martes, 3 de septiembre de 2013

Interviews with students of the Buenos Aires Stage and Camera Workshop

 What do the students feel about their progress at the workshop on theatre and acting before cameras which began in Buenos Aires three months ago? We have asked them their opinions and here are some of the answers:

Demian Renzulli:

 What led you decide to participate in the theatre workshop?

I needed to speak  English regularly, because my work requires it. While living abroad for a while I found out that speaking with native people is a quite different experience from studying the language at an institute. When I would return to BA and stop speaking in English for a couple of months, I'd feel I was losing touch with that spontaneity you need to sound natural.
I also watch theatre plays regularly and I love reading. Some of my favorite writers (Wilde, Amis, Bukowski) wrote in English. I  was curious about experimenting with something completely new when I heard about the workshop. I considered it to be the best way to connect up all of these things..

 Do you feel this experience has improved your English? Has it increased your knowledge about acting and creativity?

I have always admired the work of many famous actors and heard stories about guys like Day Lewis or Dustin Hoffman who go very far out to get into the skin of the characters they represent. I always found that very interesting but at the same time, a bit hard to believe.

After taking some classes and having a glimpse of what the process involves, I understand that it's not just memorizing a few lines and going to stage trying to look convincing. The whole thing includes a bit of technique, creativity, and specially team work; it's really hard to achieve good results at the end of the process.

Concerning English, I think tjhis is a good combination bringing together reading and speaking. You likewise learn a lot by listening to your fellow actors, observing how each actor handles the different situations, specially while improvising.

Does doing both theatre and acting in front of cameras produce confusion or uncertainity? Which do you prefer and why?

I find it a bit harder to do it in front of cameras. The notion about ignoring that object that's always pointing at you as if it wasn't there, is a bit confusing, really. You also have to control your body and be careful with your voice and watch out for other noises.

In movies, you can take a shot many times and perhaps the final product depends more on the director: he decides how many takes will be made and which will finally go into the movie.
On the contrary, in theatre I think there's more freedom. Also, what people finally enjoy (or not), depends mainly on the actors and what happens in real time. If you mess up you can't go back and do it again.

I think from the point of view of an actor, I would say that I prefer theatre but even so I find it very interesting to learn about filmaking and all that stuff.


 What led you to participate in the theatre workshop?
My love for the English language along with a need I felt to enhance my ability to express myself better –in any language- was what made me decide to participate in the theatre workshop. As a journalist, I have always enjoyed reading British/American news articles. Besides, I like contemporary English literature (particularly authors such as David Lodge and Philip Roth, who write satires). As before taking up this workshop, I had never attended theatre classes, I thought (and still think) that in a foreign language I might be able to lose my inhibitions more easily. In a word, joining the theatre workshop is part of a personal quest for both enjoyment and self-development.   

 Do you feel this experience has improved your English? Has it increased your knowledge about acting and creativity?
While I didn’t take this workshop in order to improve my English, it certainly has helped! As regards my knowledge about acting, this is my first experience, so I know that there’s a long way left to run. However, I feel that I immediately experienced an improvement in my creativity. The activities in the workshop have helped me a lot to be less stuck in my ways and become more mindful of everyday life (perhaps looking for ideas to perform better)!

 Does doing both theatre and acting in front of cameras produce confusion or uncertainity? Which do you prefer and why?

It’s been quite difficult for me to act in front of cameras, particularly because of my complete lack of experience in “ordinary” acting. I guess that, as soon as I learn the basics (which is taking me quite a long time!), I will enjoy it. Anyway this experience is going to be very useful for my professional career –as a journalist—I mean learning how to act in front of cameras can obviously be important for journalists!  Nevertheless, for now I think I prefer developing my skills in for acting on stage. But one never knows. Maybe later on I will change my mind!


What made you decide to participate in the theatre workshop?

I started loving theatre at a very early age, when I attended an English school where our school plays were all in English. After I finished School I started began studying theatre in different Theatre Schools and also took some seminaries. However, when I heard about the possibility to act in front of cameras in English, I wanted to try it because it would give me the opportunity to do what I had done in school but now as a grown-up. As I don´t often use the language now, this is an opportuity to freshen up or  practice my English in the way I most enjoy, through acting. I think this workshop will also be important for my my acting CV.

Do you feel this experience has improved your English? Has it increased your knowledge about acting and creativity?
 In my case, I’m not sure if it has improved my English but it has helped to  keep in practice and use the language well. Concerning the acting aspect, I think I’m learning  how to act in front of cameras, as I feel I am already attached to the theatrical way of acting. For example, I’m getting more used to the idea of economizing my actions and facial expressions. Sometimes I´m really afraid of exaggerating things, and maybe before the camera things must be a bit more “bigger” in order for the spectator to notice those actions and reactions. The idea of the workshop is to learn by playing, to play in order to find the character we are working on, so exaggerating things is part of the exploration we carry out in working on  our characters.  

Does doing both theatre and acting in front of cameras produce confusion or uncertainty? Which do you prefer and why?

I love the idea of being in front of cameras, always did. But now that I have the experience of both theatre and cameras, I really enjoying it and believe it´s useful for my acting overall experience. Of the two I realize I prefer theatre, because that´s what I always have always done.I feel more comfortable and have always enjoyed being there at that exact moment, all the feelings it provokes and the public in front of us. I prefer the whole story taking place right there, than filming on scenes. Of course I understand that´s how it is working with cameras and find it interesting and can benifit from mis stakes; yet I prefer to improvise something fast on the moment if I’ve made a mistake and carry on, because solving issues on stage is part of being a theatre actor. 

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