Hi everyone! It was good meeting all of you in the Acting 101 class.

The first part of this exercise is to choose someone to watch, and then watch him or her for a short time (i.e., between 30 seconds and a minute), without them realizing they are being watched. (No, I’m not asking you to stalk someone! Just watch them for a little while.)

The person you’re watching might be a friend, family member, coworker, or stranger. They can be of any age and either gender.  You might watch him or her engaging in some common activity, such as:

  1. watching T.V.
  2. talking on the phone
  3. taking out the garbage
  4. working on the job
  5. eating breakfast
  6. flirting
  7. arguing
  8. making a meal
  9. reading a book
  10. getting ready to leave for work

… or some other everyday activity. Look at how he or she walks, stands, talks, gestures. (Knees together? Legs apart? Loud, abrasive voice? Soft, slow speech?) (Just watch and try to take in the person’s mannerisms and ways of expressing himself or herself.)

Imagine that you’re filming them with a camcorder, recording what they’re doing so that you can play it back later.

PART 2: 

After watching the person for a minute, do your best to re-create what you saw the person do.  Practice a few times, seeing how close you can come. Stand like the person was standing, gesture like they were gesturing. The goal is to recreate exactly what you saw him or her do and say. You don’t have to “mime” it silently; if they were talking, go ahead and say what you heard them say, in as close to their voice as you can.

This exercise works best without props. (If they were sitting down, you’ll be able to use a chair, but practice pantomiming the rest without using physical objects.) (In other words, if they were drinking beer, you don’t have to bring a beer to class, just mime it.)

P.P.S. Some students have emailed to ask if they can see examples of my films.  You can see some of them on this page. To see shorts made in “Let’s Make a Movie” class: click here

  • Feature-length movies by Nils Osmar: click here
  • To see my IMDB (Internet Movie Database) page: click here