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
To contact Herbie J Pilato, email: ClassicTVPS@gmail.com.
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