A Stand-in's Story: My Six-Week Master Class on set with
Tommy Lee Jones & Morgan Freeman
This week we have a guest blog from Sol-Mate Nick Urzetta who shares his experience about working as a Stand-In on the film Villa Capri here in Albuquerque
I had the extraordinary opportunity of working as a stand in for Tommy Lee Jones, who is starring along with Morgan Freeman and Rene Russo in the upcoming comedy Villa Capri, filmed in New Mexico this year and due out in August 2017.
Being new to the acting game starting June 2016, at the ripe young age of 59, I began taking classes at Sol Acting Academy under the capable guidance of owner, mentor, teacher and Vivian Nesbitt.
Having only been on a movie set a few times as background, I submitted my thin resume and headshot for a casting call from White Turtle Casting and also Latham Casting as a stand in and photo double for actor Tommy Lee Jones. In the casting call they requested an actor that also plays golf, and that was my ticket as I have played golf all my life and I look somewhat like Tommy Lee.
I had no idea what I was in for, talk about baptism by fire!
I went from a beginning acting class to standing in and reading lines with some of the biggest names in the business.
I also had the distinct honor of working with and getting to know legendary writer director and producer Ron Shelton (Tin Cup, Bull Durham, White Men Can’t Jump) to name a few of the movies he has written, produced and directed. Ron was also a minor league baseball player AAA level. Coincidentally he played for the Rochester Red Wings, (Rochester is my hometown), and was an infield starter for the 1974 team that won the league championship in 1974. He is being inducted into the Red Wings Hall of Fame in 2017.
I had no idea I would have to actually rehearse…..
Ron runs full rehearsals with the stand in crew, or 2nd Team, and many times I would be reading lines and rehearsing movement with the likes of Morgan Freeman, Rene Russo, Glenne Headly, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Joe Pantoliano.. and more….
First day on the set actually went well as the scenes were all in order on the call sheet, but day 2 was a disaster as I began reading lines from the wrong scene, which didn’t go over particularly well with 1st AD and Steve Danton or Ron. As a coach and mentor, Ron would not hold back if someone missed their mark or read their lines wrong, he would always say “you’ve been on the set for 28 days, you should know your lines, know the camera angles”.. It didn’t matter the actual day count, it was always 28 days.
Tommy Lee was very quiet and focused on set, he comes “in character” to the set and when the camera rolls, he is powerful, creating a character and delivering dialogue like only he can. In the six weeks of shooting he said only five words to me, “your hat is on backwards”... The character he portrayed wore a cowboy hat and I had trouble distinguishing the front from the back. He doesn’t miss a trick.
Morgan Freeman brings joy and happiness to the set, he has an incredible persona.
Rene Russo, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Glenne Headly, Elizabeth Ashley were all consummate professionals, studying the way they prepare and approach their work was priceless.
Our stand in line up, or 2nd team bonded very quickly. The core group was primarily Charles Elkins, Michael Fabian, Susan Lloyd, Vincent Cunningham and Robert Fox. Michael taught me the basics. Stand In is a vital role to the continuity of the film. There were many things to learn, the most important being to study the actor you are standing in for, their every movement, stance, hand, leg arm position. The camera operators really depend on the stand in to get the shot right.
This once in a lifetime experience has been invaluable in my pursuit of a career in film.
I feel blessed and fortunate to have been given this wonderful opportunity.
Memorization - an inevitable reality
Learning your lines is probably the second most important tool to your success after showing up on-time to the audition (meaning 20 minutes early). It is one of the lower rungs on the ladder. And learning lines is probably the number one cause of anxiety for many actors, beginning or experienced professional.
There are techniques including writing the script out long hand, repetition, mnemonics, and the Roman Room method, that work really well for some learners. For most it’s about finding what works for your learning style.
In his article on memorization Ryan Howe describes the process this way:
“Memory is the brains way of integrating sensory-motor information into a symbolic representation that allows prediction of future occurrences. This is the evolutionary basis for memory. When trying to commit information to memory, it is important to engage with the material in a fashion that complements how your brain naturally performs this task. The world is not a two dimensional plane. The brain evolved to remember material that is living, active, colourful, vivid, and engaging.”
In the article found here Howe outlines several techniques for people who are learning strings of numbers, words or historical moments. He advocates putting them into a story. So how does this help actors? That’s already what we do, so some of the tried and true methods may help us, and they may cause more confusion.
