Wednesday, May 7, 2008

On the set of Little Mosque

I just spent a couple of days acting in another episode of CBC's hit sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie playing a recurring character Faisal--who's a sidekick of the histrionic and ultra-conservative Baber. I think of Faisal as loyal to a fault--with faulty loyalties. He's a great supporter of Baber's conservative viewpoint but if the wind ever shifts even slightly against Baber, Faisal is quick to jump off the Baber bandwagon.

It's a great set running smoothly as they shift into their third season. Cast and crew work like the proverbial well-oiled. My episode was written by the talented Claire Ross Dunn and directed by Jim Allodi. Jim's a great joy to work with because being an actor himself, he actually knows what to say to actors. So many directors tend to be monitor jockeys who are more interested in the camera set up. Not that Jim isn't, but he also knows HOW to work with actors.

Having worked with some of the crew when I co-starred in the late, lamented CBC sitcom, An American in Canada, it wasn't hard to get them to allow me to bring one of my Humber acting for film and TV students to the set to shadow me. This time I had a different student for each of my shoot days join me and it appears to have been a terrific eye-opener for them. Much of the stuff that I speak about in the classroom, they were able to see happen firsthand--like the minimal rehearsal we get. I was thrilled when Jim finished one of my sentences about my method of film script analysis I've perfected by teaching it to Humber students over the years. Something I call The Three Questions. But Jim knows nothing about it--however when I explained it to him, he was totally into it and finished one of my sentences--my student seemed pleased to see that what I had taught her was in fact supported by a real director!

Makes me realize that I have to keep writing the Three Questions handbook I've been working on . I've been posting excerpts here but eventually I need to get it all down on paper. Having this blog may just get the job done.

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