The actor needs to know what he or she is capable of in order to accept the challenges that come from a character in a script. It is inevitable that a director is going to ask you to do things on screen that you've never done in real life. Your first lessons in Acting at VFS let you shed some longstanding inhibitions, and build your courage to tackle everything from action stunts, intimate scenes, crying on cue, and comic antics.
Your Relationship With Yourself
Acting faculty discuss the individual challenges students face in becoming versatile performers.
Your first acting assignments will include improvisations, research projects, learning the vocabulary of the industry, and the preparation of a two-to-three-minute monologue for evaluation at the end of the course.
You'll get behind the scenes to learn the duties of all the crew positions and how to use the equipment on a set. As a class, you'll film and edit scenes throughout your year at VFS to gain a thorough understanding of how the camera, lights, and editing relate to your role as an actor. Frame size, continuity between takes, and other subtleties that support the final cut will be closely studied in these projects.
Among the numerous scenes you'll film, there will be a two-day visual effects shoot that will familiarize you with the challenges of acting in front of a blue screen.
The big rule of improv is to never say "No." Improvisation teaches you fast reflexes and spontaneity. You'll learn to trust yourself and the other actors without the safety of a script. A good ear for the rhythm of a scene, complete focus on the moment, and great comic timing all help develop honest, three-dimensional characters. Using improv games, students will do character work, learn the importance of social status in scenes, as well as the meaning of active listening, justification, and how to raise the stakes.
Taking a two-person scene from film and theatre scripts, you break down the motivations and objectives behind your lines of dialogue to figure out how you believe your character should be portrayed. Then you consider how your character relates to the other person in the scene, as well as the significance of the scene to its place in the script. From there, you'll start to rehearse, trying out different emotional choices in front of the camera to see what is best suited to your interpretation. Finally, the scenes are filmed in the studio, screened, and critiqued by the class.
No doubt, the casting process can be stressful. Even the most natural performer won't nail an audition without being aware of the professional expectations. Students are given scripts and must select their own wardrobe and props to practice the different on-camera audition methods that are employed for film, television, and commercials. You'll walk out of VFS and into the casting room knowing what's expected of you, feeling more relaxed, and able to perform to the best of your ability.