Prior to junior high (and the inimitable Mr. John Newman) what I knew about performing was that my peers responded more when I made a performance more physical - especially when I inflicted some kind of damage on myself - and my teachers responded better when I recited lines clearly, from memory. What more could there be to it? It would take me many more years to learn even the most basic of acting skills and concepts, but in junior high I was suddenly and thrillingly dropped into a semi-professional environment.
We had published scripts. We spent time on dialects. We had auditions as well as performances for people other than our parents. We had a vast theatre - hell, we had TWO theatres at Lake Braddock, both the classroom proscenium (which dwarfed most off-off-Broadway spaces) and an auditorium space (co-designed by a former theatre teacher, so it was built as much for plays as for more official events)
Probably the biggest thrill of all this, though I can't explain quite why, was "tech day." Tech day was when we moved from the classroom stage to the auditorium for the first time. I don't remember if it was a formal thing every show, but it felt like it to me. It felt like getting real. We would open the doors to the curving, dark hallway that led around to the auditorium, and immediately we'd hear power tools and smell sawdust. That smell, in the cool dark, just before stepping into a vast room of seats leading down to a three-quarters-thrust stage . . . well. Memories.
I've had my last day filming on Android Insurrection out in Metuchen. In terms of a career as an actor, this work probably won't hold a lot of significance. I mean, it could be huge, just as anything might, but it's not a job I need to sing from the mountaintops about. (Getting on IMDB finally is a little mountain-toppy for me, though; perhaps I'll sing it from a monadnock.) It was more significant to me, though, than just a bit of fun. Working on this movie was a bit like revisiting that initial thrill I felt as a pre-teen, invited to walk down a dark corridor into a little living through fiction.
And now, too, there's a teaser for the movie. It expresses quite well, I think, the level of fun and excitement involved in making a genre movie of this sort. These movies, they seek to thrill and titillate us. Maybe we find them appealing because we feel a little younger watching them, a little less prepared, a little more thrilled. Our teaser starts with "In the 23rd century..." rather than with "In a world...", but danged if that isn't close enough to titillate me, just a little:
Android Insurrection Teaser from Andrew Bellware on Vimeo.