Life 2.0: The Voice
These days are all about final projects for me and my classmates, which ultimately means tons of scripts to read, countless of hours spent on random film sets with extreme range of quality, too many characters to get into at once (causing mere schizophrenic symptoms and confusion), and once again too much to do and think about to sleep.
If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m to buy to do so, I would probably take a step back and reevaluate the stuff that keep me so busy. Believe it or not – one of the things I devote most time to these days, is learning how to stick my tongue out, fully relaxed, so I can shake it from side to side hanging out of my mouth. Who wouldn’t want to learn that? It’s obviously very important. Likewise, I am learning how to say «hee, hee, heee!» in high pitch so I can feel my teeth resonate, and try to make my hips, shoulders, lungs, kidneys and other inner organs vibrate by use of my vocal chords.
I cannot even begin to express how much the thought of any of my friends back home seeing me in these classes frightens me. But all this, which would by most normal people be called complete insanity and waste of time, is in acting school called «freeing the natural voice» – and is apparently absolutely crucial for an actor to play his or her lines right. If it wasn’t for the fact that I (to my shocking surprise) notice valuable change in my voice over the weeks I’ve spent on that floor, I would still be among those normal people. But as previously stated, acting school has definitely changed me; for better or worse remains to be revealed.
This voice work, alongside with memorizing the phonetic alphabet, is supposed to help us learn different accents – which brings me to my next point. After my decent success with southern accent for my first showcase, I am now challenged to speak New York Italian (as in the Sopranos and Lilyhammer’s Little Steven) at my final showcase. So far, I don’t seem to have the same kind of success. The explanation might be that I did not give it a second of practice before I went up on stage to perform it this week – but still the humiliation was complete when my teacher stopped me in the middle of the scene, shouting (in his authentic Noo Yawk accent): «Stap, stap! I’m sorry man, but this really ain’t workin’. Ya sound like you’re from Ukraine or sumthin’. I mean, c’mon eyh!»
As the rest of the class laughed themselves off their chairs, what I have left of my competition instinct was pounding in every single cell of my body. This mere insult did by no means crush my confidence the way it should have done. On the contrary, I am now only twice as determined to prove him so wrong next class that he will «fugettabout» what he said – and I’ll ask him «how’d that make ya feel?»
Meanwhile, we all have to cooperate as a class on each other’s final film projects – so this week I have been director for the first time in my life. As the teacher left us to take care of his own career, we had no director and I was nominated for the task. Though I enjoyed that part, the good old “too many chefs” and so on was highly applicable; with a class of 10 on a set for only two actors, there is more chaos and boredom than efficiency. Thus, I happened once again to fall asleep in class – this time on set when supposed to call «action». I might just stick to the acting, it seems.
Though I like to be busy, I don’t like when it takes away the time for what I actually came here for; to learn and practice acting. Nowadays, we have so many peripheral projects that I think I’m forgetting how it was to actually act. But they say that the more you know about what goes on behind the camera, the better you will be in front of it. So I guess, like with everything else in life – these sidepieces are all necessary to eventually complete the picture. Voice, directing, tongue twisters – whatever it is (almost), I’ll do it to become a better actor.
Life 2.0 is one of Khrono’s blogs, and will be presented with new blogposts every week. Petter Egge is a former student from HiOA and journalist at Khrono.no. He has decided to do something quite different. This is his stories.
August 5th 2014:
Chronicle #26: The roommate
Though quite a lot happened this week, including a couple of film shoots and a lot of script reading, I feel that the time has come to devote an entire post to my roommate.
July 30th 2014:
Chronicle #25: The Home Run
This week Petter Egge found himself crying in front of a class full of professional actors.
July 23th 2014:
Chronicle #24: The Hidden Hollywood Hardships
There is no secret that there are many obstacles for a young, naïve man who goes to Hollywood to search for gold as an amateur actor.
July 17th 2014:
Chronicle #23: For Crying Out Load
Before acting school, I couldn’t even remember the last time I cried.
July 9th 2014:
Chronicle #22: The Week of Independence
While I was already on that wave from last Sunday, I started this week with some hours in the gymnastics gym.
July 2th 2014:
Chronicle #21: The Upswing
This week started with a Q and A session with casting director Chris Devane, which might be described as a rather tough start.
June 17th 2014:
Chronicle #20: The Circle of Life
Ok, this is a hard one, folks. So please bear with me. This week, I circled halfway around the earth to catch the circle of life at its closure.
June 10th 2014:
Chronicle #19: Back to business
Life 2.0 - the chronicles of an emerging actor facing Hollywood: After a really nice visitor, the company has left and Petter Egge is feeling a different kind of alone.
June 3th 2014:
Chronicle #18: The Life of the Party
After one week off from school Khronos blogger Petter Egge is heading for semester two at the New York Film Academy in Hollywood.
May 20th 2014:
Chronicle #17: The Life of the Party
This week, I got a whole new understanding of the fact that I now live and breathe the LA-life.
May 15th 2014:
Chronicle #16: The Leap From Sanity
After San Francisco, the way back to reality was just a little too short. From a weekend in heaven, I hit the ground in a pile of papers to write, finals coming up, and most of all – our final showcase at the Victory Theatre.
