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Acting for Film & TV

Subtle, yet revealing.

Gentle, yet willing roar-appropriate.

Reserved, yet hardly conservative.

Make it real as ever, no matter in which arena - stage or camera - you perform.

But these are the best ways to describe and define acting for film and television, specifically.

The emotion and intensity of the character must be still be strong and intact, but the volume of the actor must remain in check. The depth and sincerity of the character should be present. But save any shallow performance for your high-school production, and just make sure to not go off the deep-end for your on-camera performance, as much as you on the live stage.

It's not really a fine line at all. In fact, the line is very wide and thick, so much so that you could see it from the back of the theatre if, when performing on camera, you were in one. But since you're not, as high theatre has no place when acting for the camera (unless you've just been cast in an action, adventure film, or horror film), the best way to perform on camera is to always think you've been cast in some intimate little independent movie that concentrates on character development. Don't whisper your performance in, but speak it, as you would in a casual conversation with a friend or family member. Because that's usually who your character will be interacting with anyway - a friend or a family member.

Ideally, when first approaching your dialogue acting for film or television, speak it as if YOU - the actual person - were saying it first. Then find your "motivation" for the piece, etc. Then combine how YOU would say it, with how the CHARACTER would say it - and then speak it in a regular audible manner. No whispers. No screams. But again, as I think I've said somewhere before, speak it like Goldilocks finding her perfect bed: "Just right."



Herbie J Pilato was born to Frances Mary Turri and Pompeii Pilato in Rochester, New York, on Erie Street, in the historic High Falls District across from where now stands Frontier Field. He graduated with a B.A. Degree in Theatre Arts from Nazareth College of Rochester, moved to Los Angeles, where he studied Television and Film at UCLA, and served his Internship in Television at NBC-TV in Burbank. As an actor, he's appeared on television shows such as "Highway to Heaven" and "The Golden Girls," as well as daytime serials like "The Bold and the Beautiful" and "General Hospital." As a director, Herbie J has guided live stage productions of Leonard Malfi's Birdbath, Christopher Frye's "A Phoenix Too Frequent," and "Little Shop of Horrors." Herbie J is also the author of a number of media tie-in books, including "The Bewitched Book," "The Kung Fu Book of Caine," "The Kung Fu Book of Wisdom," "Bewitched Forever," "The Bionic Book," "NBC & ME: My Life As A Page In A Book," and "Life Story The Book of Life Goes On: TV's First And Best Family Show of Challenge." As a producer, he's worked on Bravo's hit five-part series, "The 100 Greatest TV Characters," TLC's "Behind the Fame" specials (about "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "The Bob Newhart Show," "L.A. Law" and "Hill Street Blues"), A&E's "Biography "(for segments on Elizabeth Montgomery and Lee Majors), and the SyFy Channel's "Sciography" series (the latter for which he also directed). Herbie J has also served as a consultant and on-screen commentator for the classic TV DVD releases of "Bewitched," "Kung Fu" and "CHiPs" - as well as an Editor for numerous websites (including MediaVillage.com, TV-Now.com and the family-oriented PAXTV.com). Also too, he's contributed to many magazines, including Starlog, Sci-Fi Entertainment, Sci-Fi Universe, Retro Vision, Classic TV and CinemaRetro. Herbie J presently has several films and TV shows in development, and is is the Founder and Executive Director of the Classic TV Preservation Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gap between positive popular TV and education. For more information, log on to www.ClassicTVPS.blogspot.com or www.herbiejpilato.blogspot.com. To contact Herbie J Pilato, email: ClassicTVPS@gmail.com.


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