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By Faith Hibbs-Clark, CD 20+ years, founder of The Acting Science Method™



One of the primary tenets of The Acting Science Method™ is that "all acting is communication." But, let's take a deeper look at the subcategories of that tenet.


The basic communication model is as old as time and is made up of the Sender, Message, Receiver, and Feedback, but it wasn't studied as a science until the invention of the telephone. That landmark study was funded by Bell Laboratories in the late 19th century. Suddenly we were putting into words what our nanas had always taught us. Suddenly, as a result of this study, all that we knew about communication and understood as the wisdom of communication was now officially identified as the science of communication.



In my creation of Acting Science Method™, I took this basic communication model and adapted it to the audition environment. In this method, I call this the Audition Communication Model.


To communicate effectively in a film audition, you need to know your place in that audition communication environment and what your true objectives are. With twenty-five years of casting experience, I find that most actors are unaware of the communication process and tend to focus on things that don't matter much while ignoring other areas that are critical to their outcomes.

As a film actor, here are some of the basics that you need to know:


The Sender: Embracing Your Role as the Actor

When I talk about the sender in the Audition Communication Model, I am referring to the actor. You as the actor are the one tasked with bringing characters to life and connecting with the audience through your performance. While this may seem like a given, it's essential to realize that your role extends beyond just merely saying the words in the script or portraying a character. You are an integral part of the audition environment at large, shaping the narrative with your presence and interpretation.


The Message: Going Beyond Just Lines


Many actors tend to associate the message solely with the lines they deliver. However, the message encompasses far more than just dialogue. It includes the emotional depth you bring to your performance, the body language, the non-verbal cues you express, and the overall story you convey through your acting. By understanding that the visual, body language, and emotional elements carry significant weight in your portrayal, you can enrich your audition and captivate the audience on a much deeper level.


The Receiver: Shifting Focus to the Director

While many actors believe the casting director is the primary receiver of their audition communication, it's crucial to recognize that in fact, the ultimate judgment lies with the director. The director evaluates your performance, deciding whether you receive a callback or secure a role. By directing your attention toward how the director perceives you, you can tailor your performance to meet their vision and expectations.


The Medium: Adapting to Different Audition Environments

Finally, actors need to consider the medium through which their performance is judged – whether it's live in-person, a live virtual audition, or a self-taped audition. Each medium presents unique challenges and opportunities for showcasing your talent. Understanding how to adapt your acting to suit different mediums can significantly impact how your audition is communicated, received, remembered, and if you get booked or not. Adapting to your communication medium is just one of the many concepts I teach you in the Acting Science Method™.


In conclusion, mastering the Audition Communication Model involves recognizing and embracing the roles of the sender (the actor), understanding the nuances of the message (the story you tell), shifting focus to the right receiver (the director), and adapting to the medium in which your performance is judged. By honing these elements, you can elevate your auditions and leave a lasting impression on those who have the power to shape your acting career.


Remember, every audition is an opportunity to communicate not just with words but with your entire being. Embrace the art of storytelling, connect with your audience in a grounded way, and let your performance neural couple with the true decision maker. Through the power of The Acting Science Method™, your success is limitless!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Faith is a body language expert who specialized in deception detection before becoming a casting director and working in the film industry for over 25 years. She is the founder of the Communication Method for Actors, LLC & the creator of the Acting Science Method ™. www.cmfatraining.com 


-- Special thanks to Angela Clark for the adorable graphics


© 2019- This information is copyrighted, TM'd, and protected by law. Do not reproduce in any capacity without the express written permission from Communication Method for Actors, LLC.


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What are working actors saying?


What Casting is saying!


What are celebrities saying?


By Faith Hibbs-Clark, Casting Director & body language expert



When it comes to unraveling the mystery of humor, there are many opinions but my definition takes a more scientific approach. One underlying principle emerges as the driving force behind our laughter: the deviation from normalcy.


At the core of all humor lies this simple yet profound concept - stepping away from the ordinary, the expected, and the mundane. In essence, normalcy represents survival, the status quo that we navigate daily.

But, when we break free from this survival mode, allowing ourselves to embrace the unexpected, relax, and simply be, our brains reward us with a flood of dopamine - the feel-good neurotransmitter and making comedy possible.

Think about it - laughter truly is the best medicine. As the age-old adage goes, humor has a unique ability to uplift our spirits and transport us to a realm of joy and lightness. This phenomenon is deeply rooted in the brain's response to deviation from the norm. When we engage in activities that challenge the expected, such as sharing jokes, watching a comedy show, or enjoying a hilarious movie, our brains revel in the newfound dopamine rush.


Our brains are wired to seek out these moments of delight, actively pursuing situations that deviate from the norm to reap the rewards of dopamine. It's no wonder we gravitate towards comedy - it's a direct pathway to that coveted bucket full of dopamine that leaves us feeling elated and content.


As actors, understanding this fundamental aspect of human nature can be a game-changer in your auditions. When you step in front of the camera, your mission transcends mere performance; you become a purveyor of joy, a facilitator of dopamine rushes for your receiver.


