I have an audition for a beer commercial today. A few years ago I would have turned it down. I used to think being a Christian meant not promoting alcoholic beverages. I felt very righteous telling my agent that I wouldn’t act in a beer commercial. I felt noble.

Here’s the problem with that: I enjoy drinking a beer or having a glass of wine. The bible says you shouldn’t get drunk on wine- it doesn’t say you shouldn’t drink. So there I am enjoying a glass of wine with dinner, but if Wolf Blaas wants to make a commercial for its Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon… I won’t be in it.

Hypocrisy (hiˈpäkrisē) noun
the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform.

My Mac dictionary just told me the word actually comes from the Greek hupokrisis “acting of a theatrical part.” I don’t want to be that kind of actor.

What do you think? Is it OK for a Christian actor to be in a beer commercial?

On Method Acting

I have slept in a dark, musty cold cellar for the last 4 nights. I am doing this to understand a character I am portraying. I am a Method Actor.

OK, so not everything in the above paragraph is true. But for the first time in my career, I can think of myself as a Method Actor. I thought Method Acting meant sleeping in cold cellars or smoking crack if the character demanded it. I have since learned that Method Acting is basically just tapping into your own emotions and memories to represent a character. Sounds simple, so I gave it a try…

I was playing the role of a guy who had just had his hand cut off by an escaped convict. Now there’s a bad start to your day. In the scene, I hold my bleeding stump in a state of shock and pain. Following a Method exercise, I re-created the worst pain I have ever experienced: tearing the cartilage in my knee during a severe car crash.  I re-lived the car crash right down to the smallest details… the sound of the crash, the fire in my knee, the taste of the chalky powder from the airbag… I re-created it all and sat in that pain. Then I kind of applied that pain to my bleeding stump… I added the sensation of holding my wrist to a candle flame while being on the verge of passing out from extreme exhaustion and… Voila! A perfect bleeding stump cocktail.

This sounds quite morbid doesn’t it? It’s not! Really. I was sitting on a very comfortable couch at the time. Anyway, it worked like a charm! And Method Acting is what helped me connect to the part. So don’t knock Method Acting just because its been misused and misunderstood. It’s only the Extremist Fundamentalist Actors who sleep in cold cellars. The rest of us sleep on the couch in our friends place while we wait for our big break.

Do you think method acting is dangerous?

The End of a Win Streak

I’ve been on a bit of a win streak for the past 15 months. 26 Film and Television Auditions. No bookings. 0-26. In the upside down world, I’m batting .1000… In the real world, even a reckless optimist gets discouraged.

About a month ago I decided to call it quits. To throw in the towel. My plan- to take 6 months away from the audition circuit and get some more training with a new acting coach. My problem- my acting coach is out of town and I can’t start working with him until December. So as I’m wrestling with what to do, a couple of auditions come down the pipe. I figure I’ll give it one more shot.

I had 2 auditions on the same day last Friday. One for a commercial. One for a bit part in a TV show. I came out of the commercial audition and took a walk around the block. I keep an audio journal on my cell phone and I recorded an entry. I said, “If something good happens today, I know I’m on the right path…”

Something good happened. I booked the commercial! It’s a car commercial and I play a snowboarder making a New Year’s Resolution. Should be on the air in December.

So I’m going to keep at it. I am now 1-27 and I feel way more confident. I guess that would make me an optimist…

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