acting 101: #9 table reading & cold reading

For you as an actor, table reading is a great tool to get used to your acting partner and to test your chemistry. Table readings also most importantly give the producers a sense whether the scene/dialogue works or not.

What is this “table reading” and how does it work? Read on to find out 🙂

TABLE READING

With little or no practice at all, the actors find themselves together (mostly at a table) and read aloud the scenes. Dependend on how familiar you are with the scene, you can put more or less expression into your lines. Before, the writers of the scenes have only heard the lines in their heads with their own voices. It makes a huge difference when heard aloud. If in an early stage of production, changes in the scenes and dialogues can be taken into consideration after the reading.


Another term used in the acting world whose meaning is similar but which is used differently, is cold reading:

COLD READING

These readings usually take place at auditions. The actor gets a text that they don’t know and are asked to speak the lines aloud with as much vocal and also facial expression as possible. Cold reads can be practiced in a really good way when preparing for auditions: Just pick scenes that you don’t know and start to read aloud after shortly outlining the scene to yourself.

These tools are really fun, if you are in a new group of actors, try it out — it gives you a great sense of acting chemistry between one another and improves your adaption to new scenes!

-your tiny woman in a giant world

A poem: spicy salty bittersweet

A plunge into the salty waters of an exciting new spot
Sand tingling between your toes, massaging your feet as you get out
Your left strap slipping off your shoulder revealing tan lines underneath
Feelings of soundly relaxation reaching your all senses while you stretch it all out

A spicy affair that evolves in foreign summer nights
Sights and touches that make your heart beat faster and your smile happier
The routined days are still so new with every sun rising
A rush of freedom flows energizing your body

The bittersweet moment when goodbye is on the agenda
The nights and the ocean getting colder as the summer days pass by
What stays are not only the happiest memories of shaping adventures
But the sense of a completed, fully content you

-your tiny woman in a giant world

post scriptum: “Every summer has a story.” Summer 2017 has begun. Where will your story take you?

A Catalan eve

Special venues make life exciting. Even if there is no special occasion, no birthday or holiday near, we ought to feel special and make ourselves an extraordinary time. Eating delicious food in a well-planned atmosphere, dressed up nicely and dancing happily can put us in a festive mood and can give us just that feeling that makes for great energy and motivation.

Image this: you sit on the balcony of a house in the mountains of an exotic island – a buena vista (Spanish “great view”) in front of you: palm trees lightly swinging in the wind, colorful flowers, high mountains and the wide sea where the sun sets. You’re wearing a red salsa dress. On the table in front of you: a fruity and refreshing glass of sangria and a delicious desert, crema catalana. In the background Blake Shelton’s Sangria is playing.

Doesn’t this inspire you to treat yourself with an evening celebrating yourself and your fabulous life just as it is? With tasty food, a devine drink and a perfectly put together ensemble to get you into the festive spirit for absolutely no other reason than cheering for life itself?

What is your go-to ensemble when it comes to creating special moments for yourself and why?

Have a great start into the new week! x

-your tiny woman in a giant world

More confidence to enjoy life to the fullest

“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” – Sophia Loren

This is a popular quote that is known by many and imaged on walls all around the world — it also graces my wall. I wonder whether all women are aware of the powerfulness of this quote by Sophia Loren. The strength and confidence it holds.

If you’ve been visiting enchanting notions before, you know I am an advocat for healthy living and eating. But in times of countless diets and this never ending and totally pie in the sky trend of constant self-improvement based on false and stressing beliefs that some people have, I find it crucial to take a moment and try to outline one true meaning of a joyful life. Which achieved, can make all the difference for you.

To be better than the person in the picture seen on Instagram, or the star that someone follows on the social web — it’s so easy to get competitive with the world these days. The feeling of self-contentment is so easy to be lost within us. Comparisons are drawn at such fast pace and over and over again. If you know what I am talking about, just unclinch your jaw, relax your shoulders and inhale deeply — exhaling, let go of all the tension that has built up inside you for the longest time. Let go of the thought that you are not “there” yet, that you have to do and make and get and be… You don’t have to do, make, get or be anything but who and what you are in this very moment. I have got a perspective on life to share with you, inspired by the quote above, and I hope it inspires you to live a life of feather-lightness and strength within yourself.

Walking through life being open to indulge in food, sharing unlimiting views, decision-making based on a free, an unopiniated mind and a choosing of activities that is not to a great degree conform to what only others expect — all this and more is expressed by the quote presented above. Do all the things that need to be done in order to have an active, healthy life. But at the end of the day, moving forward in the sense of “high performance” should not be what drives you. It should be freeness of mind, the power of free decision-making and a feeling of pure joy doing what you love, doing anything that makes you enjoy life (still being a respective, responsible and good person). Life is much more fun when you live by your own standards.

