Discussing Inspiration, Creativity and More With Our Leo Awards Ticket Winners

Casting Workbook recently held a giveaway for Leo Awards tickets, asking for your best Leo acceptance speeches. All of the submissions were a fantastic variety of speech styles, featuring a variety of actors. The submissions were reviewed by many of Vancouver’s top casting directors, and there were votes across the board.

All actor self submissions were reviewed, with Rowland Pidlubny & Daniel Boileau ending up with the most votes. We asked them about their creative process, how they prepared their videos, and their acting advice for emerging talent.

rowland pidlubny casting workbook leo awardsWatch Rowland’s acceptance speech here.

Rowland:

1. Your entry had a great aesthetic. How did you create the look of your video?
Whenever I have a project, I always visualize it! The trick is to get in your third eye, so to speak,  and identify what you see there. For instance, when you think of an acceptance speech, imagine yourself being on stage, and identify what else you see. Everything branches off from there. I have a great love for production design, and how can we make it look real, while working with what you have.

2. Your performance was so animated! Did you have to push yourself?
When I was a kid I was really into stand-up comedy; Robin Williams was my comedy god! There’s a fine line in developing your character from being super crazy to insane, but I use that style in dramatic pieces to bring my performance to the edge. I love comedy, and hope to land more comedic roles in the future. If you want to see a fine example of physical comedy, watch “The Party”, a film from the 1960s with Peter Sellers. It doesn’t have a lot of dialogue, but relies mainly on Sellers’ physical comedy.

3. Your entry was seen by 18 of Vancouver’s top casting directors. Did that affect your entry style?
At the end of the day, we’re all human, and everyone loves to laugh, get emotional and connect. I find that if my performance makes me laugh, I find other people will also enjoy themselves. I push myself until I make myself feel proud, in order to achieve that. Have confidence in yourself! Even if your audience didn’t particularly enjoy what they saw, walk away glad that you had an audience.

4. The grapes and napkin bib were such funny performance additions. How did you come up with that?
When I was visualizing the concept, I originally had a chicken wing in my mouth, but I was worried about getting chicken all over my home studio mic. I saw the grapes on my table, and ended up reaching for them, which worked out well. When you visualize your final product, what you end up with after some improv can end up as an even better result than initially planned.

5. What advice would you give to young up and coming actors looking to further their careers?
If you’re a performer working with other actors, it is crucial to listen! Make an effort to really feel what they’re saying to you, and process that thoughtfully. This can take can take years of studying if you aren’t as observant. You can get stuck in your personal process if you’re working on your own, but by exploring other creatives and their work methods, you avoid panic when the director changes pace, or the character develops in a different way. Listen to what’s being done in the scene, and be an observer; you have to be natural, and have confidence in your ability. Every actor has nerves, and the best performances come from letting go. Take that nervous energy and create something from it, and you will shine!

daniel boileau casting workbook leo awardsWatch Daniel’s acceptance speech here.

Daniel:

1. How did you come up with the concept of your entry? What inspired you?
After receiving the breakdown I opened myself up to the creative process – ie: my environment, online research, or in this case, a Facebook post. It was for the app called “Dubsmash”, which reminded me of when I used to host lip-syncing contests with my family, as a kid. I then found popular or memorable acceptance speeches on YouTube and mixed them together to form a story.

2. What was your creative process?
A lot of the technical process involved mixing the audio, after which I transferred the audio file to my phone, in order to learn the lines. Memorization took the most time; I listened to the file around fifty times to properly imitate the nuances and inflections. After that, during the taping, it was only 8 or 9 takes. I initially wasn’t sure how to set up the shot, but after some trial and error, I came up with the sofa concept.

3. Eighteen of Vancouver’s top casting directors voted for your entry. How did you prepare with that in mind?
Honestly, I just committed to my vision and made choices that I was comfortable with and felt good about. Whether I won or not, I knew I’d be happy with the result.

4. Did you encounter any challenges?
I didn’t want the speech clips to be fragmented; they had to make sense together. The real crux was the memorizing; I wanted each speech clip to have it’s own visual life, in order to represent the person.

5. What advice would you give to young up and coming actors looking to further their careers?
It all comes down to making choices you can stand behind. Flush them out and utterly commit to them, so they are decisions you can believe in. Always make them to help tell the story, not to be interesting. Be interested.
Stay tuned for interviews with runner up entrants!




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