For year 2015
Friday, April 10, 2015:
FOR ALL ACTORS:
One of the most effective things you can do as an actor is to be so real that your partner, audience, director, producer, etc., can't tell whether you're acting or really talking as yourself. Cultivating such a level of “realness” is so scary-awesome, as it creates a seamless performance and it gives the appearance that you are speaking with no trace of acting. This is one of the greatest gifts that you can give to the entire production,
The bravest “act” an actor can do is to be a “blank canvas” and exist moment-by-moment, just like life! In life, you truly don’t know what the person you’re talking to is going to say or do. You can achieve this dynamic on stage or on screen as well. Some actors protest and say that the script prevents that sense of wonder and spontaneity. If you really are in the moment, emotionally full but allowing yourself to be a blank canvas which responds truthfully to what’s happening before you, you really will respond in an organic manner as if you don’t know what you’re partner is going to say or do. By allowing yourself to live moment by moment in the scene, you can create a combined sense of fear, uncertainty, and the unknown—all of which are so captivating to watch.
Here is a good exercise: Call a friend, family member, or acquaintance and let them know you’re going to play a little game as you have the phone conversation. The game is that you’re going to interject lines of dialogue into the conversation but you’re not going to tell them when you’re doing it. The challenge is to see if the person on the other line can tell when you’re reading the text and when you’re really speaking to them. The person you’re talking to only has to engage in the conversation with you, and call bullshit when they see it, or if something seems like interjected dialogue (from your script) or simply inauthentic. I guarantee this session will make you more aware of when you’re being real and fully engaged with emotional fullness and when you’re not.
Sunday, March 1, 2015: Assumptions and Expectations sent to all.
I gave a copy of this last Saturday, regarding expectations and assumptions. I wrote this 2003, I just updated and revised it to make it more readable. I usually ask actors to read this before accepting a role:
Expectations and Assumptions by Sam Younghans
Expectations and assumptions in real life and in relationships usually lead to disappointment. However, in the theatre there are basic expectations and assumptions. I would like to clarify some of those basics, so that we may have an enjoyable, friendly, united production. Most actors know these commitments innately.
It is assumed that an actor is dedicated and committed to the production and the other cast members:
Dedication has many meanings, but in terms of the theatre it means to earnestly give of your self to the production. When you are dedicated; you learn your lines, you are punctual, and you extend courtesy to your fellow actors. Most of the top professionals are dedicated.
Commitment also has many meanings, but again, in terms of theatre it means you stick with it. All parts are equally important. If you think your role is too small for you; chances are, you are too small for the role. When you commit to a production, you place that as top priority and you don’t audition for another production or take a part in another play - because you got a "bigger part.”
People, who are not committed, soon have a reputation, and directors will not use them. If you don’t feel right with a production, don’t accept the part. Accepting the part is stating your commitment, If you do accept it, with the feeling that you can always drop out, then you are cheating the director and your fellow actors.
If friends come from out of town for a visit, bring them to the rehearsal or leave them at home, but attend the rehearsal. I know of one lady (I can’t call those people actors) who missed a rehearsal to attend an audition. She said she didn’t want the part, just the experience of auditioning. She soon left the production.
Direction and Directors: A good director schedules rehearsals so that actors can get work done and not stand around. It cannot always be helped, but it is expected of actors in those instances to work on their lines, keep quiet and listen to the director. Attending the performance goes without saying (I said it).
Actors are expected to:
If you feel this is too much for you, do something else. Spare those who are dedicated and committed
- Learn their lines – be off book two weeks or more before dress rehearsal.
- Prepare before performances and rehearsals - Vocal and physical warm ups, character thought, etc. Directors expect the actors to bring something in with them to rehearsals (a sign of preparation). If he is a secure director, he will be open to suggestions and listen to the actors, as the actors should listen to the director. We are always learning!
