Beginning, middle, end. 3

In acting class, working with two beginners, one of them asked how do you do commercial auditions.

One key part is to go ready to improvise the situations they give you. Let’s do some now to see.

I made up a Coca-Cola ad. You walk in very hot and tired; you wipe your brow; look down at the table and see a can of ice-cold Coke; you pull the tab and drink the whole can; then you make a satisfied sound ‘Aahhh!’.

They both tried it. They missed the parts and they missed the transition.

I said there are beginnings, middles and ends to this scenario. As there is in all scenes, all things.

Let’s look at it. The hot and tired walk – it begins, the middle of the walk, the end of the walk. The wiping of the brow – here, the issue of what starts the beginning came up. They had lots of good answers as to what begins but they couldn’t realize that it’s the impulse. 

After finishing the walk, end, the sweat on the brow sends the impulse to the brain which kicks in the arm mechanism to wipe the forehead. All happening at the speed the brain operates. As an actor you should learn about the speed of the brain.

So, wiping the forehead. Then impulse to drink, see the Coke, beginning, middle, end, drink, again same thing, end, then after the change – from hot and tired to refreshed – the result of the change, the exhalation with sound, ‘Aahhh!’.

I had the actors do each part and say out loud, ‘Beginning, middle, end’ as they did it. 

We saw and experienced a part of how humans live and act but in a slowed down and highlighted way. It made parts crystal clear. 

You can’t begin the new until you’ve ended the end.

You’ve finished the beginning of this entry, have read the middle and now, 

the end

Dorian Thornton

Dorian Thornton is a Toronto-based web developer and designer. Dorian was pursuing a degree in Mathematics at the University of Waterloo when his band, Austra, released its first record to critical acclaim. Now you can find him playing bass somewhere in the world, coding websites or cooking elaborate meals at home.