Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The School of Funny Business

I recently took a TV episodic audition class, which focused on auditions for dramatic and comedic series. It was a cool class, and I learned a lot!

One of my favorite homework assignments has been to watch old sitcoms from the 70s and 80s.

I'd already done a little of that for a show I did Off Broadway called Johnny On A Spot.

My character, Barbara, was a southern girl with lots of sass, so I watched Designing Women, particularly focusing on Suzanne Sugarbaker, brilliantly played by Delta Burke.

This week,  I've been watching stuff like Maude, and wow! I am blown away by how well the show has held up after all these years.  But then, watching a master, or should I say, Mistress of Comedy like Bea Arthur is like taking a master class in comedy anyway! Bea's comic timing was impeccable. I mean, she could say so much with simply a "look" or a shift of her body to get the audience to laugh.

In an interview, she said that "comedy was simply being VERY serious."

And Betty White's work has often been called "funny based on truth."

I think that's what makes the best comedians, or comic actors, "the best." They are so incredibly open and fearless about "going there," going towards the utmost of an emotion or situation, and PLAYING!

I love this stuff! Looking forward to putting it to practice! :)

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