News & Views

The News & Views page is where you'll find updates on what MacLeod is up to and hopefully a thoughtful reflection or funny story here and there. This is the blog of my blog-site.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Going Equity

Too Much Memory by Keith Reddin and Meg Gibson has officially been picked up by the Off-Broadway theater New York Theater Workshop under an equity contract! That means that MacLeod Andrews is getting his Equity Card! So that's cool.

Good Things.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Class Work

Here's a little DVD bonus feature for those of you who check this blog out from time to time. This is a tape from my audition class with Marci Phillips. Finally, a piece of film with me smiling. Pretty good feedback at the end too. It's a scene from the show Sports Night in which the character Jeremy is having a rough time at his job interview.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

you win some, you learn some

The Opportunity: Today I had an audition for a contract role in a soap opera, One Life to Live. My preparation was much more in keeping with the positive methods I fleshed out a bit in my last post. After incorporating some last minute information I went in, chatted a bit about the scene (remarkably and surprisingly helpful for relaxing me and creating an opportunity for my personality to come out) and did a take. Half way through the scene she says "stop". I freeze for a moment, "Is this bad?" I think to myself. "You're going in the right direction. Let's tape it." Now I assumed this was normal protocol. I thought they tape everyone. But after talking to my agent and my friend I discovered that they don't tape everyone. SO, now I wait to find out if I get a callback. I may not, but at least I know that what I brought to that first read was something that the casting director thought was worth taping.

Good Things.

you lose some, you learn some

The Flub: Had an Audition for a show going up at Soho Rep this December. It was what you would call a Bad audition. First I responded to some reflex that told me to put my script down on the ground. Then the first line out of my mouth, I tripped all over my tongue and was asked to start over and to "please use the script". Guuuh. I went through the short scene again and did a "meh" job of it. Needless to say there was no callback. Now, what did I learn from this?

The Lesson: The first thing that took me a while to learn about preparing an audition is that I have to work the scene out loud with another person. The dynamic when you enter a casting room is too different from working alone in your bedroom. The next step in this process that I learned was what to do with that other person who is helping you. How do you use that person to prepare? I learned this only recently, in fact, from the audition I just detailed. The best way that I have found to use the help of others is to have them just act as a reader and be a sounding board for scene analysis. The other person's input can be helpful, but only if it is in regard to the scene, the story and interpretation. Any notes that try to tweak my acting process are unhelpful to me and in fact generate blocks. It shoves me into my head. Observations of what is being communicated by my acting are fair game, but never suggestions on "how to". These forms of help which I mention are wonderful for a classroom setting and process development, but for audition prep, they are death. At least in my experience thus far. I had those lines memorized but I was in my head rather than in the room. Also, I spent far too much time analyzing the scene. What is the effect?

The Fallout: Hard to say what impression I left. Not really worth thinking about. The reality is that the show at Soho Rep would conflict with the show I'm already in, Too Much Memory, which by the way has officially been picked up by the New York Theater Workshop. A post on that later. The other reality is that I didn't love the play. Wonderful dialogue, but overall I wasn't very excited by it. Those two things effected my psychology in approaching this audition and may have subconsciously, perhaps vaguely consciously, led me to practice damaging preparation techniques. That said, I have a great deal of appreciation for the work at Soho Rep. I just saw a stunning production by them of Blasted by Sarah Kane. Thus, I am disappointed at botching my first audition for that company.

This flub was a monumental learning tool, for it solidified my understanding of my personal process.

Good Things.

Great Classes

Finished an auditioning for film class last week at One on One with Bob Krakower. Simply phenomenal! An endlessly worthwhile investment. The man is a wonderful teacher; he has a refreshingly straight-forward approach and more than a couple great stories to tell.

My classes with Marci Phillips of ABC are also going very well. She is a wonderfully genuine and caring woman and she has a sharp eye for what works and what doesn't. Those classes continue through November 18 every Tuesday. So far we've been working with sides from comedy pilots. It has been very fun, especially since I haven't really gotten to work with that type of material before.

Good Things.

More Good Shows

Saw SPIN at the Cherry Lane Studio theater last Friday. I went with my friend Lucas (who has a YouTube video out that's hilarious and you should watch it immediately by clicking here.) SPIN is a collection of brand-new short plays written by some of the most exciting new and established playwrights around. The works were commissioned by StageFarm Theater Company. Check out more by clicking the links above. Grabbed a drink afterwards with my friends Jesse and Stephanie after the show (Mom you'll probably find that fun as you briefly met Jesse yourself). I stuck to Guinness most of the night. Guinness hangovers are very mild. Oh and SPIN was really great! Go see it.

Saw Fifty Words on Sunday at MCC Theater. Another amazing show. If you are under thirty years old you can get $20 tickets two hours before curtain. Go see it. Fantastic acting and a very honest, rough, dirty and funny examination of what marriage really means for these two very realistic and sympathetic characters.

Gotta get in "friend time"

2 weekends ago I spent the better half of the day with my roommates and neighbors celebrating my neighbor Randy's Birthday. Good food, a bloody Mary, great company. It always pleasantly surprises me that I both know my neighbors and on occasion spend time with them. It never struck me as a very "New York thing" to know and spend time with your neighbors. But I guess Seinfeld and Friends and now my own experience prove me wrong.

Later that night I went to a little house warming party for my friend Lyman who just moved to the city. I'm really excited that he's here.

Even Later that night I headed to another house warming party to visit my friend Katie.

I love the people in this city.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

To Book

Had a callback last week for a play called Up by Bridget Carpenter to be directed by Penny Metropulos playing at Syracuse Stage this winter. I was called in for the character Mikey (a 15yr old). It was a very fun callback, full of play and a bit of improvisation. In the end I was second choice for the role. So very close! The only feedback I got was that my audition was great, but there was another actor who fit the role right on the money. This is a positive result in many ways. I now have another casting director out there who knows me and appreciates my work. Also, because I will not be leaving the city, I am free to perform in the new Crystal Skillman piece that I mentioned in a previous post with Rising Phoenix Rep- if it goes up. I was hesitant to leave the city anyway as I find the Off-Broadway community so inspiring and am intent upon working within it. On to the next one.

Good things.

Good Theater in New York - I like to keep it "Off"

Shows I've seen recently:

Sa Ka La
by Jon Fosse
Prod. Oslo Elsewhere

by Adam Rapp
Prod. Playwrights Horizons

by Sarah Kane
Prod. Soho Rep

Shows I want to see:

Fifty Words
by Michael Weller
Prod. MCC

new short plays by Gina Gionfriddo, Judith Thompson, Adam Rapp, Elizabeth Meriwether and Mark Schultz
Prod. StageFarm

Farragut North
by BeauWillimon
Prod. Atlantic Theatre

Becky Shaw
by Gina Gionfriddo
Prod. 2nd Stage