As an actor, I love being directed in a performance.

I like having a director with a vision, and helping fulfill that vision.

There have been a few times when I really felt like I had that happen.

One of the first times I was really given direction was from someone who was not really the director of the play, but Paul was the director, and Paul and I were in a scene together, and our fellow cast member, Frank Peretti, worked and worked with us on this one little scene.  It was really hard work and I absolutely LOVED it.

Paul and I were in a two person musical a few years ago, and were directed by Carrie Stuart-Parks.  She also had a vision for the show, and worked us hard and gave us great direction.

Today, I was given direction in a medium I have never worked in...film making.

Nancy Hanks is a local filmmaker here in the Silver Valley, and asked me to be in her current short film "Across Bank Street: The Last Witch".  Today I go together with the lead male character, Grant, and we talked about our characters, read through the script, and blocked the scenes we will be filming next week.

Nancy Hanks, on the right, is explaining to actor Grant Turner, center, and Assistant Director Alex Heston, left, the camera angle that will be shot for the next scene.

Film is different than stage.  I learned today I need to not be as "big", that my gestures and mannerisms and voice need to be brought down to accommodate the film making process.  '

In theater, you have to project.  Your audience is often ten or more feet away.

When being filmed by a camera, often it is right in your face.

I learned to be more subtle.  I learned to tone down inflections. 

And this was just rehearsal.  I'm sure I will learn so much more when we actually start rolling the camera and seeing myself on the monitor after filming a scene.

I'm so excited to be a part of this process.  It is so different from what I have done in the past. 

It was great to sit and talk about my character and have Grant talk about his character, and have Nancy ask us questions about what we felt about our character, and the back story on where we came from and where the character is going.

And how some of that changed by the time we were done rehearsing at the end of the day.  It was amazing how our two characters connected.  In just a few short pages, a pivotal part of the story was acted out. 

I am going to have fun exploring the different aspects of my character Pem this summer, and see what she is all about.  That is what is fun about being an actor.  Getting to become someone else, and seeing where their story goes.

And learning a new creative process along the way.

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