Hurry up and Wait

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How can I make it through a long shooting day?

Hurry up and Wait

If you got into film acting for the glamour, you're in for a shock once you hit a movie set. You may be required to do night shoots, act like you're freezing in 90-degree weather, or jump over that thingamambob over there a million times. Your days will start early and usually end quite late. For most of those long hours you'll be just sitting around. Unless you're a mega star, your chair probably won't be that comfy, either.

Setting up a shot takes time. LOTS of time. As the actor, you'll be twiddling your thumbs while the technicians do their jobs. That can get to be draining. How on earth will you be able to deliver your emotional scene when your energy levels are depleted?

You may not have a lot of control over the filming schedule, but you'll be a much happier camper if you learn to spend your "waiting around" time in a constructive manner. What's constructive for you will depend on your personality and on the demands of the film. If goofing off with the other actors will lead to greater freedom in front of the camera, then go for it. On the other hand, if being around people leaves you feeling dispersed, spend the time alone in quiet meditation. Or you may need some physical activity, to chill out with some music, or to run through your scene one more time. Each role, each film, will be a new experience and may require a new approach. But if you remain tuned into your own deepest needs, you'll find the time spent on set less tedious. Both you and your performance will be better off.



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