you adapt easily plus do a great stage work. You become an outstanding performer on any platform anyways.
Film making is BUSINESS. It takes a humongous amount of work and walk to put together one movie. The budget is way higher than a stage performance budget.

So the director wants to work with an actor who understands her craft and how to deal with this new all important audience “the camera” if you intend to succeed as a screen actor then you must build a relationship with THE CAMERA.