Acting

Road Rage and Acting

Thanks a lot for the response on my previous post! Every single vote helps, so please know that it’s greatly appreciated.

Right now I’m sitting inside the yearbook office preparing my final spread for the 2015-2016 edition of Edda. I also just finished up my two last papers for the semester. My 17-page script analysis of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, that I’ve been dreading for weeks, is finally done. I don’t like homework, but the only way I can make it disappear is to actually do it, so I always end up working ahead of the course schedule — which in return gives me an early summer vacation, yay!

The other day, Karen, Brittany and I were talking about love and relationships, and I said that I wasn’t sure I’d even have time for a relationship right now. Then Brittany said: “You’d have time — if you didn’t always work three weeks ahead of your homework.” I guess she’s right… But since my love life is non-existent at the moment I might as well, haha.

Now I should head out to my car and run through my monologue while driving to Wal-Mart. That type of multi-tasking may seem rather odd to some of you, but the thing is that I have to go get some groceries, AND I have my acting final on Saturday. The piece I’m performing is so loud I can’t rehearse it inside the dorms — unless, of course, I want someone to call Campus Safety — so the car seems like a more appropriate rehearsal location. You know, if someone pulls up in the lane next to me they’ll just assume it’s a severe road rage going on, and that’s pretty normal, right?

Oh, you think acting is weird? Yeah, me too.

But I love it.

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Snapshot from class last semester. Photo: Dan Workman
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Acting class 2015, with the very talented Joscelyn Schipper! Photo: Mike Shafer

We took realism to a new level in acting class today

Hello all,

I just got back from acting class where we performed a scene from the play “Mama Drama.” We did NOT pick this scene on our own, but the realism of it all is pretty striking. Just hang on: I played a runner who’s about to adopt a baby from a pregnant teenager. As you all know, I’m (sort of) a runner and I’ve always said I want to adopt a baby, but the best part is that my co-star, Alli, who played the pregnant girl is actually pregnant in real life. It doesn’t get more realistic than that, so I think we should get an A, regardless of how we did… haha.

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Since last update I’ve spent most of my time working on the final assignments for the semester. Last year I finished up all my papers three weeks before they were due so that I could just relax and enjoy finals week, and since that was pretty wonderful, I might want to do that this year as well.

Except for all the school stuff, Sarah and I are in the midst of applying to film festivals all across the country, (some in Canada too btw) and then we’ll have a new screening here in town this coming weekend. If you find yourself in Sioux Falls, come to the West Mall theater “Over the Bridge” on May 1st!

I still find it hard to believe that our little documentary is still going places. When we started the production in January we didn’t exactly expect any of this, but it’s absolutely great!

Also, for those of you who didn’t read my last post: WE REACHED OUR KICKSTARTER GOAL thanks to all the amazing souls who donated to our project. THANK YOU ALL!!!

I got a text from a filmmaker in Missouri and he said that after watching the documentary he has now started buying pizza to the homeless in St. Louis! Several people here on campus have even come to ask me how they can volunteer, so I think of that as success!
Maria

Christmas Vibes, 7-Minute-Acting and such

Phew, this is pretty much the first time since thanksgiving I’ve had half an hour of “free time” so I’ll challenge myself and see if I can write a blog entry before I have to go to acting rehearsal in 15 minutes.

After a very enjoyable break in Huron, we drove back to Sioux Falls on Sunday and not surprisingly, the entire city was covered in yet another layer of snow. It’s kinda extreme actually. You dive into your homework for an hour, and when you look out the window everything has suddenly been buried under 10 inches of white fluff.

But at least we got a nice run in on bare roads last week.

 

So what’s new since last time? Well, in Monday’s acting class I performed my longest scene yet: a full seven minutes. Haha, it doesn’t sound like a lot, but in the past I haven’t really had to memorize anything longer than my phone number, sooo seven minutes was kind of a big deal lol.

Yup, I played a hung-over 30 year-old woman who had just gotten back from a funeral — hence the all-black outfit and messy hairdo.

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Photo by: Mike Shafer

After two more classes, two theatre rehearsals and some homework I spent pretty much all afternoon working in the yearbook office.


On Tuesday the Norwegian Student Association arranged a Scandinavian-style Christmas workshop.

 


As you can see, the porridge wasn’t exactly perfect, but we all had fun! And as the vice presidents of the organization, Karen and I both agreed that the event was a success. Our lovely president, Elin, agreed as well. So yes, we were proud – but most of all, we were proud of our fancy titles.