- Be on time - Punctuality is respect for everyone in the production, as well as respect for your self. Time is valuable to everyone involved. Being late undermines the production and is unforgivable. Most professionals are not late. If you know you are going to be late, show some respect and call in, so that everyone will know what is happening.
- Be sincere - Sincerity does not mean that you must be HEAVY. Humor does not mean that you are not serious. Everyone enjoys working in an atmosphere of professionalism, and professionalism does not have to be HEAVY.
- Teamwork – Teamwork is important! Respect, compassion, and humility are the markings of greatness.
Saturday, February 21, 2015
We had a most entertaining and joyful meeting this Morning. Two new ladies joined our group, who are both perfect for the roll of Gertrude in “Can You See Him Now?” – actually they could fill any of the roles.
We opened the Workshop with our usual ring, sending love and good energy to the middle of the earth in order to bubble out all ever the world and the Universe. Declared our vow to listen and believe. Then after our vocal exercise, we started our monologues, followed by script reading. The important part is that we all had fun and laughter.
Thursday, February 12th, 2015:
Yesterday, February 11th, the “Ashland Acting Wizard Workshop” presented the play “Can You See Him Now?” a comedy in two acts, at the Ashland Senior Center; the response was very gratifying. The cast had to wait at times until the laughter died down. I must say the actors, Dough and Sandra Barber, and Michele Ann Mareck were great. They got to see what the Workshop could do for them. The audience stood and applauded after each scene (5 scenes). When it was over memebers of the audience came up and told us how much they enjoyed the play and their performances. I was very proud of them, and I was happy to see everyone enjoying and laughing throughout the play.
For those who were not there; we are performing two Thursday nights at the Ashland Elks Lodge #944 , starting March 19th and March 26th , at 6:30 pm. We hope you can attend. There is no charge; you will be guests of Sam Younghans. Tell them that at the door. Please invite your friends.
Besides seeking a male in his mid twenties for the role of Ralph, I am also talking to a few venues for space to present it with five characters in the very near future. We are meeting again Saturday at ten am. Hope to see you there.
Greetings and Happy New Year.
I am happily, back in Ashland. We start our workshop again on Saturday, January 24th at 10:00 am. Looking forward to seeing all of your smiling faces. I will tell you then about our scheduled appearances in February and in March.
For year 2014
Monday, November 3, 2014:
We are progressing, while still having fun and entertainment. The monologues are developing; Ezra, our youngest (8), danced for us, and recited Hamlets’s speech to his player without script. the improvisation skits are funny and lively. We dropped the drama, and read “straight” the new scripts I brought in. (A first reading). We used the dance floor and comfortable chairs on the second floor, because of an Elks event planned for our regular meeting place. We will meet in our regular place this coming Saturday.
As I said before; we are now the Wizard Workshop, with a Meetup page, besides our own page. To the Meetup Page:
To the Wizard Workshop page:
http://www.bogwig.com/act/ActWorkshop.html - From this page you can get to the blogs or notices. If you want to leave a comment I will post it, Use one of the contact forms:
One last link to the page that gives advice to actors:
http://www.parsec-santa.com/actor/actorsadvice.html This is on my other site www. parsec-santa.com.
Have fun, and enjoy, while you, be here now.
Thursday, October 30, 2014:
Since our last meet, I decided to use my own web site (bogwig.com/act) to post to people. Meetup’s site does not give much interaction possibilities. After I write something I can’t find it - I don’t know if it was posted or not, thus the emails and my own site with Wizard Workshop Blogs.
If you want to make a comment I will post it on the blog page, or if there are many comments I will create a Comments page. I posted a Notice on my site about the Holidays, you might want to read it. www.bogwig.com/act will get you there.
See you Saturday for more fun and entertainment. Oh, one other thing, This coming Saturday the Elks is having an event, so we will meet on the second floor, on the dance floor in the dining room. the lower door will be open, ride the elevator or walk two flights to the second floor.
