On the set of An Orphan’s Adventure (shout out to Rebecca Perry, Director and set designer), opening Friday June 5th, Bill talks to directors about fantasy and fun. https://youtu.be/IbpCfWMp5cY
Vlog: The Want Factor
Raw carrots can be good for you! https://youtu.be/R3Km86ab8S4
Vlog: Script Study
Study your script, don't take things at face value; find the humor. https://youtu.be/-zZzR37BtOA
Vlog: Audition Prep
Be ready to take direction in an audition. https://youtu.be/RQUq_B5aKFk
Vlog: Actors & Directors, Don’t Panic
Oftentimes during the rehearsal process there is that moment when nothing is going right... it will pass. https://youtu.be/M8uYHvHhF_I
Arts – A New Era
I have been thinking on the following statements for awhile, and although I would consider this a “rough draft’ of sorts of a larger composition, I also felt like this beginning of the new year and a new decade and a new era really, is a perfect time to release it “as...
Vlog: Audition Tip
When auditioning, never get discouraged. https://youtu.be/u7DHyMwUCFA
An awesome performance must be heard to count. https://youtu.be/l6wDCgBISBA
Scrooge & Marley Still Speak
It’s true that we like to focus, in this season, on THE baby in a manger - and rightly so. But when He came into this realm, His focus was on you and on me. All individuals are so valuable, in fact, that He took on flesh to then offer it up - a great price paid, each...
There are ways you can optimize your personal rehearsal time that will pay dividends when you get to the theater. https://youtu.be/tImiF1eG_Mw
Vlog: Writing Example
An example of excellent writing is one of my favorite moments in "On Golden Pond". https://youtu.be/j3A0ie2imYQ
Vlog: Setting Deadlines
Whether producing, directing or writing, deadlines are important. https://youtu.be/JUkBNvAJsVo
I have recently had a desire to connect with other theatre directors, owners, producers, and artistic directors. I’m not sure why… I can only suspect it is a “God thing". No idea why God would want that. One thing I’m sure of… He is up to something wonderful, and if I...
Actor Interview: Bill Walker
Interview with actor Bill Walker, playing Norman Thayer in On Golden Pond. Play written by Ernest Thompson and directed by Bill Rhoten. https://youtu.be/o1yeNt58QeE
Actor Interview: Jonathan Marshall
An actor interview with Jonathan Marshall playing Billy Ray in On Golden Pond. https://youtu.be/Ik3ngUIq7rQ
Actor Interview: Dawn McCallum
Here is the first of several sessions spent with actors appearing in On Golden Pond by Ernest Thompson at Theatre Rocks.
Vlog: Directors – Small Bites
If rehearsals get bogged down, consider this tip that will help your actors and your show. https://youtu.be/2yCag5J9RZs
Vlog: Actors and Place
An important aspect of an actor's work is to know where you are and how you feel about it. https://youtu.be/TGepjNdgxc4
Laughter. Theatre audiences love it. People always ask, "is it a comedy?" Hilarity sells tickets. Mirth and merriment are valuable commodities in today’s serious world. There is the quiet snicker, the sudden and unexpected “bursting forth” laugh, as well as that...
Vlog: Directing – My Part of the Process
I work the script of a play from front to back, with actors working off-book, in seven page chunks. https://youtu.be/e_Pz0dae-tU
A Large Dose of Hope
I was reading a devotional today and as I read it was as if the word “hope” was highlighted. My next thought was, “actors and actresses need large doses of hope”. The word "hope" means to anticipate, usually with pleasure. The longing and desire for something...
Actor Interview: Adrian Arteaga
Adrian Arteaga talks about acting, perseverance, and his take away from playing Barnette Lloyd in "Crimes of the Heart". https://youtu.be/-CEKBpkEGOQ
Actor Interview: Caryn Spaniel
Caryn Spaniel, playing Lenny Magrath in "Crimes of the Heart", talks about acting and her "tip of the day". https://youtu.be/-UoBqSnEbsw
Actor Interview: Mike Self
Playing "Doc Porter" in Beth Henley's "Crimes of the Heart", Michael Self talks about his first role and his current one. https://youtu.be/3yn4hcLanME
The Seeing Place
One of the things I love most about theatre is the opportunity it gives me to see into the life and experience of someone else. It’s a chance to look into the window of someone’s life and even share it with them for a “moment”. It brings understanding of where they...
Vlog: Acting “Littles” and Pets
When auditioning or acting with small children or animals, stay close because all eyes will be on them. https://youtu.be/ONyvR-aZNoQ
Our little granddaughter, future leading lady, helps Pawpaw with the Tip of the Day: Always put talent and ability over a desired look or physical qualities when carin casting. https://youtu.be/2c82GoPh27g
Facing Any Giants?
This poem came across my Facebook feed a few days ago. It was written by a friend I met a couple of years ago when we both regularly attended a weekly prayer meet-up in a local coffee shop. It arrested my heart. Thank you, Paul Eckenberger of Ennis, for allowing me to...