On Wednesday I finished up the eighth and last episode of the fundraising video project I’ve been working on for the Athletic Department here at Augie. I will post the intro tomorrow, so y’all can donate to support the female athletes here at school, yay!

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Earlier today I skyped with my sister for two hours <3 Then later I got to tag along and observe how professional video company people work. It was comforting to see that I don’t do things that differently from them. They were super nice and including, and I totally fell in love with all their awesome cameras (which probably cost twice as much as my car)

Wups, I should probably get myself down to rehearsal before I fall asleep — 9 p.m. is usually close to bedtime for me, but oh well.

Bless ya,
Maria

#ThrowBack to High School

I was looking for an old e-mail yesterday and suddenly came across this video. It’s the B-roll footage from a (very bad) short film I was in, my junior year in high school. “Luckily,” I don’t even know where I can find the actual film anymore, haha!

I want to give myself A for effort, but I still don’t understand how I could possibly think that any of this was a good idea. I mean, the stunts weren’t exactly complelety without risk … and I did it for a school project that didn’t even matter that much. But oh, what don’t we do for the art?

I just got back from Walmart, and will have to read a chapter for tomorrow before I head to night class. So talk to ya later!
– Maria

My First Theatre Audition. Oh My…

Hello there!

Right now I just got back from work at the yearbook and our monthly “press night” — which is when the whole publication gets together to present the stories we’ve been working on this month. Our editor will then go through each and every one of our spreads to see what we have to fix or improve for next week. It’s a lot harder than it sounds, and I’ve stopped counting the hours I spend on each spread… it’s a lot. But once I get the hang of designing page layouts, I believe it’ll get less stressful. It is, after all, a lot of fun! Even though our meetings are held on Monday nights (when Netflix sounds more tempting than ever) we always manage to have a good time, and today was no exception. We’re a pretty amazing crew.

I started the day with a morning run out in the crisp autumn air. Then I had a nice pancake breakfast, went to class, had a meeting with the athletic department about an upcoming video project, before I ran over to the theatre for my first audition ever.

Yes, a-u-d-i-t-i-o-n ! Honestly, I never thought I’d ever step onto a stage in front of a full class of other actors, ten directors and two professors to perform a monologue where I have to scream and shout (so loudly I had to rehearse it my car while driving not to scare the crap out of my floormates in the dorms.) But as I’ve mentioned before, I want to be a movie director, and I firmly believe that good directors should be able to see things from an actor’s perspective… sooo, that’s why I made the decision to expand my comfort zone and “thrust myself” into the world of theatre.

Prior to this, the closest I’ve been to a stage is the weightlifting platform. Well, if we exclude the singing competitions I participated in as a kid… It was so terrible I didn’t need anyone to tell me how bad it was… I heard it.

When I first joined the theatre here at Augie, I thought I’d just have to go to lectures, listen to a professor, take notes and pass a written exam. I was also pretty determined that I’d never actually set foot on a stage, because I used to think that theatre was a little.. hmm, weird… for me. I’ve acted for several short films in the past, but that’s different.

However, when I realized that in order to pass the acting class, I’d HAVE TO perform, and no matter how poorly I did, I would still have to play a part in the final show. So I decided to leave all my theatre-prejudice at home and just go for it. Acting is acting, whether it’s on stage or in front of a camera, right?

Now, after several monologues and in-class performances, I’ve realized that I absolutely LOVE it! Gosh, it’s fun.

Somehow, it makes me feel… free. It’s almost the same kind of freedom I experienced as a track athlete. I can’t actually explain it, but I just love the intensity and pressure of it. The whole process of preparing, warming up, and executing… it’s very similar to track — minus the stress fractures and tendonitis.

After the monologues we did several “cold readings,” and for those of you who are not familiar with such “theatrical” terms I’ll try to give a brief explanation. The directors give you a script and you just have to jump straight into the action and perform the scene to the best of your abilities. You get no time to rehearse beforehand, so this is a slightly more uncomfortable than performing a monologue you’ve had a week to prepare for. But it went great, and it was a fun, new experience.

The show we auditioned for is called “Rabbit Hole” — a play that was adapted into a movie back in 2010 with Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart in the leading roles. I just got to know that I’ll be playing Mrs. Kidman’s part (which is the part I was hoping to get). I guess my colorless middle-aged-lady-like clothing style did the trick, haha! The actual “show” is in December and is a requirement for my acting class, so it’s not exactly a huge production. But I’m excited.

Bless y’all,
Maria

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