In this installment Mississippi’s Finest Actor, Kary Rogers, takes you through essential techniques for acting on film.
See previous MSFA video here
So I’m currently in rehearsals for a student directed one act called THE PROBLEM by A.R. Gurney. It’s a two person play with a male and female. So this is pretty much my first leading role. I’m playing the male; it is a stretch.
It is really short but I love it and it reads like an improv scene. The characters basically “yes, and” each other through out. This is perfect because I first met the female lead, Jonette Wilburn, through the local improv troupe the Lab Rats. We’ve been having tons of fun playing and exploring the characters.
Our director, Markii Bout, has been great to work with as well. She’s guiding us towards the vision she has for the show but also letting us play while we get there.
Alas, I’m afraid it will all be over too soon. We have our one and only performance April 23rd in the lab theatre in McComas Hall. You will come. You will enjoy it.
A word from Mississippi’s Finest Actor to other aspiring actors in the magnolia state.
I mentioned that I was in a new show, but I haven’t written about it. So what better way to talk about it than on opening night! Sanders Family Christmas is the sequel to Smoke on the Mountain, the play we did in May ’06 and took to the Mississippi Theatre Festival in January ’07 and pretty much swept the awards. We have the entire competition cast back, except one (we miss you, Bruce) to reprise their roles. The “new guy” Drew has jumped right in and we are excited to open tonight.
We are doing 12 performances of the show and almost the entire run is sold out. There are some seats left, so if you want to come, call 662-323-6855 to reserve your seats. We run everyday except Monday starting today the 6th through the 16th. There are two shows each Saturday and only matinées on Sundays.
I enjoy playing Dennis and it has been great to be back with the rest of the Sanders family. I’ve had to work harder on the music this go around because it is more difficult and complex than the first show.
I struggled with playing Dennis during the initial run of Smoke on the Mountain. Many times I did not feel as connected to the character as I wanted to be. By the time we started rehearsing for the festival, I felt more at home being Dennis than I ever had. I’m glad to say that that feeling has carried over to the new show.
I think we have a great show on our hands and I can’t wait for audiences to see it. Y’all come now, ya hear?
You’ll notice on the righthand side there’s a list of actors’ and showbiz types’ blogs that I read. At this point acting is a fun thing for me to do, but there are those who do it fo’ reals. It pays the bills. Puts food on the table. Buys toilet paper so they can wipe their ass. Allows for medication because mom is still asking when you’re going to get a real job.
One such working actor in MA, krt, has apparently “read” my blog. I’m not sure what that means but I just want to go on record and apologize for the time he spent reading all the inane drippings contained herein upon these cyberpages of poop.
Dang, it’s been awhile since I said “poop” and it feels good.
The Mississippi Theatre Association festival/competition was this weekend. Starkville Community Theatre took Smoke on the Mountain. This is the show we did last season. It was a smash: 14 sold out performances. The play selection committe decided to resurrect the show for competition, so I got to dust off the overalls and play Dennis again. I was really excited about the prospect of getting the Sanders family back together.
We had to recast one part due to the previous actor moving to another state. Anyway, let me just get to the results and I’ll give my thoughts afterwards.
All Star Cast Member, Marcus Vowell
Best Supporting Actor, Bruce Lesley
Best Actor, Kary Rogers
Best Actress, Madeline Golden
Best Director, Pattye Archer
Overall Technical Excellence
Warren McDaniel Award for the Best Production. As the recipient of the Best Production award, SCT will represent the State of Mississippi at the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) in March 2007 in Atlanta.
Like I said, we cleaned up. This is the first time in 20 years that SCT has won. For my first go at competitive theatre at MTA, I’d say it went pretty well.
We knew we had a good show but we had no idea that we’d walk away with so many honors. We’re all terribly excited. Excited doesn’t even really begin to describe it.
First: the show. We had 30 minutes on the stage for rehearsal. We spent almost 20 minutes of that trying to figure out why the keyboard wasn’t working. We mocked up a keyboard to look like an old piano since that would be easier than transporting a real piano. It ended up being a bad patch cable but it was a very scary 20 minutes. We had time to spike the set and sing one song.
Now this theatre is literally 13.5 times larger than ours and we really didn’t have time to do a proper sound check. So we left the rehearsal without feeling very confident about how it would all come together in this cavernous new space.
After waiting forever for the speaker for the evening to finish, we took the stage. We had 10 minutes to set the stage, 60 minutes to perform and 10 minutes to strike. During setup the guitars fell and had to be retuned. We decided the demons of Ole Miss were after us so we had to cast them out (in the name of Jesus, amen).
The show went great. We all felt good about it. Comments from the adjudicators ranged from “great chemistry within the emsemble” to “I saw Sweeney Todd where the actors have to sing and play their own instruments. This was better.”
Now I had no expectations to be singled out, I stepped on the stage for the first time less than two years ago. I felt that my peformance was solid and if I was recognized at all, I might land an All Star Cast. Well, I didn’t. Another performer from another group said he loved my performace and that he’d cry if I didn’t win best supporting actor. I was flattered but dismissed it.
When I wasn’t announced as All Star Cast, I was honestly like “oh well, but not unexpected.” Then I recalled what the other guy had said to me and thought that my role was a supporting role, so technically I’d qualify for Supporting Actor, but Best? Nah. I left the idea run through my mind for an instant but was not surprised or disappointed when my name wasn’t called. Bruce Lesley’s name was called and I could not have been happier. He deserved it.