I have had trouble with learning lines in the past and am happy to say that now at my advancing age, it’s easier than ever, which is not something I would have expected. I frequently forget why I went into the kitchen, but that is another story.
Here is a simple approach to help actors of any level.
The most important step requires learning the character’s needs, wants, desires, and what physical, emotional and psychological actions they will use to overcome any obstacle to their objective. This is about discovering and integrating WHY the character chooses the words they use. It is about digging into the script to feel the impact of the words and actions that your scene partner is using to effect you, which in turn leads you to the only possible response.
If you view your script like a treasure map that contains all the clues and information you need to do your job and discover your path to the forgone conclusion, memorization will no longer be a word in your vocabulary, much less a concern in your process.
So what about the times we are handed a final script seconds before we shoot a scene? At this point, we rely on our highly tuned muscle memory and ability to absorb material quickly, by making choices based on what we are RECEIVING from the other character. Every action (words we choose) is tied to a reaction (what we are receiving).
So hit the Memory Gym. Make this a daily practice and start working out on scripts for class or with friends. Time spent on the treadmill with a script instead of that cooking show or the Kardashians will be time well invested! See you at the Studio!
What a week. On two consecutive Fridays I was blessed to witness two Sol-Mates from Albuquerque, Jim Sea and Linda Martin, bring their original one person shows to the stage in New York City. After months (and years) of discovery, development, and rehearsal with their wonderful directors (Christine McHugh, Randi Klein and Lee Kitts), we celebrated their massive accomplishment!
Why Solo shows and DIY?
In February of 2010 I received an announcement from a local theater company that they were accepting applications for their annual Summer Solo Theater Festival . I’d been sitting on an idea for 18 years so I made up a press kit for my non-existent show, sent it in and, voila, was accepted. Trouble was, I hadn’t written a word and had only some very simple thoughts on what it might be about. So with the help of an experienced writing coach and a fertile group of fellow performers, I wrote The Bark & The Tree, just in time for the July performance. For the next few years, I did workshop productions throughout New Mexico until, in 2013, I was accepted to the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York City.
What a rush. It was hard work selling out the Studio Theater at Theater Row on W42nd Street from my office in Albuquerque, yet, by calling every person I had ever known in the big apple and the surrounding area, I managed to do so–twice. Those two performances showcased my work and I received an award for Best Documentary Play, with my lighting designer honored with Best Lighting Design. The combination earned me an invitation to return the following year for two encore performances. I was stunned to be recognized as a writer and a performer in the midst of 120 other shows and to be invited back.
That experienced proved something essential to me. I had found my tribe and I had to take my seat at the table. Since then I have performed The Bark & The Tree at The Barrow Group in NYC, Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY, The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble’s Women’s Solo Theatre Festival in Bloomsburg, PA, Headford, Ireland, and most recently, the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival.
In addition to performing The Bark & The Tree in 2013, I wrote, produced and starred in my debut short film called Leverage which has received some nice recognition in my community around New Mexico. Another seat at another beautiful table.
In 2015 I took time off from performing and offered a class on creating Original Solo Performance at Sol Acting Academy. The format included two group classes and two private coaching sessions per month. Six people signed up and worked diligently for six months. Bearing witness to people discovering their voices, creating visions and developing theatrically viable pieces on stage has been tremendously rewarding.
This September I returned to United Solo, but this time not as an actor/writer. I returned as a mentor to two actors who were accepted to perform the pieces they wrote and developed as a result of their work in our class. Their persistence, tenacity and passion paid off with two beautiful break-out performances Off-Broadway in New York City. And their classmates are also performing regularly in festivals and theaters through out the Southwest. I am honored and humbled to be a part of their journeys to artist freedom.
