Thread: Slapstick blues

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    Slapstick blues
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    My dilemma is finding actors and extras to perform really easy physical slapstick for a short. I'm repeatedly getting Craigslist wannabee actors and extras who do the, "Slapstick? Hey - that sounds like fun and I even get paid" bit - then get cold feet and bail - sometimes costing me dearly.

    I've read here that actors who are serious about acting will act for free. That's great. However, how am I to find actors and extras who are serious about performing slapstick?

    There's a huge University where I live. They probably have theater students of the craft. I'm wondering if I'll have better luck by posting some flyers. Then again, they're probably just into the classics.

    What do you think? How do I find 7 actors serious enough about slapstick so they'll actually show up on the set instead of bailing on me?
    "Shoot first and ask questions later"


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    Senior Member clang's Avatar
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    Look for stunt people instead - they'e physical actors who understand all about fake hits and falls etc. Some slapstick would be a nice gentle change from pretending to kill each other.


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    We tend to forget that most of the classical slapstick artists in the twenties had been raised in families of vaudeville artists. A lot of them were both extremely athletic, had an education as non-classical dancers, acrobats and - even more important - had stood on stages very, very early in life. Which gave them the incredible ability of not only performing their acts without hurting themselves too much but developing a dead sure instinct for timing.

    To get such people is hard at first. You may find them in more sports and/or dance & pantomime related circumstances. Or, as clang wrote, people who do stunts. You need time to rehears. And find someone who can prepare props. Even doing the good old cake-in-the-face needs a lot of knowledge, precision and patience. Physical comedy is a most underrated genre. The modern god of it Jacky Chan. When its coupled with a somewhat intelligent story - it's un-beatable. Go for it.


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    This is a no-budget film. I'm thinking my methodology is off. Out of 10 responses from a craigslist ad, 2 were actually serious about filming slapstick and didn't care about money while the others were just playing with their phones saying they would love to be in it.

    I need to differentiate if they're serious or just playing. I'm now thinking that a prior meeting and review of an abstract is in store. I need commitment. This is actually the second time I've been stood up.

    They say the third time's the charm...
    "Shoot first and ask questions later"


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