I leaned over to M during the applause and excitment for Bruce to joke how that guy must be crying since I didn’t win. Then I heard my name. I literally had no idea why they called it. I looked at M and said “Why’d they call my name?” Did I leave my lights on in the parking lot or something? She said “Best Actor!” Wha?!
Later I had many people tell me the look on my face was priceless. My winning Best Actor had not entered the realm of possibility in my head. Winning the biggest acting award at the biggest state festival made my mouth hang open. This is nice validation considering how I felt on opening night back in May and my last experience on stage knowing there were judges in the audience.
So now we get some time off and then refocus to go represent Mississippi at SETC in Atlanta. Go Sanders family!
So I’m back in rehearsals. What? you say? School is over for the semester and SCT is currently doing an all women show, what could you be possibly be doing?
SCT decided to take Smoke on the Mountain to the Mississippi Theatre Association competition/festival in January, so I get to reprise my role as Dennis, the shy, singing, preacher boy. The role is a lot of fun but we have to cut an almost two hour show down to 60 minutes. It’s tough but we’ll get it done. This is my first time to perform at MTA. I did my first show that was judged this semester and it affected me more than I’d like to admit.
Theatre MSU performed The Madwoman of Chaillot for the regional American College Theatre Festival. For the first 10 to 15 minutes I just couldn’t get out of my head. It really pissed me off because I felt great leading up to curtain time. I really thought I would feel my best yet on stage, but for the first little while any thoughts of giving my best performance went right out the window. Knowing that there were people out there taking notes and judging the show and my performance really affected me more than I thought it would. I finally settled down and finished solid but being on stage and in your head blows.
So I’m hoping I got that experience out of the way when we go to MTA. I don’t care if I don’t get noticed or mentioned by the adjudcators, I just want to be in the moment.
Other things…I have a new project on the horizon. For the first time since starting an online presence, I’m going to commit to putting out content on a regular schedule. Be looking for an annoucement of this new endeavor soon.
Hey, have a great weekend. I’ll talkatcha soon.
I wrote this on June 8th, 2006 at 12:14am after a couple of beers and sent it to a friend. Thought I’d put it here so I don’t forget.
I wasn’t one that grew up thinking “I want to be an famous actor in movies when I grow up.” So many do though.
I’m not wondering why “now,” as in the timing of it. I’ve been through that process and I’m ok with where I’m at.
I’m wondering what drives a performer.
ima get the obvious ones out of the way. A need for attention. For validation. For perceived acceptance and love. For recognition.
there are highs but there are lows as well. how much of it is masochism? there’s a lot of rejection and hurtful moments to deal with.
yeah, i need validation and attention. but the times i’ve been recognized for a role or performance in “every day life” did nothing for me. so it’s not that. ovations are nice but that doesn’t do it for me either. i don’t live for the applause at the end. in fact, that might be my least favorite part because it signifies that it’s over.
What’s over? THE CREATION.
The whole process from audition prep to audition to rehearsals to discovery to performace. Performance is fun and it’s the end result, but i can’t say for sure that’s why i do it. i look forward to it. to show off what’s been created.
creation’s the thing man.
Donna Douglas AKA Elly May Clampett. She spoke at my church Sunday morning. I didn’t know who she was until about half way through her testimony when she started talking about moving to New York and then going to Hollywood. Then I realized why everyone laughed when the associate pastor made a Beverly Hillbillies joke earlier.
It was pretty cool. She had some interesting stories to tell. Now I haven’t made it to the 10:45am worship service in a while. We do our best to go to Sunday School because we like our class but a lot of the time we leave after that. For some reason I wanted to go to the worship service yesterday. Call it coincidence or call it divine inspiration but a lot of the things she said spoke to me.
In particular she talked about God’s perfect timing and having patience. Now, I’ve been struggling with this a bit. See, I went through high school, college and 5 years of working before I discovered a love of acting and performing. It’s what I think about, my hopes and dreams are now geared towards a life in entertainment. And I keep thinking why why why. Why now? Why not when I was in high school or college so I could have studied and gotten more experience and pursued it right out of school in my early twenties instead of my late twenties (thirty, by the time we leave here)?
I told this to Donna after the service and she said it’s better this way. Now I have a foundation and other important experience to build off of. I’ve gotten some of life under my belt, so to speak. She said God’s timing is perfect and to remember Proverbs 3:5-6
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Good advice. So I’m gonna just keep doing what I’m doing.
She is a sweet lady, taking as much time as each person needed and talking to them and hugging them.
I wonder what bible verses Anthony Rapp will give me when I talk to him tomorrow? 😉
Well. Second night. Night and day for me. Night and day.
Just a few hours after writing the previous entry I went on as Dennis Sanders and IT WAS SO AWESOME. Now, I’m not saying I owned the stage or anything like that. What I’m saying is that as soon as we got on stage, it just felt right.
I didn’t feel like I was generating external appearances to reflect the inner character. I was Dennis and whatever I did was right. I couldn’t make a wrong choice because I was Dennis.
Not that I didn’t stay in the moment and in character 100% of the time but it was such a different feeling than last night and it was great. A real breakthrough, I think.
I don’t know how it came across to the audience but it had to be better than last night. I don’t know why it was different, maybe writing the previous post was cathartic in a way. It just felt so much more comfortable.
Well I hope every performance is this way. We don’t go again until a rehearsal on Monday and a performance on Wednesday.