I am often asked by younger actors I meet at auditions, should they consider taking on a comedic role and how this decision would affect their `serious actor` status. At this innocent statement, I generally smile warmly, and try to explain the seriousness of good comic acting, timing mixed with honest dedication to the character`s needs, can help develop their skills. Comedy is truth. Over many years, I have enjoyed portraying comical film characters whose dry humor and wit color their essence. As I read a script, the writer uses many inferences to helps one understand the character within the context of the storyline.
While in the rehearsal process, as I incorporate the script to memory, my character begins to surface with all his individual traits. During this phase of identification, I find the most interesting role metamorphosis. Similar to the moment between night and dawn, a magical transition begins to form. Not by itself, of course, but by the honesty one uses to explore in depth the character`s emotion which drives his actions. Improvisation during rehearsal I find always helps to uncover hidden meanings and desires of the role, and begins to help form the bond between other characters.
Once this freedom to venture within and around the script is experienced, generally a fresher, more creative energy is generated during a scene, where `believable moments` emerge. If one follows this path of adventure, the film is able to capture character life evolving in the moment. Some recent films which I had the opportunity to exercise this theory were Bankrupt directed by Kris Brown portraying the `Clown Boss` leader of a stickup gang, which can be seen on Youtube.
Within his commitment to robbing the local grocery store, the `Clown Boss` fields other`s jokes with directness. Breathing Room directed by Giles Andrew, `Mr. Peterson` the crazy neighbor who every time the young couples baby cried next door, is haunted by the lost his wife and child in a car accident many years prior. Sweet` directed by Randi Haven asked me to beg and cry while the mysterious perpetrator points a shotgun into my throat, revealed at the end to be my 5 year old daughter who forced me to confuse the hiding place of her candy.
In Smiley and the Sex Bunny directed by Rosko Duvet, `Smiley` a wimpy deli manager who is instructed by his boss to dress up in a pink bunny outfit and hand out condoms at the party, seeks an angry revenge by robbing the deli at gun point. PiÃ±ata directed by Michael Solsky where the father wants to teach his son a lesson, after the family dog is fatally wounded by my son. LogJam ? codirected by Steve Monosson and Joseph C. Stillman were `Art Angst` plays the `dry straight man comic` to a village of humorous folks.
Among many others, these examples serve to demonstrate the commitment one makes to finding the character`s being. While there are many criticisms on reality television, I feel its popularity is based on the unexpected. This nuance of the unexpected while creating the character`s essence in time and space is vital in birthing the role from page to film set. For further information, please visit www.carsongrant.com. Published with permission from www.FilmPens.com.
Carson Grant portrays the `Clown Boss` in this short film comedy "Bankrupt" directed by Kris Brown with Kevin Austin, Merrill Grant, Matthew Schmidt, Abraham Sparrow and Matthew R. Staley. Full version on Youtube (Bankrupt).