Why Create Your Own Work:
Acting is a fiercely unpredictable business. Imagine this scenario: Sunday evening you feel as if nothing is ever going to happen, and on Monday morning you are filled with elation, crawling inside a script because you got called audition on Tuesday. Monday and Tuesday are now spent analyzing, learning the scene, making choices, and maybe a coaching session. Tuesday’s audition is either awesome or maybe not-so-awesome. Wednesday is about letting go, honoring the process and then Thursday comes, still no word, and it’s about eating the salad instead of the pint of ice cream. On Friday you learn you’re pinned (on hold) for the part, and by Saturday you’re getting emails from wardrobe and production. We’re IN! On Monday, you learn that a movie star is being brought in to play the role you booked and you get a message that your contract is cancelled. Then Tuesday another audition and away we go on another spin around the track that is acting. The roller coaster ride of emotions can be ridiculous. Combine that with the terrain we have to navigate in preparation for an audition and you have a life choice that gives you one very wild ride. It became increasingly hard to stay focused, inspired and fulfilled in a business that requires readiness, and while not always providing an outlet for the result.
Creating my own work, whether it is writing and shooting a short screen play or developing a solo performance, has given me a sense of place, belonging and stability as an actor. The process helps me stake my claim and the actions that I then take give me the opportunity to investigate my artistic point of view through all aspects of the craft. I learn how to visualize the story, how to explore the sound that will enhance it, and how to invite others to join me on the project, bringing it to life in its fullest expression. Driving the project, I am clarifying my perspective and telling a story that is meaningful to me. There are fears of course, like what if no one cares, but with over fifty years observing and loving this life, I figure if a story has impact for me, there are at least a hundred others who would be interested as well, so who am I not to bring something to the party?
In this way, creating my own work has become a practice in hospitality and my creative community at large is a giant potluck. Think about it, we all have our circle of friends and colleagues with whom we like to gather. We all have our signature hot dish that we bring to each celebration; our offering to the group, made with love and inspiration. We bring it, knowing others will be sustained by the tasty nutrients and clever presentation, and the energy we have used to put the ingredients together. We come together to share a meal and conversation, spending quality time on the essential human task of knowing and supporting each other.
This is the ultimate reason why, as actors, we must not wait to be chosen. We are gifted with an ability and the grit to be in this business. We have the ability to empathize, to be fearless in our exploration of characters, and to approach every role free of judgement, combined with the perseverance to do it with passion time and time again. That gift brings with it a responsibility. It’s what we bring to the table. We shouldn’t wait to be picked by someone else in order to express that ability and share our gift. It’s in us for a reason. So step up! Don’t be that guy who always brings the ice. Create some delicious original offering and share it with your creative community take your seat at the table filled with tantalizing soul food for our imaginations, because our feast is enhanced by your creation.
It’s not personal is a phrase that we get used to as actors. When we audition, the process of choosing who comes for a call-back isn’t about how well you memorized and hit your mark. And getting the call-back is a bigger deal than most may think. It’s a huge sign that you’ve been seen. Moving the next step of booking a role is even less personal.
When the final decision is made, it may be that you are exactly what the director and producers are looking for to fill the role as a physical type. It could be all about the choices you made that illuminates how the character fits in the story arc. You may have brought something so surprisingly fresh, that while you don’t fit the initial vision for the part, they want to see what else you’ve got!
There are so many variables, that from production’s side of the desk, are absolutely not personal. Yet for actors, it is personal. It has to be. We personally took time to research, analyze, scrutinize, memorize and focus up to our eyes. We arranged for time off from our day jobs, secured child care, sometimes driven 3 hours one way to audition. We have meditated, coached and prepped. We have invested all of ourselves into the role, because ultimately we are walking in with an authentic, vulnerable, real version of a person on a page two thirds of the way through the script. 20 characters in black and white, that for some reason is necessary to move the plot forward and get the star pointed in a particular direction.
For us as actors, it is always personal. If it wasn’t, our performances would be lack luster and mechanical. For production, it is never personal, because if it was, it would get real messy, real fast. So how do we live in the gap between them?
It’s about understanding all the jobs in the process of getting the movie finished. Our job is to be real people, with real emotions, experiencing something really odd, scary, sad or exciting. We play the humans. Production’s job is to ensure the script is served and the film gets made, on time, and on budget.
It’s another tool we can use to stay sane in the business. Respect the roles and understand where we fit in the big picture. As actors we are contributing to the process every time we audition. We help the filmmakers gain insight into their story and believe me, even if you didn’t book the role? Your voice made an impact.
So keep up the good work by keeping it personal, while not taking it personally. And break a leg out there.
