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PRESENTING
  • Why Not Preparing Can Sometimes Be Best

    I was working on “Big Time in Hollywood, FL”, a very funny new show for Comedy Central. We were on break and I asked director-sometimes-writer-always-executive-producer Dan Schimpf, “How many times do you get to the set and find that you have to change your game plan?”
    Dan laughed and said, “Seriously?”
    I said, “Very seriously.”
    Dan said, “Well, speaking very seriously, I would say 100 percent of the time.”
    “It never goes according to plan?”
    “Never. But think about it. How could it? Each scene will have unexpected technical problems. The actors will have different levels of comfort. We could be running out of time. All sorts of things. A big part of directing is adaptation.”
    In 60 seconds, Dan unraveled one of the great chasms in actor training. And it’s not working on the part; we study that all of the time. It’s the curve balls you have to deal with before you start to work.
    In school, actors learn various methods with which to bring a character to life. This usually involves sense memory, hours of rehearsal, and selecting the right shoes. In the real world, this doesn’t happen.
    I just got a part 48 hours before I had

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