An Actor Prepares

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Two days ago I got marching orders. Project Sci-fi, the science fiction film festival in which you have 30 days to write, shoot and edit a 3-10 minute film, began. I got an email telling me what category I have to make a film in. It's first contact with aliens. I had been hoping for zombie apocalpyse - I think it would be funnier, but I can still work with this.

Christian Sci-fi

First I wrote a script. Three pages. One hour. Scripts have heaps of white space on them and I've read things about aliens before so I just had to start.

There's a Christian website - - that actually deals with alien abductions which I came across years ago. Over the years I'd contacted one Christian twice for permission to turn his testimony into a film - both yes and yes again but I never have... not yet...

Even now my script is not based on his testimony but draws on memories from my life and people who have died. One image in his story toward the end - a classic alien image - did make it into the story - with the resistance.

I suspect from last year's effort that the judges responded more to action and another local director particularly liked my car scenes in particular so I've decided to open with a car scene for the most part, juxtaposed with a Bible study.

And the main character is based on me. Easy to typecast myself from this point onward maybe...

Special Effects

Then I threw up a casting notice Friday with some modifications Saturday to increase qualified leads... but still making plans to use alternatives should it fail... and after much troubled thought about how to build some giant spaceship or alien costume, I realized the alien itself could be a small puppet perhaps made out of plasticine and covered with slimey sticky glistening eggwhite... Sounds like fun?! I'll do some experiments tonight.

Casting Mistake - Twice!

In the last two feature films I made the mistake of casting learner drivers and a woman with epilepsy who legally couldn't drive in scenes where they needed to drive.

It meant some things had to be altered. This time, I decided to skip that problem and be in the driving role myself. If anything goes wrong, I figured I can reshoot - easy to reschedule myself!

Overacting issues!

But the last time I tried to act and film myself at the same time - alone - it was too hard. The camera was placed at a distance in one scene and I started overacting because I thought - it might not see clearly (as if playing to an audience like a stage actor).

There was nobody to say - pull it back... So now I know I will need a director on site too. Weird really... I have a couple in mind at least.

Physical preparation

Some say the camera adds at least an inch but there are more important considerations than weight-loss. There are great actors out there who are not skinny by any stretch of the imagination.

If you're interested in that, there's a popular affiliate sales link hawking an ongoing weight loss programmer for women - Click Here! (Yes, if you buy it, I benefit... just saying... but it's not a one-time product but a subscription thing).

I'll conceed taller girls do make clothes look good but I'm only 5 ft 4.5 inches (yes, I eagerly claim that extra half inch!). So what next?

Ok.. I am motivated to do some situps. For me, 10 in the morning and 10 in the evening is enough... if I do too many sit-ups, my neck muscles hurt and then I get a headache. Fun? No. I'm not into self-torture just for looks. But at 10 a session it takes 3 months at that pace to make a difference and I don't have 3 months.

Actually I suppose these ongoing fat loss programmes like the link above often last beyond a single buy to keep one motivated. Sometimes I do buy into an ongoing subscription because paying out money sometimes makes more serious about accomplishing a task... Sometimes not, but more often, it can help.

There's something that's quicker as far as getting the tummy a little flatter and making a person appear more confident and project better which will easily work in 2 weeks.

I've done it before for volunteer runway modelling back in a small town... and I can actually see a noticable difference in my projection when comparing myself to the other inexperienced local volunteers. In some situations, it even improves confidence and my ability not to be emotionally overwhelmed.

You can see this difference in some famous people too - from Angelina Jolie to Princess Mary of Denmark. After I tell you - start looking at those who do this and those who don't.

This is it - and be thankful this is free advice... it's having a straight back. But a lot of us get used to slumping in our daily life. 2-3 year olds are often naturally straight. But we slump before TV and computers and we slump around talking to friends, we slump over our school desks for hours.

How do you do it when slumping has become our natural pose? Starting with 5 minutes a day and working up to 15 minutes a day (preferably in the morning), stand against a wall, and pull your shoulders back.

Bend your knees a bit so the small of your back is on the wall too. Make sure your head is centred - not looking up or down - but squarely ahead.

Notice the difference it makes to your stomach - slumping versus sitting up straight. Instant results! Better for digestion too. You have to practise until it becomes easier to be straight than slump. At first, I had to do additional exercises of pulling my arms way behind my back a lot through the day because it was too hard to get my shoulders back - the tendons needed stretching.

There's another website that points out having a straight back is helpful for job interviews and romance too... I'll see if I can post photos another time to show you the difference it makes...

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