Why do we do this? This thing called acting or singing or sharing our creative selves? I was part of two conversations this week that brought up this important question. First, in the brilliant company of Jodi Lynn Thomas, Jason Weiler and Jeananne Goossen. The second with Peter Eldridge for Art of the Song. There are basic, tried and true answers: “I love to tell stories”, “I have always enjoyed making people laugh”, and of course, hearing applause for the first time is a rush that few forget and many pursue again and again. All solid reasons to want a life on stage or screen.
Yet there was something else on the table in both exchanges. It came down to two things at the end of the day. Perfection and Responsibility.
Perfection. It’s an unattainable goal, and for actors it's even more pronounced. We are imperfect beings, portraying deeply flawed individuals in impossible circumstances. That’s what makes it so incredible. We have the opportunity to put ourselves in the shoes of another and perceive the world through their eyes. We feel things that we most likely will never feel in our personal life, and choose behaviors that we wouldn’t naturally choose. The closest thing to perfection that can be achieved is the simplicity of an unobstructed moment of truth, using our body, speech and mind to bring the character off the page and into action. We can stress about wardrobe, makeup, hair, and whether the other person in the room has a better take on the role, or has more connections than we do. Or, we can embrace the surrender of our personal behaviors and habits in exchange for another’s point of view. Perfectly, imperfect. That’s our craft. Because we are imperfect beings exploring another’s imperfect way of being in the world.
As for responsibility? What an opportunity. To voluntarily release my own traits, and in their place adopt those of someone who’s struggle and journey may mirror that of someone I have never met, in a town I have never been to, with a story that has never been told. That is a beautiful responsibility. Through our work as actors we ensure that other’s lives are made visible.
That’s why I love acting. It’s why I do it. I am an “Archeologist.” I am fascinated by the imperfect beings that we are, and I experience real joy combing through the treasure maps we call scripts, in search of the truth. I love exploring the choices of words, the whys and hows of a person, living to the best of their ability in their impossible circumstance.
Most of all? I love the feeling of stillness that comes in the middle of the chaos of performing, when all the imperfections find their balance and the truth of our collective humanity appears in all it’s glory. To me? Well, that is perfection.
I've shared a photo here by Tim Nenninger. Me, perfectly imperfect, sans makeup. Let's paraphrase Audrey Hepburn, and say "there is no such thing as imperfect. The word its self says I'm Perfect."
Acting looks so easy on TV. So natural, so connected; so in the moment and honest. Each character living truthfully and responding in a way that is interesting, exciting, scary and sexy, all at once. Even in romantic comedies we see happy, truthful stories expressed with spontaneity and ease. It looks so simple! We can all do that, right?
Yes, we all can. The key is to become relaxed enough to share all that spontaneity with an audience. That is where training comes in, because I don’t know about you, but I am not by nature that relaxed and connected and interesting and scary and sexy all at once on any given day in normal life.
So there we are, trying to learn lines, act naturally, and just be ourselves, in a highly UN-natural situation. When we get up in front of people or a camera, our would-be happy-truthful-scary-sexy self heads for the hills and we become disconnected. When disconnected this is what happens in our brain: “how-should-I-say-this-line, should I smile, frown, be sexy, what is that anyway, am i blinking too much, why is my heart racing, oh god I forgot my lines again, why don’t they write things the way people talk, I would never say that, oh forget it the casting director doesn’t like me anyway, oh man, there’s that other actor who radiates confidence, gah, they all want so-and-so for the part more than me.” and to quote Eddy Izzard, Eh Voila! The happy-truthful-scary-sexy actor they would like to hire for the part, is draining out through your feet. We are a mass of personal contradictions that take us out of the game.
Actor training is about sensitivity to your surroundings and other people. It is about vulnerability and learning to be OK entering into the world of highly imperfect people in difficult situations. It’s not possible to do that perfectly. It is possible to share your most imperfect self, the one that makes mistakes and is affected by everything around you, in the moment. And after a considerable amount of time learning to relax enough to be that sensitive and vulnerable, you’ll find yourself back at the beginning again, wondering what the big deal was in the first place. And it is a huge deal to get to that point.
Some of us have a longer road to this connection, based on past conditioning. That’s where acting classes come in really handy. The first step of the journey is really toward becoming a more present human being. It is possible do it in your daily life and it may get you to your goal of approaching scripts with ease and commitment. Your friends might appreciate your increased sensitivity and attention to them! Personally, I choose to share time in the studio with other actors moving toward that same goal. It gives me the structure and the pressure of accountability. It gives me an audience to practice letting go of self judgement and fear. Wait did I say Fear?
