A podcast by playwrights for playwrights, and everybody else

Podcast 037: Jeffrey Ingman Meets You Where You Are

Tori and Mabelle talk with audition coach Jeffrey Ingman about his company, Audition Revelation, as well as his work as director of the La Jolla Playhouse Young Performers’ Conservatory and the MCITStudio. Other topics include Jeffrey’s approach to text and the musicality of plays; how speed skating relates to the arts; and the moments theater approaches divinity.

Writing prompt (courtesy of Jeffrey Ingman)

Imitation, Exploration, Authentication – Character Development. Jeffrey is developing this into a workshop that will be offered this Spring!

1. Imitation: Focus on a character in film, TV or Theatre – where an actor created a specific and defined physical, vocal, and emotional life. – it is necessary to be able to model or imitate the character because the traits are so defined. Performances on film and TV are most useful here.

  • Describe in detail the ‘nature’ of that character’s (actor’s choices) physical, vocal and emotional life –
  • Example of a TV character I saw – years ago: Here is my description of character and the actor’s choices as they relate to physical, vocal, and emotional life:

The character’s jaw is held tight and barely he opens his mouth to speak. When he is angry it’s as if he is winding up inside, coiling and tightening each muscle to point where they actually seem to be crushing one another – muscle and bone and veins molding inward. He walks with purpose – but it feels more like he is being pushed or pulled – his gate only changes in the privacy of his room. Shoulders held tight always – release – his body slumpes and his release actually looks though he is taking off – a heavy backpack.

His breath seems as though it is always held or caught –as if every word is waiting for permission. His voice cracks from time to time and at 40 it’s as if puberty hasn’t happened yet.

Emotionally – he holds everything – but cracks open in the privacy of his room. When he finally does release (whatever the emotion) it is in the extreme and the entire experience – is like a golf-ball is being pushed through a straw.

2. Exploration: Once you have your description – Create a backstory (a specific event or series of events) that focuses on the ‘reason’ this-person’s physical, vocal, and emotional life is as it is– justify each characteristic. Research may be needed here – to justify the historic details that collectively make up these character traits.

3. Authentication: Take this already created character and create a scene using contrary and foreign environmental facts where the character would traditionally never be found. Consider completely changing: Location, Time, Era, Local, Geographic location, Status, Politics, Economics, Family dynamics, religion, gender identity, orientation, race…etc.

Note: Authentication: Explores the ‘possible’ multi-dimensional aspects of character, the universal physical, vocal, and emotional experiences shared by many – and can help us eliminate character dependents on a limited frame of existence, situation, or dynamic.

Connect with Jeffrey Ingman:

Jeffrey Ingman’s bio:

Jeffrey Ingman is a Southern California-based acting teacher and coach at Audition Revelation. He is recommended by industry professionals and coaches actors for Theatre, Film, TV, (including multi-cam) auditions, self-tapes, and performance.  His clients are seen in national and local television commercials and have been featured in film and television. His college-bound clients are accepted into some of the best BFA and MFA programs in the US and abroad. Currently, Jeffrey is the director of the Conservatory at La Jolla Playhouse and teaches the “Meisner Technique” in San Diego at MCITStudio with Lisa Berger.

Check out the Meisner/Chekhov Integrated Training Studio: www.mcitstudio.com
The Young Performers’ Workshop at La Jolla Playhouse can be found here: https://lajollaplayhouse.org/learningandengagement/yp-ljp/young-performers-workshop/