Thursday, December 16, 2010

Antoine Dodson--Can teach us all a lesson on acting for the camera!

imgres.jpgLet me say that if Antoine Dodson can become world re-known by his realities, then the reality is there is absolutely no way we shouldn't be re-known from ours.... acting skills that is!

Probably the best way to become known from the craft of acting is by just being yourself! As actors we spend so much time trying to "be" a character, whom we know nothing about, that we get caught up in the "creative process". What we forget to do is bring ourselves to each role to humanize the character. Bringing yourself to the role, allows for your character to live through your natural essence. The character may be living through certain situations that you are unfamiliar with, but in these instances, you should draw from who you are. Asking yourself questions like, "what would I do in this situation", "If I lived in this environment, how would I talk, walk, dress?" or "how would I feel if this were to happen to me?" These are just a few ways to humanize your characters you play. Let's take Antoine Dodson for instance, his circumstances were that his sister had been attacked by a would-be rapist who tried to come through her window, but she was a fighter and fought off the attacker. Antoine and his sister lived in the projects, in Alabama. Now if we were to get a script with the the same exact circumstances that brought Antoine to speak to the news reporters, would we automatically assume this script was a comedy? Would we play the comedy in it? How would we talk, dress, or deliver his famous speech, "Hide your wife, Hide your kids...."! More importantly, what emotional state would we live in? Because in Antoine's world, he was 100% serious! For Antoine, the stakes were high and he didn't find this situation funny one bit. Although I'm sure now that he is in his new home and is looking back in retrospect, he finds some delight in what would seem a tragic situation, but still for him this was tragic at that time.
For me, watching Antoine was a reality check. We have to embrace characters the same way we would in our real world. The person watching your work should relate to the human side of you as they are watching your perform; how you endow your circumstances and personalize them. We shouldn't want to simply mimic what we "think" our character is feeling, but believe it or not, this happens way too often.
If you haven't seen the video, take a quick look at it below, (for those of you outside of the 60 million viewers who have already viewed it), and think on this: if you were playing a character, similar to Antoine's, with a similar situation and lifestyle, but without having a you-tube video to refer too- only a script, how would you prepare and play the role? My answer is we have to draw from our reality and what we woulda, coulda, and shoulda done if we were in this situation! Just for ish and giggles let's do Antoine's monologue! Personalize this for yourself. I wonder what it would change into. Ha! It might be a powerful monologue....imagine that!

Btw, I think it is amazing that he is on Wikipedia! Seriously Wikipedia! This guy has made history. And I will too!

Enjoy it and make it your own monologue! Ha!


Here is the video:

Here is the song:

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