Well, that’s a whole different blog post! And I’ll share it next week. Thanks for reading.
I’ve seen a lot of posts on Facebook lately from folks looking for acting teachers, dialect coaches, help with diction and more. It’s really incredible how many great teachers we have here in Albuquerque, all with good education and experience in the business and in the craft. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start and who to start with.
The good news is, it’s all up to you, and where you feel you can grow as an actor. I continue to train even though I’ve been doing this for a quite while. I feel better when I am being challenged to express myself with new methods that are out of my comfort zone.
Here are the things I do when checking out an acting teacher (or any teacher for that matter) that I hope will be useful to you.
1. Visit a class. An acting teacher is dealing with 12 or more hearts, souls and minds all at once in a class. Acting is a stressful business. Energy runs high in an an acting class (especially at the professional level). Emotions are raw. It takes a tuned in, balanced person to hold space and manage their own thoughts and emotions while asking an actor to reach deeper and be more in the moment. It can be hilarious. It can be explosive. The teacher is like a lightning rod for the actors, always looking deep into what is happening in the scene.
2. Listen to how the instructor communicates his/her insights. I watch their body language especially when they are working with an emotionally charged scene.
3. Take in the energy of the class. Are they welcoming? Do they seem to like each other? Is the energy one of community and empathy, or competition and isolation. Personally, I prefer the first one. Again, this is a highly competitive business and I want my class experience to be one where I can take huge risks and be vulnerable. Believe me, that is not always pretty! I save perfection for the audition! So I want to be around people who uphold me in the mess as I find my way.
4. Look into the teacher’s background. Do they have a degree in theatre and bookings on TV and Film? Are they currently booking or directing films? Are their students booking? I actually audition for the same roles as my students. Believe me, I love it when they book! It helps to see that what they teach, works.
5. Ask questions! It’s important to me (and it may not matter to you) that my teachers are life long learners. How are they tending to their own artistry and development as a teacher? Good acting is good acting, and it’s also important to be current!
All in all, it comes down to what you really need to move to the next phase of your art form. Sometimes it’s a gentle loving voice, sometimes it’s a dose of tough love. I love training and instead of having to travel, I have asked some of the best and brightest teaching and acting talents I know to join us at Sol. It’s selfish really! I love training here at Sol, side by side with students, because the teachers train, too, always expanding their knowledge base and sharing it with the next generation of actors. And we get to celebrate together when one of the teachers or students books a role! This can be a really competitive business. We need each other for support, encouragement and community. As artists, we thrive in an atmosphere of trust and challenge!
So find your spot, train for a while, then as you grow in strength and artistic freedom, switch it up! Jump in with a new teacher, who scares the wits out of you in a good way!
As one of my coaches, Amy Jo Berman says “How can it get even better than this!”
“What are the most interesting and compelling qualities I have to
There is a great article on Backstage.com that I want to share with you by Craig Wallace. Craig has developed a distinct technique for auditioning that is all it's own. With a specific focus on television and film, his process brings the actor fully in to presence with the material, and allows the audition and all the moments before and after to be a conversation between the actor and the "powers that be" in the room. In his videos and expert column on Backstage.com Craig describes the process and I find them really ... well comforting in a way.
As actors we pressure ourselves to bring all that we can into the room for auditions. The truth of the matter is that we are in a room with people, who are not characters in the movie or TV show. They are readers and camera people, casting directors and associates. If we are in a call back we may be meeting the director and producers, possibly even the writers. So what is it that they all really want to see? The fact that you have a grasp on the entire story arch of this character is not actually as important as being present and bringing your unique voice to the text on the page. Self knowledge, Wallace says is the best tool you can possibly employ. He goes on to say two more important things. We have all heard and learned that auditioning is it's own art form and it's not news here either, but Wallace frames it in a really lovely way by acknowledging that when it comes time to act, you are completely engulfed in the role while in the audition, you are completely connected to how the text is resonating in you, and how present you are for the conversation in the room. Additionally, and I LOVE him for this, he honors the tremendous courage that actors have, facing new people, and rejection on a daily basis.
This is a tender article about a vital part of our success. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And join me this winter for our great classes that will help you reach your career dreams in 2015! Early bird discounts end December 31st.
