Don’t Stop Me Now

March 12, 2018 (Week One Complete!)

Hello again!

I’m sorry that it’s been so long since my last post! I flew into Seattle at around 9PM on the 2nd, which was somewhat of a miracle, actually. I had a 101.8° fever less than 24 hours before my flight! On top of that, less than an hour after I flew out of PHL, there was a blizzard that canceled most other flights. Finally, I had a 2.5-hour delay in Vegas because of poor wind conditions. In the end, however, I did make it to the house.

Anyway, what have I done since?

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I supported my aunt, who was a panelist at Emerald City Comic-Con. On a panel with four other voice over artists, she answered questions in relation to her work on games, such as Dota 2 and Halo among others. It was very inspiring to see the line that had formed waiting to hear her. In fact, many people weren’t able to as the room had reached its maximum capacity!

I went to two days of the TPS Unified General Auditions at Center Theatre. The first day was Equity day. By that, I mean that only Equity actors were present. You may be wondering: “What does ‘Equity’ mean?”

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“Equity” is actually short for Actors Equity Association, an actor union that deals mainly with stage acting. On the other hand, “SAG-AFTRA,” or the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, deals with screen acting. An actor union is essentially a third-party that assures that the relationship between the actor and the producer is mutually beneficial. Before their existence, actors found themselves mistreated by their producers, having to work ridiculous hours and missing job security. For a more comprehensive explanation, follow this link!

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The second day I went was Non-Union day, which was a contrast because the Non-Union actors had less experience, usually both in training and in performance, and it was evident. I learned from both experiences and will now share my impression of what worked and what didn’t work in those auditions.

  • Entrance
    • The entrance is all about commitment. I noticed two ways that worked.
      • 1. Don’t acknowledge the audience until you reach your spot, then introduce yourself and what pieces you will be sharing.
      • 2. Acknowledge the audience with a “hi,” “hey,” etc., then, while maintaining eye contact, reaching your spot and introducing yourself and what pieces you will be sharing.
      • Anything in between those two approaches, such as saying “hi” as you walk in, then turning away from the audience; going to your spot silently without acknowledging the audience, then saying “hi” at an awkward moment before you’d actually reached your spot; etc., did not work.
  • Performance
    • Everyone took a pause to get into character before beginning their first monologue/song. I think that was logical.
    • In choosing your monologues, remember quality over quantity. In a 2-3 minute audition, the number of pieces that worked best was two: one dramatic and one comedic. One did not allow for a display of one’s range of ability, while three typically came off as hurried. The audience doesn’t have enough time to care about your character or the story you tell.
    • In ordering your monologues (with the assumption that you followed the last step), present your comedic monologue before your dramatic monologue. It grabs the attention of the audience, which is lost when a dramatic piece is presented first. If doing a song, present that before a dramatic monologue.
    • Take a pause to indicate a switch between audition pieces
      • Do not say “scene,” “cut,” or anything related to that. Please.
  • Exit
    • Hopefully, you’ve timed yourself, so you won’t be cut off. In the off chance that you are, however, after hearing “thank you,” recognize that the audience is no longer engaged with your piece. Do not continue talking or show expressions of discontent. It will make you look unprofessional. Simply reply with a “thank you” and take your leave.
    • If you finish with time to spare, take a pause after your final piece, thank the audience and leave.
    • Leaving
      • Don’t run, but don’t take too much time either. A hurried walk with a casual face usually works well.

There are many small things within these tips that I didn’t mention, but that was a general idea of what I believed worked and didn’t work in the auditions. I hope you either found them interesting or informative!

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I was also able to sit in on a recording session with Harebrained Schemes in their upcoming game: Battletech. My aunt will be the main character, and while I would love to share more details, I have sworn to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

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I visited Endeavor One, a group of very skilled game developers who create Virtual Reality (VR) games. I interviewed Sherry Bain, who was very helpful in sharing her knowledge around the growing industry that is VR. After that, I had my first VR experience with the Halo: Recruit Demo that was recently released and can be found in Microsoft stores. While it was only about five minutes of content, it was very fun and left me wondering when the game would come out!

Finally, I’ve also watched a couple shows since I arrived. I will be posting separate theater reviews for those, so be on the lookout!

Thank you for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed!

Tray

Have You Ever Seen the Rain?

February 25, 2018 (Five Days Before My Flight!)

Hello everyone,

My name is Tray, and for my Senior Project, I will be going to Seattle, WA, to both observe and practice acting in all forms: anything from Shakespearean theater to modern virtual reality (VR). I will be staying with my aunt, Gin Hammond, a professional voice and stage actress, and her family from March 2 to March 23.

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Here are just a few things that I hope to accomplish with her guidance over the course of those three weeks:

  1. Intern under Jodi Rothfield, a prominent casting director in Seattle, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
  2. Observe/Participate in the TPS Unified General Auditions from March 5-8
  3. Prep college audition monologues
  4. Work on singing
  5. Do a one-day, on-camera training class at Seattle Children’s Theatre
  6. Shadow a member of the production staff at Seattle Repertory Theatre
  7. Create an additional reel (my commercial reel is below) 
  8. See lots and lots of shows!!

I don’t want to reveal too much, but I plan on posting pretty frequently (I’ll figure out a schedule soon).

I look forward to bringing you all along for the ride!

Tray