Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Basic acting advices 3; Status in relations to others

Last time we talked about the status you project with your body language.

What people will receive and experience from you based on your basic stand.

If you project low status you’ll become a target for criticism and appear like you have no control.

If you try to hard you’ll become static and all over the place, also appearing like you have no control.

If you are “The boss.” You become intimidating, and you will get the respect, but you wont be pleasant.

The golden ticket was the person in the middle, the relaxed, open welcoming on top person. View previous article for details.

So that is the status you project by yourself, when you are just standing alone.

To discuss Status in relations I want to introduce a new word to you.

Like the word “Acting.” You have all heard the word before, but do you know what it means?

“Drama.” To create drama you by the very least need two people, drama is what happens when there is a conflict. Drama means “A conflict happening.” And can very simply happen if two people or two characters comes to each other from different places, feeling different things.

When you walk around in your every-day life, your own status changes automatically according to your situation, who you are talking to, and how you are feeling at that given time.

If you are talking to your school teacher, your own status will automatically become lowered, and you talking in a certain way. That is also a conflict.

You will come with this lowered status and the teacher will have a higher status.

If there is some-one in front of you, you don’t like and don’t respect, chances are you will archive higher status and tell this person off very quickly.

If you stand in a shop taking in costumers, it’s your job to have “Equal status.” In order to be as pleasant and welcoming as possible.

Again, this is also what you want to archive as a spokes person, you don’t want to set yourself in a low status, you don’t want to be a boss and thus imposing, you want the middle ground where you are equal and pleasant.

As a drama teacher to kids, this is definitely the fun part and the part to tug into.

We practise drama very easily, and it is indeed a lot of fun.

What we simply do, is setting up a situation. Like for an example.

I have four people in front of me, which I am supposed to teach.

What I will do is simply set up a scenario for them to play out.

For instance, I have decided we are inside of a prison, two of the players are prisoner and two of the players are prison guards.

The prison will soon throw a party for the prisoners in order to make their stay more comfortable, I appoint one prisoner whom is on good terms with the guards and is open, even looking forward to the party, the other prisoner thinks the party is insulting and hates the idea, wanting to boy cut it.

One prison guard is a friendly person, is on good terms with the prisoners and looks forward the party, loving to set it up. The other prison guard thinks of the prisoners as lower creatures and thinks this party is the dumbest idea ever, looking forward to it with sheer dread.

The scenario is sat up, each character views this situation in completely different terms, and the status to each other is very different. The prisoners may be equals but have lower status than the guards, or prisoner nr two thinks guard number one is silly, thus act as if he has higher status in his presence, but is scared of guard two and thus have lower status with him.

You can easily apply more characters expanding this scenario, maybe there is third prisoner whom is planning to use this party as an diversion to his prison break? How then will he react to the other characters and how would the scenario play out?

This is completely up to the players, each time will be completely unique and depend on how people play it


This also helps to raise awareness of how you speak and why you do it. By being away, you can manipulate and use it to manipulate your audience.

How can we use this in Internet videos?

Very good question, and I am still figuring that one out.

Obviously this some-thing best applied to cross-overs or when you use additional characters.

What I can spot is that every-body making internet videos is that they will treat cross-over partners and additional characters as “You have lower status than me, thus I am better.” And the new comer will have…. The complete same attitude straight back.

This is of cause done for comedy effect, or sort of “We are all losers thinking we are awesome.”

But to spice this up a bit, try to decide for the relation, the status relation.

Maybe one just have the higher status through the other review, and the other one have placed himself in the lower end becoming a sucker up. (Try Film Brain in Kickassia and Suburban knights.)

Maybe some-one will have hidden attentions through out the review, making a fresh different kind of dynamic.

Maybe one part think the two are the best friends ever, and the other clearly just views the partner as nuisance, this is clearly also setting number two in higher status.

Maybe we can also spice it up by just having the two characters be good friends, and thus can do a different kind of bander (Watch my next video, yeas this is petty commercial.)

Most comic acts will have two people with different status, the most classic example being the "Funny-man - straight man." duo where the comic arrives from the different point of views and the clash in the middle, another cliche is that "One is the imposing leader and the other the more quiet awkward but in reality clevere person." that would be people as "Laurel and Hardy." or even. "Timon and Pumba."

Funny how difference in status are never really used in reviewer duos isn't it?

I think some-thing like this happened kind of un-intentionally in I an Mr. Mendos cross-over of "Batman Returns." I became the energetic fun and Mendo became the down to earth straight man.

People commented calling our chemistry refreshing and wonderful, when in reality I think the refreshing but just was we had a "Funny man straight man." act all of a sudden, maybe we should expand on that one day Mendo?

I can’t give you a definitive answer to this, I can’t give an definitive answer to anything, all I can do is trying to make you aware of what you are doing. And when you are aware, maybe you can play more around with it.

That is all I can give you, play around with all of this, have fun.

Your stage (In this case what is in front of the camera.) is your play ground and you are the playing child, it is your job to make this game as fun as possible by simply using your imagination and be free.

Only you would react as you do in certain situations, only you can write your kind of video and act it out in your way.

Next time; emerging with a character.

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