A Study In Technique


While doing the auditions for Lepus last week Kelsee Benson got a bit nervous. She has never been around professional actors and felt intimidated running lines with them during the audition. After it was over and I took her home she pulled me aside. She asked me, “Geek (that’s a nickname I got saddled with when she was a baby and couldn’t say Jake), what am I supposed to be doing? I haven’t ever done anything like this before.”

Kelsee goes to a performing arts school. She’s used to stage work, singing and dancing mostly. She’s very confidant on stage but cameras are another story. I told her I would come back on Friday and we could go through the script and I would help her get comfortable.

I got to her house on Friday and first had to remove a refrigerator, install another one, jump my sister’s car battery, and suffer through watching The Voice before I finally got to work with Kelsee. As we sat there going through the script I could see the talent coming through. She has one problem – she can change her voice to express emotion but her face stays the same. It took some time but I got her to be more expressive. I had her use body language and I kept telling her to use her eyebrows more, just not as much as the stupid kid on the original 90210 who was David’s friend and accidentally killed himself when he dropped his dad’s gun.

After working on Kelsee’s expressiveness I had her try doing the frightened run she needs to do for the end of the short film. She’s supposed to run up to the sheriff to get him to stop the Easter Bunny. As she was running she kept looking like she was smiling. Finally, I got her to open her mouth and raise her eyebrows and she had a perfect look on her face where she looked scared but it was also very funny. I called her mother outside to watch the frightened run and she agreed. It is a perfect look and a slightly funny run that she does and completely sells it. She’s going to do great.

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