The quote indicates a beaming smirk that makes me feel good about myself when thinking of the confidence to stand by my good flaws — in contrast to bad flaws, indulging in pasta every once in a while without the tiniest bit of somewhat guilt makes you strong. And “pasta” stands for so much more than just the food. What is your “pasta”? What good flaw do you proudly own?

Let me know in the comments below. x

-your tiny woman in a giant world

acting 101: #8 freeze (improv game)

An absolute classic improvisation game, Freeze is much respected by beginners. But once adjusted to the pace of Freeze, it is great fun. Not only do beginners overcome the fear of playing and establishing silly or extraordinary scenes (which you have to consider when playing Freeze on a regular basis), they also grow through the speed of the game.

Freeze should be played with a large group of people, at least about five people. This is how it works…

FREEZE

Two people stand in the front. One of them starts a scene — totally improvised. He/she has to make his/her game partner clear, where they are, who they are and in what relation they stand to each other. The other person then has to play along.

One of the viewers at some point claps their hands, when they have an idea to create a new scene. The moment they clap their hands, the two in the front have to immediately freeze — no moving, no changing of position, gesture or facial impressions. The person who claped their hands, taps at the person with whose place they want to take. From there, the person who came in new starts a new scene.

Important improv rule: There is no “no” when playing Freeze — you should be willing to tag along to any scene idea that your acting counterpart serves you. No declining, only accepting. This is the most important rule of improvisation — take it as it is and play with it. Can be translated to life in general as well, right?

Have fun playing/practicing!

-your tiny woman in a giant world

Green Oatmeal Muffins — breakfast olé

I love oats. At least five of seven mornings, my breakfast consists of oatmeal with fruits, berries and (preferably) roasted nuts. Who doesn’t like a healthy, fruity, energy boosting breakfast to kick-start the day? That’s right.

For the past months and years, smoothies — especially green smoothies — have been the thing in the healthy living department. So I must make a little confession: I am not into smoothies. I like my fruits to eat bite by bite, not to drink sip by sip. And as for the “green” part in smoothies: Same here — I like my broccoli al dente.

When I found this recipe that I am about to share with you on Our Body Book — one of the best resources for delicious, nutritious recipes — it sounded so good, that I gave it a try, although it said “smoothie” in its title. And folks: I am so glad I did! It not only a nice variation of a tasty oatmeal breakfast, it is also such a great source of energy through the bananas, oats and spinach as main ingredients. The muffins are not only a smart option for breakfast but also as an afternoon snack before working out!

Green Oatmeat Muffins
Green Oatmeal Muffins
Green Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas (the riper, the sweeter)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • a pinch sea salt
  • 2 cups uncooked oats
  • 2 1/2 cups spinach
  • buckwheat

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Mix all ingredients (f. ex. in a food processor) until fully blended.
  3. Portion out in between ten to twelve muffin holes.
  4. Sprinkle as much buckwheat on top of the muffins as desired.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes.
Green Oatmeal Muffins
Green Oatmeal Muffins

You might see that my muffins did not exactly turn out to be green — that is because I mixed the ingredients by hand, not through the help of a food processor. If you do use a food processor, your muffins will turn out perfectly green in color!

Enjoy (with a cup of coffee)! 🙂

Do you have an ultimately healthy and yummy breakfast recipe that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!

-your tiny woman in a giant world

 

This recipe is an adaption of Taesha’s recipe on Our Body Book.

acting 101: #7 warming up methods II

I have written about the importance of a vivid and expressive face for an actor before. One method to warm up your face is the “the mouse & the bear”-technique. Another one is the following — which also has no official name, I guess, so I call it “chew baby chew”.

Chew baby chew focuses on your jaw area and lips, aiming for it to get loose and get rid of any kind of tension. Here is how it works:

  • Chew small: Pretend to be chewing a tiny tiny bit of chewing gum. Make very small movements with your jaw and your lips.
  • Chew big: Now imagine a giant chewing gum in your mouth and chew making big exaggerated movements with your jaw and lips. Widen your mouth forming circles, trying to keep your lips together, as you would when chewing a gum properly.
  • Repeat, also changing the direction of your chewing.

Do you feel the difference? Does your jaw feel more relaxed?

-your tiny woman in a giant world

 

May I interest you in a little gardening lifestyle?

Waaay way back in history, all mankind had to hunt and gather to get food and nourish their families. Their meals consisted of plants (probably not rarely undefined plants), vegetables, fruits, fish and meat. They were self-dependent and speaking of the health aspect of their eating habits would be doubtful but nature-based. So how bad could it be anyway.

Then, some time later (I am great with exact dates), most of mankind planted and grew seeds, to live on vegetables, fruits, rice etcetera and had farms with chickens and other animals who served either eggs, milk and/or meat. They did not only feed themselves but also the surrounding neighborhoods. They were co-dependent and lived a healthy lifestyle regarding their eating habits.

