CONSISTENCY BREEDS SUCCESS: SCOTT AT HOME WITH CHARACTER IN DISCONNECTION
BEVERLY HILLS -- Four hours before a Friday night showing of Disconnection, Skylight Theatre Company's latest play by Allen Barton about contemporary religion, producer Gary Grossman brings in a videographer to shoot a promo for the Skylight website.
Actor Carter Scott is about to perform her closing monologue, which follows a gut-wrenching scene where she is berated by co-star Everette Wallin. But for this promo, the preceding scene has not been run. She has to bring down the house -- or camera, in this case -- cold.
She starts off on all fours, with her head down, taking in deep breaths.
"Tell me when you're ready," Scott says to the cameraman, keeping her deep breathing constant while stage manager Garrett Longley puts on her limelight. The cameraman gives his consent.
After two more deep breaths, she slows her breathing, swallows hard and looks up. Her face shows defeat. Her blinking eyes scour the room while blinking to keep the water contained. She waits one more second to let the audience take a mental picture.
"Don't be too comfortable... in your judgment," she begins the line, "because, believe it or not, this all starts out pretty sanely..."
Grossman and director Joel Polis smile, almost in unison, as they watch her character, Tess, plead her case to the house.
In this business, consistency breeds success. For an actor, a switch needs to be flipped, on point, on time. If a cue is missed, even if it is just a reaction that is a moment too late, the scene is dead in the eyes of the audience.
22-year-old Carter Scott, in her young acting career, has found the switch to make her consistent.
"For Carter, this will be the role that starts her career," Polis said. "She has enough talent that this will be where she is discovered. After that, the sky is the limit."
Scott's commitment to acting starts with surviving, as it does with thousands of actors in Los Angeles daily. She works at a restaurant eight hours a day, four times a week. In her downtime, she finds a way to make it to auditions for other acting gigs around town. And on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, she drives to the Beverly Hills Playhouse to flip the switch into Tess, a scared young woman who has just figured out things are not as they seem in the church. Scott admits if she lived in Tess' reality, she would have probably made the same choices.
"There's always a part in a character that is relatable," Scott said. "Our jobs as actors or movie-makers, is to make people see that in themselves, that this could happen to me and, therefore, take lessons from the art that we made. And one of the things I love about contemplating my future as an actor is that I will learn things and experience things I never would, otherwise."
Four hours after filming the monologue cold, Scott performed it again for a packed house, and then again the following night, and again the night after that. Each time mirrored the previous time, and each time pulled the audience to the fronts of their seats. Consistency breeds success.
Disconnection is still playing at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. Get your tickets now at Skylighttix.com.