Saturday, October 25, 2014:
This morning was another fun filled two hours. Little eight year old, Ezra was at a party with his Mother - we missed him. My daughter, Candace, joined us with her Mother, Michele Ann, who was an actor, who toured Europe with famous Living Theatre. We did all of the things that give us entertainment and fun. Doug and Sandra were great in their reading of my play, along with Michele Ann, Candace’s Mother, who read with Doug and Sandra. We had another new Player join us, whose name is
Last week when Pistachio was at our meeting, he gave me an idea for our workshop. Since some players may have experience, and also have monologues they would like to brush up on in front of an audience, I plan to allow time for them to get the opportunity to try it out in the workshop. That’s Entertainment.
Something new! While living in Sonoma, California in 1975, I formed two groups; one called The Wizard Workshop. We produced The Saga of Sonoma, and involved the community in helping construct sets and many other things. The Saga had a large cast and we produced it on the lawn of a church just on the outskirts of the city of Sonoma. The other group was an acting class of young people, and I called them my Mini-Players. Both groups were very successful in their endeavors to bring the community together and produce shows for their entertainment. One large successful show was called the Music Hall, Medicine Show, which involved many of the people of Sonoma. We ran a haunted house in a large building behind the Community Center, again involving the community.
SO, the thought came to me this morning, at our workshop, to rename our group. Guess what I am calling it? ACTING WIZARD WORKSHOP. The Goal: To entertain and bring the community together.
Playwrights interested in having their script read, please contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, October 18, 2014:
Today was great. We had three new Players; Rita, Chloe, and Pistachio. We had a late start, so I briefed them on our start-up exercises (as with any production, being on time is very important, and shows respect for your fellow players.) and then we did our monologues (Hamlet’s speech to his players.), followed by improvisation, and then we wrapped it up with some script reading. We read a play I wrote “Can You See Him Now?” Ezra kept us on the track of having fun, by dancing and singing with Pistachio. It was a very pleasurable morning.
I want to remind you that this workshop is a place to entertain and be entertained. We are committed to having fun. If any of you have any suggestions or request, I am always open to listen. Any good director should always listen to his players, and be open to suggestions.
I am sending you the first part of “Hamlet’s Speech to the Players.” This will be our first monologue that we will learn. While we are working on that, I would like each of you to start building a one-minute monologue of your own. You choose the subject and have fun with it, by bringing in a unique character or attitude.
Here is the first part of the speech:
Hamlet: Speak the speech I pray you as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand thus, but use all gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. Oh, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb-shows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant — it out-Herods Herod. Pray you avoid it.
You will do this with different characters and attitudes.
Looking forward to our next meeting.
Have fun, and keep laughing!
Thursday, September 25, 2014:
I am sending you the first part of “Hamlet’s Speech to the Players.” This will be our first full monologue that we will learn. While we are working on that, I would like each of you to start building a one-minute monologue of your own. You choose the subject and have fun with it. Here is the first part of the speech:
Hamlet: Speak the speech I pray you as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand thus, but use all gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. Oh, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb-shows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant — it out-Herods Herod. Pray you avoid it. . Looking forward to our next meeting.
Have fun, and keep laughing!
Wednesday, September 24, 2014:
Last Saturday was exceptionally interesting. We had our usual exercises, and monologue practice. Eight year old, Ezra then stole the stage with his improvisations, and actions. Besides the usual fun and laughter, playwright Ruth Wire, a Member of the Board of the Directors of the Ashland Contemporary Theatre visited us. She brought some sides to a play she had written. John, one of our members read with Ruth. We have been reading sides before, but this is the first time a playwright attended, and joined us in a reading. I am going to keep it in the act. If you know any playwrights that would like to have their sides read; have them contact me, and we will schedule them in for a reading.
