Jack Price wrote and directed these links for the Oscar Nominated Short film feature release. Its tough working with animals.
A different way of learning lines.
I personally find that learning lines through repetition and writing doesn't work well for me - I am dyslectic. I have studied methods and through both watching documentaries and visiting trainers like Claire Salter http://dyslexia-unlocked.com/about.html I have found a method that works.
The technique below is called Anchoring or the Loci technique, I have tried lots of other ways of learning lines and this is fastest for me.
It is one of the oldest and best methods in history.
1. Find a piece of text you want to learn.
2. Get some post-it notes and a dictaphone which you can record your speech into and play it back. Most smart phones have this function.
3. Record your speech flat, without excess intonation, not robotic just a flat read, with no manufactured performance.
4. Now take the first line of your speech, for example "He's blue…he isn't breathing" and write on a post-it note a memory trigger word such as "DEAD". When you read "DEAD" on a post it note, it will make you think of the line, "He's blue…he isn't breathing".
5. Place this note on the wall of a room, or on a chair or on a bookshelf (any place in space) and say the line out loud "He's blue…he isn't breathing" see the word on the note and step along the wall/floor/carpet.... You now continue with the next line, for example "wake up, for Gods sake wake brother" you might write " RISE" on a post-it note to make the connection to waking up or you might find something else works better.
Place this note on the wall, repeat the line and take another step. Now do the same with the next line and the next... repeat this for the whole speech, this may fill your house with post-it notes, depending on how much you need to learn. Artistole learned 3 hour speeches this way. When you have finished you will have a physical memory map which you can walk around in your imagination.
6. Next using your dictaphone recording of your speech, start at the beginning of your walk and see you first trigger word, for example"DEAD". Try to remember your first line, say it out loud, now play it back, to check you got it right. If its wrong repeat the line out loud to embed the right text. Now move on and say the next line looking at the trigger note, for example " RISE" now check it back from the recording, and the next and the next. This method can also be used to play in cue lines from other performers.
7. Walk around your memory room and keep repeating the learning process, try using the tape recorder less. The words will begin to slip in quickly.
8. You will soon be able to see the memory room in your mind, you will be able to walk around the space and see the anchors/trigger words on the post it notes, they will allow you to have a physical map of the text as you say the words.
9. After a short period you will begin to know the text "by heart" and this will free your performance allowing you to not think about the next line, it will just appear in your mind.
The method of loci memory technique was first described in written form in a Roman treatise on rhetoric called ad Herennium, but it also made appearances in treatises by Cicero and Quintilian. It’s an extremely effective mnemonic device and is still used by memory champions like Joshua Foer, author of the recent book, Moonwalking With Einstein.
The Tobacco Factory are running workshops for 14-19yr olds with the lovely Liz Hague. Check the link below to book.
Reading again Peter Brooks "The Shifting Point" I was inspired to hunt for footage of the improvisations his group did in Africa. Here is a wonderful film showing in detail some of that ground breaking work.
The Youth Cinema Foundation launched in Bruton on Thursday 4th September. The course was massively oversubscribed. Interest in the course has come from as far a field as Bath, Chippenham and Swindon, with students even traveling from Bristol. The effort students put into auditions was impressive and, as we embark on the sessions, these young actors are leaping into 150 years of performance study, learning techniques derived from Russian born Constantin Stanislavski via the Group Theatre, and New Yorker, Sandford Meisner. The course will run until Summer 2015 and in the final months the students will feature in films created to showcase their talent. These will be screened at Hauser and Wirth, Somerset. The rehearsal space is at Sexeys School Drama Studios in Bruton, Somerset. All tutors are DBS checked.
The film that inspired more dystopian visions than any other in the last 50 years has somehow ended up on youtube in the original french. A film made using black and white photos apart from a single famous motion picture shot. Chris Marker was an extraordinary filmmaker whose work was the subject of a recent retrospective at the Whitechapel Gallery.
I had the pleasure of hanging out with Mathew Modine in LA in December 2013. I was filming for the Oscar Nominated Shorts 2014. Mathew spoke about many things from his own film work, working with Kubrick and also this wonderful clip about Stella Adler, the legendary acting teacher.
Oliver Reed teaches us the Heavy. Very funny!