Some further time later, mankind revolutionized the food industry (or more accurately: they developed the food “industry”, we all know today). Suddenly, there were heavily processed food and mass food production. Unfortunately, very little good came with it. Who am I kidding: processed food is pure poison for you and your body.

A farther time in the future, I hope for our and our planet’s sake that we will find a healthy balance between self-supply and buying our food. That’s why I have a crazy suggestion to make… Why don’t we all (who have the opportunity) start gardening and planting fruits, herbs and vegetables that grow in our latitudes in order to at least semi-self-dependently provide food for ourselves? This way, we can control what goes into our food and ultimately into our bodies, i. e. avoid pesticides, biogenetics and the similar.

Besides the benefit of having control over the food that we nourish our bodies with (which keeps us alive), gardening would also mean for you to go after a hobby that is set in nature. In times of digital office jobs, bonding with nature and spending time outside is such a healthy thing to do: fresh air and giving your brain a break by concentrating on a peaceful occupation.

Did I manage to persuade you to invest a little time in a gardening lifestyle?

-your tiny woman in a giant world

post scriptum This notion does kind of read like a children’s book, right?

acting 101: #6 attitude towards acting

The way you consider your intention and your task as an actor highly influences your performance.

Mahershala Ali, winner of this year’s Oscar for best supporting actor for his performance in Moonlight, gave an inspiring acceptance speech which I’d like to quote:

“And one thing that they consistently told me is that it wasn’t about you. It’s not about you. It’s about these characters. You’re in service to these stories, to these characters.” — Mahershala Ali

Do you just act because it is your passion and it’s fun or do you see a greater meaning in your job/hobby as an actor/actress?

Mine is the purpose of creating art that people can relate to and be inspired by for a long long time. And it’s so freakin’ fun!!

-your tiny woman in a giant world

the downsides of human love relationships or “doomed lovey doveys”

Being in love… What great feelings to recall: Butterflies in your stomach, the excitement of pleasant anticipation before every date, that seemingly ever-lasting smile on your face. That every touch making your all senses dance. Fairy-tale like times, this first phase of a love relationship. The heart-breaking reality is… This rarely continues to eventually end with a “happy ever after”. Even if one of the partners seems to stay in this first phase for as long as he/she knows the person.

Maintaining the excitement of the first phase requires hard work and strong willingness from both parties. One alone can try as hard one wants, it is a job for two. Love needs two people to grow and ultimately, to last. A balanced relationship evolves from a mutual attraction. Attraction is very much dependend on positive thoughts, admiration for the other person’s character and physical attraction. Having your partner losing sight of one of those aspects is not your fault. It’s just the way it is with relationships. A little distraction on your partner’s side can lead to him/her to forgetting about why he/she fell in love in the first place, which then leads to a broken heart — yours that is. Should we stop being naive and forget about relationships all over to protect ourselves from this kind of heart-break? Every single picture on Pinterest says no, “dare to love”. Well, then.

A love relationship, a real partnership between two lovers is the most beautiful thing to possibly experience. No feeling can compare to being in love and knowing that you are loved. It comes along with satisfaction, pride, great joy and happiness. The feeling that you can rely on someone, any time at any place. Someone who shares his/her feelings and thoughts and with whom you can share yours. Someone who finds strength in you and shows gratitude. Someone who is your source of energy when everything else goes wrong. A balanced partnership with mutual love and affection.

But when it comes to an end due to whatever reason that you did not have control over, after a great amount of time and energy you have put into the relationship to make it back to working, it is the worst feeling. It breaks your heart into tiny little pieces. In this stadium, it just makes no sense to hold on to the person, pushing him or her to talk to you if he or she does not want to. If someone who once shared his or her thoughts with you and spend much time talking to you, stops for no obvious reason, it is not something you can influence. He or she has disconnected from you — emotionally and physically. The healthiest thing for you to do is to make your peace with it. Just take it as it is. Maybe not the first time this ever happens. Maybe not the second time. But surely the third time. You are worth what you put out there. If you put out love and affection and receive reluctance and resistance, you are not obliged to take it in for the millionth time. Someone who loves you will not be able to hurt you, ever. Stay strong and move on. You are not the person to for ever fight for what means the world to you. Your counterpart has to take a little bit of responsibility of his/her own.

How should you go on? Concentrate on your self. Do whatever you love doing. Treat yourself. Surround yourself with the people who adore you. And don’t have second thoughts. You’ve acted on them a fair amount of times already. If it has not changed the past multiple times, it won’t change now.

Animals seem to have a better practice loving and partnering up. Being a penguin for a little while sounds just about right.

-your tiny woman in a giant world