Arts and Entertainment

Actress ventures out of her comfort zone and onto TV

By Michael Fuchs
Published: April 2010

South has nurtured the talents of many noteworthy movie and television actors, namely John Krasinski and B.J. Novak. Like these theatrically adept South students, junior Madeline Schulman has recently entered screen acting, and auditioned for a role in the sitcom Quintuplets.

Schulman received notification of this opportunity from her father, who insisted that she audition.

She had little experience with screen acting and felt that an audition would broaden her skills.

“I’d never really done any camera acting before so it was a good opportunity to find out more about it, Schulman said.

During her audition at the Boston Center for the Arts, Schulman remained calm and poised.

“They were really nice and definitely tried to make me feel comfortable. I guess I didn’t feel much pressure because I knew that I was auditioning for more the experience than any expectation that I was going to get the part.

Schulman had rehearsed scenes beforehand, but did not have to memorize them.
At the audition, Schulman read with one of the casting directors; however, she spoke for only a few minutes.

“It was the quickest audition I’ve ever been to, Schulman said.

Though she would enjoy playing a role in the sitcom, she will not be disappointed if she is not cast.

The intent of her audition was not to acquire a part but rather to expand her expertise as an actress.

“I always like to audition as much as I can just for the experience, but I think this particular audition gave me a really nice taste of screen acting and the film business. [Screen acting] is much more concise than theatre, both in time management and the actual script. I was a little skeptical about acting on screen before, but now I kind of like it, Schulman said.

While opportunities like that of Quintuplets are infrequent, Schulman is interested in pursuing screen acting. She remains keen on pursuing stage acting first and foremost, however. Nevertheless, Schulman refuses to agonize over her future.

“I’m not thinking that far ahead yet.

Schulman is confident that she impressed Quintuplets’ talent scouts.

She still hesitates, however, before declaring her audition a success. She found her lack of familiarity for screen acting to be a difficult obstacle to overcome.

“[It] was not my best, but they had me read it a few times after giving me some direction and I always like that in an audition because I feel comfortable taking direction…I guess it was all so new to me that I didn’t really know how to evaluate myself because I didn’t know what they, or any other film director, are looking for, Schulman said.

Screen acting and stage acting are distinctively different mediums.

According to Schulman, screen acting is more condensed. Its monologues are generally short, and its stage directions are more descriptive.

Also, cameras play an integral role. Consequently, screen actors bear the burden of both a larger audience and greater scrutiny. “The camera is so close up that everything needs to be looked at a little bit closer, Schulman said.

After leaving the audition, Schulman was pleased with her performance.“I just felt lucky that they had let me read it more than once. I also felt a little surprise because the audition was so short. It was much more direct than any other audition I’d gone to and I wasn’t really sure whether or not I liked it at first, she said. Schulman is more accustomed to stage acting, but she has used her recent audition to expand her expertise as an actress.

While Schulman did do the audition to expand her expertise, one day she may very well join the ranks of South’s most famous alumni.

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