Your ability to tap into the power of deviation from normalcy, to infuse your auditions with elements of surprise and unexpectedness, is what sets you apart as a pro.



Take, for example, the classic banana peel slip scenario. Is it normal to walk? Absolutely. Is it normal to walk and suddenly find yourself slipping on a banana peel? Definitely not. This deviation from the expected outcome sparks humor because it disrupts the ordinary and triggers that delightful rush of dopamine in our brains. Providing that nobody is really hurt, this unexpected reaction is dopamine-producing.


But, my study of what makes an actor funny in an audition, does not end there. Remember that I started as a body language expert who transitioned into casting. I had the unique advantage of knowing the science and then being able to watch hundreds of thousands of actors audition over the course of my 25 years of casting. In doing this, I was able to isolate certain behaviors in auditions that got a laughter response. I put those behaviors into categories to organize them and then from that, I was able to identify dozens of "easy-to-use" comedy formulas that actors can use to fast-forward their training to get the comedic edge in their auditions.


Want to learn more? Want to make it easy? Want me to personally help you in a live small group class from the comfort of your home?


Dive deeper into the science of humor with my exclusive class on "Comedy Formulas for Auditions."


This class is only taught twice per year and the next one starts April 28th and runs through May 19th but if you miss that one, email me faith@cmfatraining.com to get on the wait list for the next one. Class sizes are small and fill up fast.


Sign up for the Comedy Formulas for Auditions class here and embark on a journey to unlock the science secrets of comedic success in auditions.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Faith is a body language expert who specialized in deception detection before becoming a casting director and working in the film industry for over 25 years. She is the founder of the Communication Method for Actors, LLC & the creator of the Acting Science Method ™. www.cmfatraining.com 

-- By Faith Hibbs-Clark (Casting Director 25+ years / Body Language Expert)



Actors are always looking for that edge, the elusive "je ne sais quoi" that not only catches the eye of the casting director and director but holds it with an unshakeable grip. Have you considered the deeper science behind your craft's visual aspects, particularly in auditions? It turns out that the brain is wired to respond to visual variety, and utilizing this knowledge can make your audition truly unforgettable.


Why you need visual variety in auditions

The human brain thrives on visual stimuli. Neuroscientific research tells us that when presented with dynamic and varied visuals, the brain's attention system is activated far more than through repetitive or static imagery.


Neurological activation is crucial in the context of casting—where decision-makers are often sifting through countless auditions and looking for the audition that stands out.

To get noticed by casting, your audition needs to feature visual variety and leverage hardwired biological mechanisms to command and maintain the viewer's attention. The auditions that stand out and get noticed —are rich in visual storytelling.



Benedict Cumberbatch: Known for his roles in "Sherlock" and "Doctor Strange," Cumberbatch stated, "As an actor, you are aware of your arsenal that includes your voice, your body, your emotions, that you personally have to offer."

The Visual Language of Success

Auditions are the canvas, and you, dear actors, are the artists. By embracing visual diversity, you heighten your craft to an art form that resonates on a neurological level. Remember, your goal isn't only to portray a character; it's to offer a visual and emotional experience that echoes in the casting director and director's brain long after your audition ends.


Putting Theory Into Practice: The Acting Science Method

Now, I can almost hear you asking, "How do I put this into practice without stepping into melodrama?" Fear not. I have something that will help. The Acting Science Method ingeniously applies these concepts to enhance your performances in a concrete, actionable way with easy-to-use scientific formulas that keep all your creativity but take out the confusing guesswork. Most importantly, I will be with you every step of the way to watch your performances and give you actionable advice, until your performances are jaw-dropping and bookable.


To dive deeper and physically embody these neuroscience-backed strategies, I urge you to attend my upcoming weekend Intensive Film Auditioning Workshop. It’s tailored to empower film actors like you to effectively utilize visual diversity and SO MUCH MORE in your auditions.


This workshop isn't just another acting class; it's an investment in your future. You can gain from my expertise in body language and from my 25 years as a casting director. I have worked with hundreds of directors including some of the best like Walter Salles, Timothy Busfield, Tamara Jenkins, and Michael Bay, so I know what directors want and I can share that information with you to give you an insider's edge.


If you have never taken a class with me before, I would recommend that you start with the Film Auditioning Weekend Intensive starting soon. This is a small group LIVE on ZOOM workshop with lots of interaction and feedback.


If you are new to acting, can't find an open date for a workshop that works for your schedule, or are a celebrity that is "offer only" then I invite you to book a private session with me.


Already taken Film Auditioning with me, jump into a refresher class to make sure you are up to date with the latest industry and Acting Science Method  trends, or book a career consultation to see how you can kickstart your acting career again. Give your next audition some TLC with a private Audition Prep session.


In pursuit of your acting, remain ever scientific, rigorously seeking to understand and perfect the subtleties that make for a compelling audition. After all, in this industry, you're not merely looking to audition — you're determined to make a lasting impression and book the role!

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