Post to ACT at Facebook:
Wednesday, September 24, 2014:
Greetings from Ashland’s free acting workshop:
Last Saturday was exceptionally interesting. We had our usual exercises, and monologue practice. Eight year old, Ezra then stole the stage with his improvisations, and actions. Besides the usual fun and laughter, playwright Ruth Wire, a Member of the Board of the Directors of the Ashland Contemporary Theatre visited us. She brought some sides to a play she had written. John, one of our members read with Ruth. We have been reading sides before, but this is the first time a playwright attended, and joined us in a reading. I am going to keep it in the act. If you know any playwrights that would like to have their sides read; have them contact me, and we will schedule them in for a reading. Looking forward to our next meeting, 10am Saturday morning at the Ashland Elks Lodge. Use rear entrance. Contact: Sam @ (714)0 330-2135
Friday, September 19, 2014:
Tomorrow, after we warm up with our vocal and dance exercises, we will run through our monologues, and then practice some improve before working on our scripts. You are all improving. Remember your two basic workshop rules; listen and believe. You have already proven the importance of those rules. Looking forward to another fun filled two hours. The quickest and easiest way to learn is to have fun. Laughing helps you stay healthy while learning. So, smile and be happy until we meet again.
Saturday, September 6, 2014:
We read script today. Cold readings are a part of auditions, so we worked on cold readings. There were plenty of laughs. Both Sandra and Doug did great presentations of the monologue from Hamlet. We missed John and Ezra; they were both out of town this weekend. See you next Saturday.
Thursday, September 4, 2014:
The workshop is developing, and we are having fun. Last Saturday, we had the full stage to work on. They are going to keep it clear for us. John suggested that we do some work with scripts. So this week we will have fun polishing our cold readings of sides, from scripts that I have prepared. I have some scripts that I have used in the past, that I will bring this Saturday. It will be similar to Neal Simone’s comedies. It should be a lot of fun.
I wanted to add that it has been a pleasure working with our group. There is definitely a bond, and caring for each other. A good example is the young lad, Ezra. He is eight years old. He came to us when we first started. He was shy and sensitive. Everyone worked with him. Now, with the new stage, we have a new Ezra. He now, not only does great improvisations, he also, dances and sings as well. I was very proud of him.
Looking forward to a fun Saturday.
July 12, 2014: This past Saturday was my first workshop at the Ashland Elks Lodge. It went very well. Seven humans (3 children – 4 adults.) turned out. We started with a circle to unite us as one, to bring our energies together, to strengthen us as a group, and to share with the universe. We worked towards the unity of teamwork, learning, helping each other, and having fun. Our first workshop ran about an hour and fifty minutes; with a five-minute break. I felt very inspired by those seven humans. I was still in pain from my accident, but it was soon forgotten. Later that evening I received emails from all, thanking me for a good experience, and that they would see me again this coming Saturday. All I can say is, “Thank You!”
Friday, August 8, 2014: Tomorrow at 10:am is the workshop. I have copied a short monologue for us to work on along with the other items. We have some new people who have called regarding the workshop. It will grow with people who are really interested in acting and having fun while doing it. Looking forward to seeing you there.
Thursday, August 7, 2014: Last Saturday the fun began. We did improvisation with character development along with a wee bit of dancing. There were many laughs and we had fun. This Saturday we will add learning and presenting monologues.
If there is another event happening in the basement, we will use the dance area on the second floor. Come prepared to have fun. Don’t forget; one of our members, Cat Gould, is doing a performance August 14th; flyer attached.
I started out to produce my play “Cancel Christmas” in Ashland, but obstacles kept it from happening. I knew there was a reason, but didn’t know what it was. Then I decided to just teach children acting and forget the production. I got the approval from the Elks Lodge to use their stage. Then I was in the Senior Center, and I remembered the intergenerational class I held in the Oasis Senior Center in Corona Del Mar, CA. I should be teaching seniors also. I spoke to Christine, the lady in charge and she liked the idea. Then it came to me to teach all ages, thus the poster, and I see my path.
Six people have signed up, and I don’t have any fliers out yet.