DeBlogs > Samantha Newcomb
1. It looks like YOU. This is where we steer away from glamour shots or anything that takes us too far away from the real, everyday you. The picture should look how you look on your best day, and should look how you would appear when you walk into an audition.
2. It tells a STORY. There are plenty of great pictures one could take. You look fabulous, you’re smiling wide, the lighting is great….but what else? What are you saying in this picture? What glimmers of personality are we seeing? Where might I see you in the world I know and the world I am imagining? It is crucial that your shot not only say “I’m cute” but also says more about you and what you bring to the table. If you are known for your fire, confidence and sass, and can play lots of characters like that – I should see a glimmer of that in your eyes and in what you chose to wear. If you play more of the shy or goofy person, then I should see a bit of that humor behind your eyes as well. It’s about telling people what you want them to know about you before they get to meet you.
3. There is versatility and variety in your shots. Different shots can be used for different things. For instance, on one hand I can play a lot of commanding roles – people who are in charge and know what’s going on, but I can also the shyer, sweeter, offset-of-ingénue type. Now, when I am auditioning for different roles, I want different photos that showcase those qualities. You only need a couple great shots when you are starting out. They should capture the couple sides of your “type”, and when you nail those down, you’ll be able to use your shots for a variety of roles, projects, and companies. Realize that styles are a bit different in each city, so knowing what you need ahead of time and planning is the best way to go.
“Richard, Duke of Gloucester, conspires, manipulates, and murders his way onto the English throne, making more than a few enemies along the way. Can Richard rule England? Or will his misdeeds undo him? This Shakespearean classic explores the effects of morality, or lack thereof, in a political state.”
Joe Turner's Come and Gone by August Wilson-on
the Fullerton Stage:
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This course has been a two quarter sequence, and lucky for my class, it has been revamped this year. The Theatre School has hired a new faculty member this year, Cameron Knight, who now teaches acting and Shakespeare to the undergraduate and graduate acting students. We began with part one of the sequence in fall quarter of this year. The students in my class were all coming to begin this learning process with various experiences and knowledge of The Bard and his writing. By this I mean that some students came to the class already loving Shakespeare, some hating it, some having read many of his works, some never having read it at all, but we all started from the same place with the work.
The first quarter began with form. Learning all the conventions of Shakespeare’s writing, starting with reading analysis and scansion of the text. We then moved onto speaking the text and clear communication of the text. While analysis is great and essential, as actors we must learn how to be effective and clear in the speaking and communication of the text. We then moved into scene work leading up to our final, which was a presentation of these scenes for the performance faculty. This winter, we began the second part of the sequence. This quarter we jumped right in with scene work, paired with partners to work on different scenes, as well as monologues and group scenes.
I have really loved taking this course and have learned so much. Reading Shakespeare, and preparing it for performance really is like learning a new language, and a new way to approach language of any type. My professor was right when he says, if you can handle this author, you can handle just about any author/playwright. Once you learn the form, you get to "play Jazz" he says. He is truly a great teacher, and has facilitated this learning process in an individualized way. My class has gone from tentative and cautious with this challenging language, to truly understanding, loving, and now playing with these complicated and beautifully written stories. It has changed how I view this author, and how I see my future with this author as well, giving me a sense that I really could, with more work and practice, work confidently and well on Shakespeare and classical text during the rest of my collegiate career, and professionally. I love taking courses that directly apply to the skill set I desire to have for my career and this course has definitely done that.
For anyone who is looking to go to college, or simply visit a new place for a short while, I would absolutely say DO IT. Even if you decide to return, even if you don’t leave for long, or even if you decide never to go back, leaving the environment you grew up in does a world of difference to the way you see and think about the world around you. While moving 2,000 miles away may not be feasible, spending your college years in a new city, state or region can really help you learn about yourself as an adult. For me, Chicago and DePaul was the place to do just that.
To anyone thinking about coming to this great city from afar, or even in this city looking to go away for a while, just remember you never know until you try it. If your experience is amazing, or less than ideal, you will learn so much about other places and yourself, just remember to do it for yourself. While my aunt was right, and I can always come home, I am discovering that my new home may not be the place I am from, and I would have never known that if I hadn’t taken the chance, and left the comfort and familiarity of my hometown.
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This show has been so fun to work on, and not to mention so rewarding and inspiring. The production is a rarity for The Theatre School, as there is a nearly all black cast, performing in a show written by an amazing black playwright, directed by the only black female performance faculty member, with stage management and design teams who also include POC. Diversity and representation in schools and in the arts is so important, and as a woman of color, it is such a gift to me to be able to be a part of a show that is exploring, celebrating and showcasing my own culture and the complexity of human life. I am currently sharing the stage with many MFA (graduate student) actors, as well as other BFA (undergraduate) actors as well. And it has been such a learning experience just watching my peers work as well.
This show opens November 6th and runs until November 15th. Student tickets are only $5 for any show. If you’re already a student at DePaul, or are in the area I highly recommend seeing this show! For more information about this show, tickets, or our 2 other mainstages currently in performance, Esperanza Rising in the Merle Reskin Theatre downtown, and The Lady from the Sea in the Healy Theatre on campus, please visit The Theatre School website.
1) Plan ahead and check the weather- you may be walking around in unfamiliar surroundings and varying weather, so wear the right shoes, bring that umbrella, and be prepared.
2) Do not be afraid to ask questions! Asking questions is a great way to learn! Big or small, it’s okay to ask about anything from tuition to laundry! No question is stupid.
3) Write it down: if there is something you want to ask or want to see, write it down so you don’t forget when you are there. Also, if you are like me, and visit many schools, take notes of how you felt on campus and the answers you got so you can refer back to them later.