>Ben’s too busy with life and stuff to say much on his blog, so I’ll chime in. Since I don’t have a life. Sam (Nathan) has found his happy place, Joe not quite yet. I think Ben got our roles backwards, Nathan is more Joe than I am right now.

I’ve yet to master the art of tossing the cards right on to the crate during our blackjack scene. All these years of playing cards with our 11 year old boy hasn’t taught me a thing. I haven’t played blackjack since 1991 in the Bahamas. Nathan showed me Vegas rules… but I’m not grasping it yet. Course it took me 712 rehearsals to learn my 11 second waltz with my stage wife in DEARLY BELOVED, so I know it’ll happen soon enough.

What’s the big deal about a card toss? Why worry about something so trivial?

Every move you see on stage, in a video, or in a film is for a reason. Every move, every prop is telling you something. About the story, about the character. The actor makes choices based on training and instinct, but the director’s story is the one that prevails. The director (in this case also the writer) knows what he needs to see to make sure the viewer sees the same vision.

And it has to be believable. You may not know a professional card toss from an amateur card toss, but if the actor doesn’t do it “naturally” or with confidence, you’re out of the story and thinking about something else.

Ever been watching a show about something you know about? And the actor does something inconsistent with that action or scenario? Ever said to yourself or to someone nearby, “that’s not the way that’s supposed to be…” or “you can tell that guy has never ….”. You’re out of the story, you just remembered you’re watching make-believe.

You go to movies knowing it’s a movie. You know the actors have done other films. You’re sitting in a large auditorium with others that are reacting like you are. But the actors, effects, sounds, sets, lighting–EVERYTHING working together pulls you in and keeps you there until the credits roll.

That’s a great film. Those are great actors. And THAT’S why I need to work on my freakin’ card toss until next rehearsal. We shoot in two Saturdays and that’s Joe’s last chance to get it perfect. So YOU can stay in the story.

Plus, I need to learn my lines. 🙂