Episode 2: Mr. Taravour Goes to Washington

(For a better viewing experience click on the HQ button once the video starts.)

(Thanks to my dad for playing cameraman for much of this.  He was a great sport.)

Well, where to begin with this one?

This week’s experiment encompassed many successes and failures.  That sounds a bit harsh.  “Opportunities to grow”, I’ll say… or “growthportunities”.    Anyway, the process behind this one:

At the National Theatre Conservatory one of the subjects we covered during our training was “Hair Acting”.  I am not kidding.  In fact, that’s why I started off this project with a big, bushy beard.  So, last week when I was waffling about what character to do (see previous post), I got out my beard trimmer, made some cuts, then looked in the mirror and said, “I am going to Washington D.C. to find my lover, and when I find her, I will kill her… or I will kiss her.”  And so Miguel Taravour was born.

The problem was, though, he was born the night before I was to start shooting, and he wasn’t ready.  (Note: when I say things like this, I’m not fishing for complements, playing humble, making excuses, or telling you how you should feel about the end product.  What you think about the end result is entirely up to you, and I don’t wish to alter that in anyway.  I am merely being honest about how I felt about the process.)  My biggest problem with Miguel is his voice/accent.  I mean, it sounds like something I think I’ve heard somewhere, but seriously, where the hell is his from?  Italfranspainia?  It is hard to feel fully believable when you’re doing a dialect/voice you don’t fully believe in.  I ended up shooting A TON of footage (I think because I wasn’t really sure what I wanted), and editing it together to make something usable was exceedingly difficult.  I actually think it turned out a lot better than I was afraid it would.

There was a lot of positive to this experience as well.  I felt that I had some very genuine moments in there, despite some tricky obstacles.  Also, as an editor, I am getting better at “killing my babies”.  There were a lot of bits that I really liked that ended up on the cutting room floor in effort to create a better flow to the piece.  There was a whole monologue that gave the back-story to their relationship and detailed how Mathilde cheated on him, and a lot of it was good… but it was slow, and I felt it hurt the piece, overall.  That was tough.  I want to start working toward making my job as an editor easier, transferring more of the onus onto my acting.

The thing I’m most proud of, though, is that my back was really up against a wall in terms of time.  I guess I hadn’t really realized just how little daylight I have to work with, working 9-6, Monday thru Friday.  Having several social obligations during the last week, and going to visit my dad in D.C. over the weekend cut down the time I had even further.    So, overall, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

Highlights:
-eating shit on the steps of the Lincoln Monument.
-You should have seen the look on the Midwestern woman’s face when I asked her if she’d seen a woman with my heart in a doggybag.  If you listen close, you can actually hear her family say, “Crazy.”

Tasks for next week:
-change up the format
-spend more time fleshing out the character before the cameras start rolling.

Thanks for watching/reading.  If you have thoughts or questions, please leave ‘em in the comments section.  Hope you’ll be back next week.

-BR  4.8.09  10.50am

P.S.  I’m in a CBS video contest and I need your vote.  It will literally take you 30 seconds and it doesn’t require you to enter any of your information.  Just go to: http://www.cbs.com/heckleu/contest/index.php?vid=664&playvid=yes and just click the blue “Vote Now” button.  If you have an extra 20 seconds, please vote for my other one too: http://www.cbs.com/heckleu/contest/index.php?vid=665&playvid=yes Thanks very much!

~ by 50in50 on April 8, 2009.

3 Responses to “Episode 2: Mr. Taravour Goes to Washington”

  1. Dude. I love this one. Really, a lot.

  2. Was the fall by the stairs intended? :)

    • Haha, I’m afraid not, but it ended up being my favorite moment from this episode. It’s interesting how often things work out that way. Happy to have walked away with no major damage.

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