Posts Tagged ‘reading’

Screenplay Reading

I finally got to hear a reading of my screenplay out loud by voices other than those in my head! Yay! I received some great feedback that will be helpful towards my final script. I haven’t had a chance to work on it yet because I’ve been so busy with the Taste Better Wit show. Now that it’s over, I can move forward with my next project – grant writing. I need to figure out how I am going to get money to make this short film. I have a lot of good things going for this film so far.

1) The topic is related to negative body image. I’d like to bring light to a topic that I’ve been concerned about for a very long time. Magazines, fashion, television, & movies all tend to worship the “skinny bitch” image for women and I don’t condone it. I know I am always trying to lose weight but there’s a difference between doing it for health or for happiness.

2) I have a fantastic comedian as the director. He’s actually my favorite comedian, Kevin Camia. I approached him about the idea and since he’s a professional in comedy, he will be guiding me on the final script and directing it! What a dream this is.

3) I have the full support of my friends. Roles I need to fill: Music composer-check. Band-check. Makeup artist-check. Choreographer-check. Producer-check. Assistant director-check. Now, all I need is to hold an audition and get some actors, then do a call out for crew when I’m ready.

4) Cameo time from one of my favorite comedians! I was inspired & wanted to write in a quick character in my script based on a character that one of my favorite comedians created. However, the only person I could see playing that part was him. So I hit him up somehow and he said he was definitely open to it because he had never done that before. Yay!! Imagine my enthusiasm when he told me that. I don’t want to reveal who it is because I don’t want to jinx myself so I’ll just be keeping my fingers crossed.

Other than that, life is treating me well and I am extremely excited for things to come. It’s a lot of hard work but the payoff is astoundingly rewarding.

Strength Onstage

Finally read the monologue to others tonight. I rewrote it again all the way up to the last minute at work today. It took a lot out of me to share it as it was based on a true event. Of course, this was only a first test run, not the actual show so I hadn’t memorized it. No one had ever heard it yet, not even the women’s group I’m working with. They heard the original version but not the rewrite. I hope people liked it. It’s still a work in progress so I recorded it so that I could hear it as an audience member. My goal is to tell my story and hope that listeners can go through my emotions with me. Hopefully, I’ll get there by October. Thank god for art. Without it, I wouldn’t have any outlet to relieve my pain.

Violated. Restraint. Support.

I’m going to work on getting rid of the double chin.

Reading, Breathing, Being

I spent the greater part of my evening last night practicing a Pilipino accent. It was in preparation for the Stories High Stage Reading I have to do tonight. It’s just a few lines but the lines I do have, they make me feel awkward. I know as an actress, you have to be professional about everything but I can’t help but feel almost as if I’m making fun of Filipinos. If I were Filipino, I might feel more comfortable but since I’m not, it just makes me feel like I’m derogatorizing the entire people. I know that’s not a word but it makes sense to me right now so I have to use it.

Why is it that I can’t get over this feeling? I mean, isn’t that what actors do? They pretend to be someone they’re not? That’s all I’m doing here, right? Unfortunately, my mind begins to think too deeply about how 95% of the audience will be Filipino and my job is to convince them into thinking I am Filipino. Hmm, I don’t know if I can do that without making it seem like I’m a poser. And even if they don’t think it, I still feel it. In order to pull this off, my rehearsing involves channeling all the mothers of my BFFs and become them, just for a few minutes. I’m not a gossip girl but I have to be a tsismosa for this part, which is so not me. A tsismosa is a Filipino word for someone who loves gossip. On top of that, the director wants me to be “OA.” OverActed. Oh gawd, my area of weakness & yet, my favorite form of comedy. I’ll be channeling Will Friedle for inspiration on that part. He’s always OA.  

There’s a saying that goes, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” – Charles Caleb Colton. I plan on blowing the audience right out of the water. My character’s name is Verita, which means “truth.” Like George Burns once said, “Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” I just need to get up there, commit to my truth and just breathe. Perhaps this will be the beginning of my return to the stage. Wish me luck!

Becoming A Storyteller

I’ve never done so much reading in my life, not even in high school. At least in high school, I was really only reading one book at a time for English class. Textbooks don’t count since I only had to read lessons, learn from examples, and copy answers from the back of the book. Last night, I plowed through page after page from a book, a literary magazine, 2 scripts, a novel excerpt, and a barrage of emails. In addition to that, I also had to draw 2 items 3 times for my art class. I’m starting to dislike 6B pencils. Found myself sharpening every 15 minutes.

I never realized how much concentration it took for me to really absorb myself into a book. Have you ever read through 40 pages only to walk away from it without having listened to even one sentence? Did your mind wander to all the different chores you still have to do, people you still need to email, projects you have yet to complete or ideas you have to record? I walk away from my readings having mentally completed multiple task lists and planning my week out rather than paying mind to the book in hand. Of course in the end, I have not actually done the tasks I mentally prepared myself to do nor absorbed the material I just spent 3 hours reading so I end up having accomplished zilch.

Things must change. If I’m going to start a side career writing scripts & stories, I’m going to have to give as much as I get. Thank you to my friends who critique my scripts & stories. I promise to give back and actually pay attention to your words too. I’m not bullshitting you neither because this time, I finally have an actual feature length story to tell and I’d really like to get your feedback!

I pitched the synopsis to a friend of mine up to the climax and she was badgering me for the conclusion, which I hadn’t decided yet. Her reaction gave me inspiration to pursue the story and maybe someday sell the script. If I can’t sell it, I will get it produced myself. I have to say, reading “Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Writing” by Robert McKee has been extremely helpful, probably the most insightful book on writing that I have ever read. It broke down all the reasons why people love movies, how a good story is told, how to refrain from clich├ęs, etc. Everything you need to learn about how to screenwrite a story is in here! It was published in 1997 so some of the movies they mention are a bit outdated but nonetheless, the material is still relevant to this day.

By the end of May, I hope to have completed at least a first draft of a feature-length screenplay. That is my goal on my writing side right now. I’m very excited to finally begin this chapter of my life.