I think acting is a lot like cooking with spices; you can always add more, but you can't really take any away.
Once you go over the top and give too much, it's hard to bring yourself back down. Even directors have rules with their actors, making sure they say to take it down to a really low level when they're getting too intense with an action, and they can adjust the energy from a lower level to the exact way they want it far more easily.
I may also have mentioned this before, but I read a book by David Mamet last month and he made good points about how actors are trained and why they go to school. I completely agreed with practically everything he wrote; about how objectives, method acting, specific techniques and all the "stuff" that actors learn in school can end up being completely useless. You're either a good actor, or you're not, and the fact that so many great actors of today had certain training, could merely be a coincidence. Acting is "merely pretending" and when we get overly technical about it, it doesn't make us any better. He did note that taking a few acting classes is a good thing to learn about the business and how to hone in on your own skills, but the most important thing to do if you want to be acting is to get your ass out there and work.
Tonight I had a callback for a show at UMass that, if put on my resume, would be a benefit for when I get out of Amherst. That, and I think as an actor who's always wanted to do something serious, it's some serious shit and would be fantastic to work with. But it's also very intense and R-rated; something I wouldn't invite my parents to.
Last night when I went to try out, it was literally a split-second decision. I hadn't read the play, and I also hadn't thought I would even be noticed. The entire time during my audition and my callback, I was reminding myself of everything Mamet said about "merely pretending". If you're an actor, you should read this book "True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor" because it's amazing. It really got me out of my own head when I'm trying to perform a piece.
If I don't get the part, (which I'm thinking I may not) I will graduate in May as a UMass theater student that was never in a UMass production. When I went to Kent, I was in four shows. I doubt that my not being casted has to do with my lack of talent when considering the results of moving elsewhere for a while. Although I will admit, it's fucking depressing.
So I'm just going to put this in God's hands and see what happens. I want to work, I want to work hard, and I want to be noticed for that work. I guess I'm not a good fit where I am, and it's all the more reason for me to do bigger and better things when I get out of school. I have to stop worrying about the opinions of people that are actually on the same level as I am, they just got lucky in our current status as students. Auditioning is 10% talent, and 90% of what they're looking for (and explaining the ornate details of the business and why that is, will be for another future post my friends).
Actor Anthony Hopkins praised True And False as "[demolishing] the myths and the psychobabble-gobbledygook that pass for theory with regard to acting" and described it as "a revealing book of the highest order"