So, here’s what I submitted for the NBC Diversity Showcase for 2015. They provide a number of scenes for participants to self-tape and submit. I did one called “DATE PREP.”
It was interesting for me to try to figure out the comedy. Comedy is really tricky. Finding a balance. Should it be over-the-top? Like a sitcom? Or what? And where do I fit into it? What is Carl the funny guy like? For me, a lot of what I find funny in some TV sitcoms have to do with characters being neurotic. So I kinda went for that approach. In my mind, I asked myself, how each of the characters in FRIENDS would do a scene ha ha. What are each of their perspectives, feelings, and opinions on the matter. Each one of them are unique but very similar in certain ways too. Mostly, they’re neurotic about something, but in some cases, they have a very specific point of view or attitude towards something. Even if all the FRIENDS played a character the same, they’d be different, cause each actor brings themselves into it. Their own personality and sensibilities. Chandler, Ross, Rachel, Monica, for example, may do a scene, and could be similar in their neurotic-ism, BUT, are still different because of their looks, and how they as a person communicate. When you add in points of view, and demeanor, that adds more layers to play with. Can you imagine Joey, or Phebe doing the same scene?So I decide the neurotic route, and then ask myself, how does my character feel about everything that’s being said in the scene, and how would Carl, express those them?
Some of those choices change as I rehearse, and get adjusted as I go along, and discover new things. Things that just happen in the moment. Those things are basically what comic talent, and timing are all about. Your own personal comedic instincts. Related to that, another aspect I find funny in sitcoms such as FRIENDS, is not only the neurotic-ism these characters have, but also, their extreme flips in feelings and thought. They sometimes flip from one end of an emotional spectrum to the opposite end, back and forth over the course of a scene. I find that just playing neurotic can be boring or too one note for an audition. Changing how you feel about something from one extreme to the other, can easily be a result of their neurotic-ism, BUT I don’t find that it’s inherent. So, I kinda have look at the scene, and try to find a balance between the extreme feelings I can have, so that I don’t just play the character as a complete neurotic worry wort, but show some more range, with some worry, unhappiness, and failures, along with some sense of hope, joy, success or indifference. Again, a lot of that gets discovered by just playing with the scene, in the moment, and trusting your comedic instincts.