Monday, December 14, 2009

Invitational Character Reality Check - 12/09

A two day seminar at Voicetrax SF with Natanya, focusing on characters, character scripts and how your efforts play in the fields of competitiveness. I've taken a couple of other workshops with her, and as always, Nantanya manages to hone in on the one or two things that your performance needs to really soar. She always provides feedback of the highest caliber.

The class started a few weeks ago, actually. We had to send in 5 character scripts in advance, which she went through and evaluated. This was an excellent exercise in itself, as finding good contemporary scripts which both challenge and present you well is an excellent task.

There were three basic "rounds" over the two days. We listened to a couple of everyone's "auditons" and she went through her notes publicly, talking about the good, the bad and the ugly. There were definitely some common themes - pitfalls almost everyone succumbed to. But, I won't go into detail here, as those lessons are probably best learned individually.

After the playback and critiques, we received a couple new scripts from Natanya, got a chance to digest them, and then started diving into the booth. The scripts were very diverse, from contemporary films to television shows and games for very specific viewing audiences. It was an excellent chance to quickly create a character and then gear the presentation for the needs of the script. It also demanded a quick change between the characters, as each person read their second scripts immediately following the first.

The emphasis of the class focused on really taking these performances and making them competitive. The level of the students was quite high - competency was assumed - so it became a matter of specific tweaks. Sometimes it was just finding something different in the performance, other times it was a different choice in the fundamental approach. It was inspiring to see everyone react so quickly to the feedback and hit the mark.

After three rounds of listen/perform, she had us grab a script which had been given to someone else and use that. It was a good opportunity to show off some stuff which hadn't been demonstrated earlier. I think that may have been the most fun round for everybody - Natanya included.

Another superb, high-level character class. Nice.

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