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People, by nature, have some interesting things to say. Here are some of my things. Some about acting. All about living ...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I'm fascinated by the acting process.

A few days ago, I mentioned my agent got me an audition for a video game company.

I didn't sign an NDA with the company, but I make it a habit not to inappropriately blab any details a potential or actual client hasn't told me I could.

Just know they're casting now, the Xbox 360 is out, and the PlayStation 3 is coming (someday). Hmm ...

The particular role for which I auditioned was the "Bombardier". (Before you start complaining about YAMG (Yet Another Military Game), remember Call of Duty 2 owns 75% of new Xbox 360 owners, and the title showed console and PC owners there's still room for compelling offerings in the genre. Besides, the game audition occurred in a specific setting I haven't seen done yet).

Anyway, this isn't about that -- this is about me trying to figure out my acting process. It's kind of like the Johnny Depp find-pieces-that-work-for-me-for-each-process-and-methodology-I-explore. And explore a lot.

So what was the process?

It was the character description. It was all of the other character descriptions, which told me loads about me, gave me pegs for hanging choices about my character and my place in the pecking order and the way I could run interactions.

There was me going all Memphis Belle on the script, because I'm so keen on the film, the B-17 Flying Fortress, and that portrayal of a bombardier.

I also did my typical several pages of character worksheets, figuring out my wants and needs, codes of conduct, stakes, choices, and a couple dozen other things important to me (and therefore, any character I channel). These scripts are hybrid of stuff I've learned from my film coach Van Brooks, my longtime voice coach Lainie Frasier, and my standby voice acting tome, The Art of Voice Acting, written by James Alburger (with whom I recently started studying).

I even found an aviator's dictionary, so I could break down the air force acronyms and their importance as used in the script.

Then there was the script itself. I re-wrote to the lines -- mine and everybody else's -- to put them in a whole new place in my head.

I pulled all sorts of details -- like the updated, specific model of the plane -- from the script. I researched things like that; its particular strengths and weaknesses, and what it would mean if those were compromised, and how scary that would be to the crew.

I wood shopped all of that info up through the night before the audition, then put it away.

The day of the audition, I borrowed a bomber jacket from a guy who served in the air force. I showed up for the audition with the game's creative director and the casting director, and the former said, "perfect jacket."

Look the part. Be the part.

A lot of work? Hell yeah. Worth it? Hell yeah!

I enjoyed the audition. I feel good about it.

I may not get it. Maybe they won't like my sound. Maybe they won't like my look (seriously, voice talent lose gigs for looks). Maybe I had an off day. Maybe they think I tried to hard. Maybe I over prepared.

Maybe I will get it.

Doesn't matter. Like a small business owner who has got to at least put in the effort to draft an initial business plan, for me -- where I am now -- I need to do this much homework, knowing I may not get the part.

And the process, the playing, is hard. Really hard. But it's rewarding.

And that's my current acting process, which I'm still trying to figure out.

Who knows -- I may actually get the gig.

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