May 8th 2014:
Chronicle #15: The Escape
This week I thought I was up for an easy ride. Not many film projects in sight, and a long–awaited trip to my favorite city San Francisco – where I left my soul when leaving UC Berkeley two years ago.
April 29th 2014:
Chronicle #14: The Aftermath
No journalists called me this week, and my phone has slowly managed to find peace; now it is only buzzing about twice as much as before Ellen (yes, there will forever be a «before» and «after Ellen» now). The number of followers on Instagram has eventually stabilized, and though my twitter profile is more busy with visitors and followers than ever before, the threat of an explosion seems to cease.
April 23th 2014:
Chronicle #13: The Tribute
Out of his good heart Petter helped a person on the street, and suddenly life turned around for a couple of days. When this week started, I was at the bottom of a deep valley, weighed down under a number of concerns. The ones about my economy had already bothered me for months, as frequent readers would already know, but now my worries included another area of much bigger importance.
April 16th 2014:
Chronicle #12: When words do not suffice
There are times, even for a writer
when written words become empty signs
Times when a writer don’t want to write
cause there’s too much between the lines
April 9th 2014:
Chronicle #11: «The School of Life»
Life is a funny little thing. It is for sure a trembling rollercoaster, but also a splash of water in your face and missing ground under your feet. It has its ways – mysterious, inscrutable – of surprising me, not just when I thought I had it all together, but even more often when I’m already out of balance.
April 2th 2014:
Chronicle #10: «The Decennium»
From waking up scared of an earthquake, to not take notice at all. So: I’m happy to announce that I might already be a real Californian.
Mars 25th 2014:
Chronicle #9: «The Wake Up Call»
They say you’re not a real Californian until you no longer notice the earthquakes. This week started with something of a wake up call. As mentioned in previous posts, sleep is quite limited for me over here due to lack of time. That one night when I finally managed to enter deeply into those psychedelic lands of dreams at the right time, with no alarm set for the next morning – THE EARTH decided to shake me out of bed at 6:25 AM with a 4.4 magnitude earthquake.
Mars 18th 2014:
Chronicle #8: «So You Think You Can Act»
Do you know how to walk? No, you don’t. Can you sit, crawl, or lie down? No, you can’t. You can’t even lift your arm up in front of you. I know you can’t believe it – neither could I. But every day here, I am proven wrong.
Mars 11th 2014:
Chronicle #7: «The walk of Shame»
Ever had the feeling that your duties seem to pass by like a super fast train and you just can’t catch up with it for the life of you?
Mars 4th 2014:
Chronicle #6: «Teaser»
I was a journalist, a gymnast and a musician. I had everything I needed – except what I wanted. Thats why I decided to quit my job, say goodbye to my friends and family, and leave for acting school in Hollywood. The Video presented in this blog is a small taste of what life has been like the first few weeks.
Feb. 25th 2014:
Chronicle #5: «In a cold sweat»
For a guy who has lived all his life by the rules and routines of a gymnastics regime, there is no doubt that life here is a tad more divergent. Having nothing to do at one moment is just as shockingly unfamiliar as it is to run from a film shoot to my roommates’ baptism in the next. At any point earlier in my life, the degree of variation stretched from sleeping, through eating and practice, to toilet visits, school and back to sleep. The circle of life has definitely taken a new shape.
Feb. 18th 2014:
Chronicle #4: «The Proposal and the Valentine’s»
Real life, as we will know it the next eight months (though dreamy it may still seem to me), is about to blossom. As the hassle of settling down slowly dies out, challenges of school is coming to life, growing over the heads of its students.
Feb. 11th 2014:
Chronicle #3: «Life’s a like a box of chocolate»
As we still can’t seem to get friendly with our apartment (at least our rent), it took my roommate and me no more than three days to decide to move out again. Already stretching our comfort zone with one bedroom, we are now downgrading to NO bedroom.
Feb. 8th 2014:
Chronicle #2: Move-in Day and monologues
When gas, water, power and insurance companies got back in to business on Monday morning, Murphy’s law did the same; what could go wrong – well, you know. For the landlord to let us move in, they needed confirmation letters faxed from all of the above – which should be no problem, since we asked them all to do so when opening our new accounts. After half a day of waiting by an empty fax machine, we dared to call them back with a friendly reminder – only to discover that they’d forgotten all about us. When they eventually faxed it, only one name was on the paper – and we’d really prefer that both of us could move in.
Feb. 5th 2014:
Chronicle #1: «I need a dollar, dollar is what I need»
Ok, just to make it clear right away: I am NOT a blogger. Since the dawn of the blogosphere, my prejudices have kept me far away from its kind. But as we all know, the first unwritten rule of a struggling actor in Hollywood is that «Everyone must accept some kind of prostitution in order to survive up until the big breakthrough.» So, I could have fulfilled the stereotype of waiting tables between my auditions, or I could do a «Sylvester Stallone» – but instead I am now spreading trivialities about my still-to-be famous self. Oh, the irony.