Vlog: Cast-Crew Relationships
When working on a show, be it stage or film, always build good relationships. https://youtu.be/6Z9VdiLV0sI
Vlog: Innocent or Guilty
If you have set an audition time or made a commitment to be there, honor those who are expecting you by showing up. https://youtu.be/hiVCXa-6S0w
Actor’s “Perfect World”
I’m currently reading a very good book, The Creative Habit, Learn it and Use it for Life by Twyla Tharp. (By the way, I do not have any affiliate connections at this time. I do not make any commission from linking books or any other products.) Twyla Tharp, one of...
Vlog: Building a Character
Study people and find traits to incorporate into your own characters. https://youtu.be/syBnPHvvg2U
Actor’s Creative Process
Every actor, over time, and with experience, develops his or her own way of getting to that performance-ready moment. There are certain steps that one should go through in preparing and in building a strong character and compelling story. Some actors may skip,...
Vlog: Scene Transitions – Sounds & Lights
I have a note to directors on simplicity for sound and lights in scene changes. https://youtu.be/202QKKP3ohg
Vlog: Actor Director Relationship
The Director is your friend. https://youtu.be/-3OPgJ8f8Yg
May 2nd, two weeks ago today, was the National Day of Prayer. Here in Ennis we gathered downtown for a community-wide prayer. One of our local pastors, who leads this prayer gathering every year, had asked various members of the community to pray over different...
Vlog: Audition Range
Actors should know their range and find ways to show it at an audition. https://youtu.be/kp6ejHqZrpQ
Is It Time?
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which was planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up; A time to weep,...
Rebecca Perry, Director of "A Little Princess" opening April 26th, has a tip for young actors. https://youtu.be/gMcSM4dbMsw
Vlog: Write What You Know
Although the exact circumstances may be different, write from moments and experiences that have moved you. https://youtu.be/VgXDqtj1hXk
Tell Me A Story
I love telling people, when asked what we do: “we tell stories… on a stage.” Although there are people who don’t have personal experience with theatre, onstage or in an audience, everyone can relate to the telling of a story. The essence and power of a story can be...
Vlog: Mistakes Can Be Gold
Don't be too quick to throw away a "mistake". https://youtu.be/IysmhUBM7lc
Vlog: Stay in Character
Director Rebecca Perry speaks to young actors on the importance of staying in character. https://youtu.be/_anHw96xpVk
Have you ever been way out of your comfort zone? I thought so. Me too. New things, new places, and sometimes new people, can jolt us into a very uncomfortable place. Deadlines can be rough. Risking a different direction… scary. Putting yourself “out there” creatively...
Vlog: Audition Risks
Preparation and risk-taking are important in auditions. https://youtu.be/CYMa-FNb8vQ
Sometimes actors, who may be so convincing and brilliant in a role played on stage or film, may not be so comfortable in a situation where he or she might be making a speech or giving a talk - as his or her self. Do we find it easier to play a role of a character we...
Plays and films are made up of moments. Savor them. https://youtu.be/dUAeGlYpDCk
Vlog: Bringing Life To A Script
The main thing is not what the words say or don't say, but how you feel. People want to "see" how you and other actors feel. https://youtu.be/k2vvv9X_Ens
Actors: Look for the Love
This was the advice given to me by my favorite and long time acting teacher Cliff Osmond. So on Valentine’s day I will pass this wonderful insight along to all my actor friends: look for the love in the material that you are working on. Whether you are doing scene...
Directors & Actors: Blocking Tips
A demonstration with actors illustrates how to get into a strong position in a scene. https://youtu.be/rwtp0eLGi-s
Vlog: Actors in Costume
It's a great help to actors to get into costume as soon as possible. Even if the whole costume is not ready or acquired yet, get them into what they have and work through putting costumes together as rehearsals progress. https://youtu.be/g-6DKbBhuq4
Actor’s, Writer’s & Creator’s Overwhelm
We all experience those times in our lives when the busyness and responsibilities just want to overwhelm us. We each have our own story but we need the full engagement of our mind, will, and emotions for the important creative work. Yet there are often one hundred...
Vlog: Actors in Small Theaters
You may not be acting in New York City, but wherever you are it is valuable work. Many actors on and off Broadway started in community and regional theater.
I always get excited about the new year and like a kid that stretches to find one last gift under the Christmas tree, I feel the tingle of hope and joy for what the “wrapping” of the new year will uncover. I like to pray about what to focus on in the coming months....
Vlog: Where Do I Study?
Getting "in place" to study and make contacts will advance your career. https://youtu.be/KnU8xd_riho
The Story That Began With “Yes!”
All over the world this week there are stagings of the Christmas nativity scene. Be it children merely standing in position, or actors bringing the story to life, from small stagings to extravaganzas with live animals, with music and without, the event that changed...
Nervous or excessive movement is not good in an audition or a performance. https://youtu.be/7OeGlO9Nez4
Acting: A Family Affair
Over the last few years we have gained many eager and talented young actors into our talent pool. Part of that has been the incorporation of Phoenix Repertory Players into our schedule, which included some of our adult actors working with their company in the spring...
