Where do you go to see a good bit of drama or a gut-busting bit of comedy?
The Theatre? Some of us, yes. The Cinema? It’s still a good bet. TV perhaps? Well there’s always something nice on when it hits 9 O’clock.
But the internet?
Among the Keyboard Cats, the endless (endless! STOP IT!) to-camera opinion pieces and the hilarious footage of foolish-types smacking themselves in the privates with meteor poi*, are there people actually being dramatically creative?
Well, yes and no.
The internet is a funny old beast – at once both liberating and frustrating, choc full and yet oddly,.. barren. Although it gives anyone with access to a camera-phone the opportunity to show their talent to a potential audience of billions, the ‘Net is so busy that you have to look hard to find any who do.
This naturally puts a lot of people off, and there isn’t much financial encouragement, with piracy now endemic on the web. But if you look hard, I mean really, really hard, you might just find a few creative gems.
I think it’s time to start celebrating their work, so here are a few of my favourites;
Matt M David, a young American writer/actor, has put together a number of short films on Youtube. This one if my favourite so far;
Divided Productions are dab hands at creating seriously spectacular looking short films on a shoe string budget. Much of their content finds its way back online after doing the rounds of the short film circuit. This one, Hail of Bullets, is a particularly impressive example – though do suspend your disbelief, John Woo style, first!
American Comic and actor Brandon Hardesty has made quite a name for himself stateside by re-enacting famous movie monologues on his YouTube channel. Indeed, so well acted are they that he’s now receiving offers from actual Hollywood studios! Here’s a piece that he co-wrote (with Bug Hall) – and it’s seriously good.
Some actors (such as myself) use video sharing online as a way of showing off our abilities to casting directors and producers. When I was first mulling the idea of VideoTim I came across this lady; the magnificently talented Natalia Kostrzewa. Here’s a great audition monologue that she recorded from a play called Whale Music by Anthony Minghella.
Andrew O’Donnell is another actor who I came across recently. He’s done a grand job of re-creating the monologue Playing Sandwiches by the great Alan Bennet.
Now, while all of the videos above are shining examples of new work online, I’ve found it remarkably hard to navigate the wild seas of the World Wide Web and find myself in calm waters where new dramatic and comic content is collected together. Am I looking in the wrong place? Do such Oases exist?
Let me know in the comments section below! And while you’re at it, why not pop in some links to your personal favourite monologues and short films online – who knows, I may start an awards ceremony!!
*Okay, here’s a foolish-type smacking himself in the privates with meteor poi. Enjoy!
Tim Austin is an Actor working nationally and internationally from his base in the UK. You can find his Spotlight CV here; http://www.spotlight.com/8218-3497-0502 and watch his showreel by clicking here.