**WeGeekGirls has mentioned numerous times by now how much we love DragonCon (hey, it’s what inspired us to start this little site). This year we were fortunate enough to be given media access. This allowed us the focus and opportunity to share even MORE about the DragonCon experience**
Two weeks ago, I was pleasantly able to attend an acting workshop given by the super talent Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galactica, All My Children, etc). I shared the room with 24 other curious people in an afternoon that I won’t soon forget.
The workshop began with Richard giving a brief introduction of who he was, what he is famous for and what he does now. From the first word out of his mouth we were spellbound. He was warm, welcoming and energetic. I think I had written a great quote within the first five minutes.
His knowledge of the art of acting is vast but he was able to sum up in ways that we (in our various experience levels) could understand and get excited about. Richard urges the actor to get to know themselves first. Part of acting is feeling emotion (and expressing them). In order for one to portray them authentically, one needs to be in touch with them. Mr. Hatch is BIG on acting from the balance of heart, head and soul. I can’t tell you how many times the word intuition was used as he spoke.
One of the first visuals I had was of a zombie. No, I am not kidding. Richard brilliantly spoke about how most of the people in the world walk around like “living dead” aka zombies. They go through the motions of everyday life but don’t truly feel/interact with what is going on around them (to them). At this point he urged us to “step in and ENGAGE in our lives”. After an exercise (we didn’t realize it was vocal training at the time) where the room was filled with LOUD ANGRY YELLING, we were able to sit back down and begin introductions.
One by one each person shared their name, what brought them to the class and (by the time Mr. Hatch was done with them) shared a small glimpse of who they really where. As a society we are programmed with generic responses to regular series of questioning. Most of us started with our names and what we did for a living (like that defines us). With each person, Richard asked different questions, some where related to acting, some weren’t and through this process everyone in the room became free. He slowly added monologues and improve scenarios and before we knew it, we were all acting, and pretty comfortable with it (good or ok at it).
I believe his point was not to make us comfortable with what we were about to be doing BUT to make us acknowledge the fear and rather than let it paralyze us, let it motivate us.
“We need to break down walls, get out of our heads, be vulnerable, be intuitive”
Richard believes that “life is about mobilizing talents and abilities” and by cutting through the mental/emotional/physical blocks we put up, we enable our true selves. That translates in the acting field with authentic auditions. By being present and YOU, whomever may be needing your talent will be drawn to you and what you can do. This doesn’t mean that rejections will go away, it is acting after all, BUT you are better prepared to accept the rejections knowing that you put your best self out there.
However, this self realization doesn’t take away from what else is needed to land a desired role. Mr. Hatch urges actors to be proactive and prepared secondly. Make sure you know your desired business/art. Don’t be one of those people who lets someone else figure things out for them. This leads to being taken advantage of somewhere along the way, which would be a hard lesson to learn. Also, practice monologues every chance you get. Write you own and even better, try and read someone else’s as them. Being proactive and prepared in addition to your true self will best help you land the role that you dream of.
IF you are anything like me, all of this sounds just as much a motivational speech as it does an acting workshop and I couldn’t have been happier that I chose to attend it. I’d never considered that a persons “true self” had anything to do with acting (you are playing “a part” after all) but nothing could make more sense after this workshop.
Richard Hatch is an unbelievable speaker with a heart and passion desperately needed in his industry. When he isn’t acting, directing or writing, he is continuing to teach and inspire the actor in all of us.
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Break a leg,
Thank you DragonCon and Richard Hatch for an unforgettable experience!