I am currently taking the Feature Film Boot Camp class at Actors Connection, taught by Jandiz Estrada, casting director for Mackey/Sandrich Casting. The class is working to push me to the next level of my acting ability, and it is both scary and exciting! Baz Luhrmann's Sunscreen Song was right: it is worth it to "do one thing every day that scares you."
The first week, Jandiz got me on indicating. If you are not an actor, that means showing the audience what you are doing instead of actually doing it. I was pretty bummed after that, but with the help of friends (shout out to Boggie, Virginia, and Neil) and time spent in prayer (shout out to Jesus), I came back strong and faced my fears with the scene for the second week. This time, I found a new kind of freedom that I've been looking for in my acting. The big thing I learned: If I remember that acting is not everything, and I don't take myself or acting too seriously, then, ironically, I can act to the best of my ability, the way I have it in me to act.
Jandiz has been saying that in this class, we will work on developing our own system of preparation for roles. Here's how I prepared last week before class in order to not take things too seriously: I ate unabashedly in front of everyone on the subway, made sure to drink the Dr. Pepper that came with my Chinese taco stand meal (knowing that it would produce burps and that this would fit the scene, which I thought of as taking place after dinner), and decidedly did not walk down the streets of Manhattan to get to class as though I was a beautiful, aloof actress/goddess on the pages of People magazine, but rather just as myself, as Elizabeth, messiness, imperfect posture, and all.
And it worked! I am learning so many life lessons from acting. Very grateful to have the chance to pursue this calling.