Vlog: Depth In Set Design
Not only do you need a script with depth, and depth in direction and all performances, you need a set that speaks it from the moment your audience enters the performance space. Highs and lows, close up, mid range and farther back, heavy or...
Acting: The Silent Moments
There are two types of silent moments that I want to consider - those on stage and those off stage. BOTH will make you a better actor (this can be translated to non artsy business as well). Let’s start with onstage. Less mature actors often do not take advantage of...
In film and video, the director just sets up the shot he wants his audience to see. On stage, focus or the audience's eye, must be manipulated with blocking (positioning) and movement. The audience must not be confused about where to look. You tell them where to look...
Always be mindful that your audience, that farthest row back, needs to hear you, even though your scene partner may be right next to you. https://youtu.be/3NrhghEbxYQ
Thoughts On Agnes of God
Today I’m gonna talk about Agnes of God by John Peilmeier. I know it sounds like a “pro-mo”, but I might as well blog about it because I can’t quit thinking about it. For those of you who have seen it, I know you are probably still thinking about it too. See if any of...
Vlog: Do Your Homework
In preparing for a role it is important to "do your homework", which includes making a history. Start with what is "given" in the script and then get creative from there. Make your choices specific, important, and extreme. https://youtu.be/CmCorSp92o4
Agnes of God
October 12- November 4 https://youtu.be/ZgNzoUR3Xw8
Acting: Audition Tips
Auditions. Some actors don’t mind auditioning, some actors even enjoy auditions… yes, it’s true. But most actors don’t really like to audition and some, even some very good actors, hate auditions and suck at auditioning. So let’s face the facts… actors need to...
Whether in an audition or performance, it is important to develop an instinct for finding the light and getting in it. https://youtu.be/bkfHRsQWdWU
In thinking about the five year anniversary of Theatre Rocks!, one of the most outstanding elements of this long Ennis season has been the generosity of so many of you. Often the first thought, and certainly fundamental to beginning any creative endeavor such as...
In any acting situation, but especially an audition, make your choices which influence your emotional levels VERY IMPORTANT. https://youtu.be/GbjrP9YskNQ
Vlog: Learn Your Lines
In any production, everyone has a very specific job to do. Focus on doing yours. More than anything else, that alone will bring appreciation and respect from all those with whom you work. https://youtu.be/jblQ7Qg0JjA
Did you know you have a territory?
There is value in continuing and staying with that thing you love, that gift or skill you have. Resist the temptation of distraction. Over the course of time, value multiplies as you move forward, even small steps count. Recently I created an “About Us” page for our...
Actors should take advantage of moments where they can create mystery or tension. Here is a tip on how to do that. https://youtu.be/HO5mZfXrTkU
My Embarrassing Story of Rejection and How It Can Help You
Putting yourself out there creatively can be challenging. As an actor, you face lots of rejection. You can’t possibly be right for every part, and if you are auditioning, you are undoubtedly getting rejected. Of course this makes the times when you “get the part”...
Vlog: Looking For Love
The love is there, look for it. https://youtu.be/y4v4YTsEAXo
Vlog: Acting, Conflict Levels
Is your intensity high enough? https://youtu.be/21cFexDpfWc
Origins of Creativity
There is this wild, passionate, and crazy immense story of creativity. The scope of this work is so vast and so incredible that even though an account of it has been recorded, people have struggled to wrap their minds around the process, the beauty, and the size of...
Vlog: Sloppy Comedy
Comedy can't be sloppy. It must be precise. https://youtu.be/97OvzdD1jWY
Knowing when to ‘hold’ (or wait to speak your next line) during comedy. https://youtu.be/P8dOnVHJVQw
I See You
Some of the things I feel very led to share on this blogging “assignment” are very personal and, just to be honest, it is way, way out of my comfort zone! I have actually written some posts and am kinda holding onto them ‘till I get braver. The great thing about...
It's not all about your next line! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxh257DdI-g
What Is Your “Daily”?
Artists. Those “right-brained,” emotionally in-touch (sometimes emotionally driven), innovative and creative people. They are so passionate for their art, and yet sometimes hindered in the ability to discipline that energy and organize “the work.” Yes, discipline and...
Vlog: Creative Flow
Bill talks about writing and how he keeps a flow going from one session to the next. https://youtu.be/7C4K0nVukvY
12 Elements of a Culture that Fosters Creativity
I’ve thought a lot lately about the “culture” of organizations. I’ve only recently even used that terminology as I have read articles on this subject and heard it spoken of that way. Companies and business people are talking about the importance of their “culture” and...
Do you need a Relaunch, Reset or Redesign?
Fancy words for change. Some people take change better than others. We all know we need change at times. For many of us the resistance is real. A relaunch, redesign or reset of any kind can seem overwhelming and flat out….too much work. Too traumatic maybe. Those...
We recently lost a good friend who was also one of our dear actors here at Theatre Rocks! He discovered his love and talent for acting relatively late in life, his late “40’s”— I would guess.. He was a perfect example of “it’s never too late” to try...
What is the most important aspect of acting? https://youtu.be/xPqjJQHjXxY