The first on-camera class I took was through my university’s theatre department. At the time, I considered myself a very serious theatre student, and the prospect of acting for the camera seemed, well, laughable. Film actors don’t have to fill up a theatre with their voices! Film actors don’t have a live audience! Film actors don’t have to do a good job because film is really the editor’s medium!
After the first day of class, I realized I knew absolutely nothing about anything. Which may still be the case, who knows.
I’ve done film here and there for the past few years. Some industrials and educational videos where I get to be the most exaggerated version of myself, a handful of television episodes created by my inexhaustible friend John, and a variety of super fun improvised sketches and shorts.
Last weekend I set off for New Jersey with a film crew from SVA and a ball of nerves rolling through my stomach. We were making a movie. A serious one. With a great script, and a lot of heart. And I had to rely on my acting chops instead of my gregarious personality and ability to make things up on the spot.
I’ll save the details for my journal. In short: it was a lot of work, and it wasn’t easy, but it was a lot fun.
In the passenger van on the way home, surrounded by a bunch of exhausted and wickedly sunburned college kids chatting excitedly about their upcoming shoots, I realized that one of the main differences in our collegiate experiences, besides the fact that I was in Iowa City and they are in New York City, is that they are actually, consistently working.
And dammit if I wasn’t inspired by that! I want to make more movies!