READ THE ARTICLE HERE 3 Reasons Auditioning Is An Art Unto Itself. Click here to learn more about Craig Wallace
And we highly recommend that you read Backstage every day! Click here to subscribe: Backstage.com
See you at the Studio!
Kaizen. The art of constant self-improvement. Kaizen is a Japanese word that simply means “good change.” In business practices, it has come to be synonymous with the philosophy of constant improvement. Good change is preferable to me than “constant self-improvement,” which sounds a lot like work. Good change seems like a manageable, something I can take a break from on Sundays, or even for an hour on Tuesday, if needed. For a fairly laid-back person, I do swing into full-on Type A “get ‘er done,” “zero to sixty” momentum whenever faced with the awareness that I might not be working to my fullest capacity. Good change, one day at a time, got me to the place of a loving relationship with myself, which then expanded to being able to keep a plant alive, then two small finches, then a dog, and now a deep and wonderful marriage. It took time, but one or two small, good changes over time really mount up.
My acting career has been nothing less than that, and as many of you know I take my own training seriously. I am writing this from NYC. As an actor I feel that I need a reality check every year (as if auditioning wasn’t enough!) on my annual trip to get myself right sized artistically and as a teacher. I take class, see shows, perform, and in general “work out” so that I come back to Albuquerque and Sol Acting a stronger, more effective actor and teacher. Last year I was humbled by seeing performances and working with teachers and students who drove me to know that I can and will show up in a stronger way. I was rewarded by recognition for writing and acting.
This year, I am back for more. Well, more humbling anyway. I have studied again with Anna Deavere Smith, and taken my first workshop with Anthony Meindl who has led me to greater understanding of what I bring to the table as an actor and teacher. In a class environment, I auditioned for the artistic staff of five award winning Off Broadway theaters. I used a monologue from a new piece I am writing and was delighted by what I learned from the auditors. I have seen shows that blew my mind, and a few that made me think, “huh, we do it better in Albuquerque.”
These good changes have led to me to shed yet another layer of self-conscious fear and allowed me to step into a larger presence with joy. The walls came down and my connection to the people around me expand, which brings my work alive in a monstrously wonderful way.
Acting is truly the strangest of all professions. We train to be emotionally available, to be big and subtle simultaneously; to live in the full passion of the Truth of Who We Are, in the given circumstances of a character that on the surface is our direct opposite, using only the words written by someone else. And then we repeat the process exactly, yet always fresh, take after take. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Indeed. In order to survive it, we must practice good changes that open our hearts to more and more capacity for empathy and understanding. Those good changes must be fueled with Love, not the small cap L but all caps bold LOVE. We love the work for the work’s sake, we love the people we do it with, even those that we audition for and the actors we audition with. We love it all and it loves us right back. Without that key ingredient we become narcissistic, competitive and all around tired out. So think about it. Why do you do this? I think I hear your answers.
I can’t wait to get home. See you soon.
I can't tell you how many times I've heard that theater actors don't make good television and film actors. There is this misconception that theater creates large performances that make actors too loud, too broad and too...well, just TOO MUCH.
I guess that Bryan Cranston, Zachary Quinto and Cherry Jones didn't get that memo.
A few months ago I had the pleasure of seeing Zachary and Cherry in The Glass Menagerie on Broadway at The Booth Theater. It was stunning. The mastery of the craft was evident throughout the play. Within the first few lines of Tom's opening monologue, I felt tears of appreciation welling up in my eyes. I knew Zachary to be a great film and tv actor, creating compelling characters for Star Trek and Heroes to name just two. But I'd didn't know he was THAT. That beautiful, connected, lyric actor who can adjust to any text and any medium.
And, again, we see it in Bryan Cranston's tour de force performance on Boston's American Repertory Theatre stage as LBJ. If you have any thought that Cranston's time as Walter White will color all his performances, read this review on The Boston Globe.
Theater may require larger performances, but good acting is good acting. Good actors learn the skills, the basics, the form, the nuances. They learn to control their egos, their voices, and their bodies. They learn to analyze a text and bring their unique perspective to it. They take us on journeys that inform, inspire and connect us to all that is great, all that is fallible, and all that is human.
So next time someone tells you not to do theater because it will ruin your acting for film and television - tell 'em that Walter White aka Heisenberg says, "remember my name."