Matt Miller Interviews Tim Bagley!

Open up Tim Bagley’s record of TV and movie credit and it would simply unroll to your ft. Tim Bagley has been engaged on stage and display for many years and with good cause: he’s severe about comedy—and performing on the whole. I met Tim in 2015 on the set of Lecturers the place he performed Principal Pearson and he was sort sufficient to talk with me lately about his profession and his method to performing. The next is an edited transcript of our dialog.

Tim Bagley

MM: Plenty of the actors studying this interview have had some expertise performing on stage however could be relatively new to engaged on digicam. Leaping forwards and backwards between these two mediums could be difficult even for extra skilled actors. You will have labored each on stage and on digicam on the highest ranges. How do you calibrate your decisions as an actor—particularly for digicam work?

TB: The factor about digicam work is that a lot of it’s internalized. I believe simply good performing, on the whole, is internalized, you need to be linked to your inside emotional life. I simply do not forget that after I was working with the Groundlings and after I do theatre now I’m pondering extra bodily, externally. How do I ensure that everyone within the again row can see what I’m doing bodily? If you’re engaged on digicam, the digicam actually picks up all the things…the digicam will present what you’re pondering if it’s there internally…you don’t have to point out or point out—ever.

MM: You talked about the Groundlings. I do know you studied and carried out there for years. What drew you to improvisation?

TB: I used to be having hassle early on in my profession form of imagining myself in assorted roles, like as a king, you recognize? Characters and eventualities that had been under no circumstances like me.  Considered one of my lecturers, Nina Foch, inspired me to go research improv with the Groundlings the place I wouldn’t have time to consider it. In sketch comedy and with the Groundlings particularly you form of immediately put a personality on. If any individual labeled you as psychopath in a scene why then you definitely simply needed to be a psychopath immediately. It was actually good for me to only discover ways to be within the second and go along with no matter was occurring. In scene research lessons you usually must work to only discover ways to be current, however in improv you don’t have any selection. It simply forces you to be current and within the second.

After the Groundlings, I began finding out with Howard Effective and he taught me how you can discover the character inside myself, in order that I’m not pondering when it comes to externally placing one thing on to cover myself, however relatively revealing a part of myself within the character. And I’m nonetheless finding out proper now in reality; I’m taking a category with Helen Hunt. I’m at all times making an attempt to get higher. That’s our accountability as actors. I’m at all times making an attempt to push myself past my consolation stage.

MM: Do you may have any rituals as an actor? Something you do earlier than an audition or earlier than capturing a scene to assist floor you?

TB: I imply the principle factor for me is simply doing my preparation. I’m going via my means of breaking a scene down, realizing what I’m combating for, realizing what I need, realizing what obstacles are in my means. I at all times have a Second Earlier than that I attempt to floor in some form of bodily reality. Then it’s crucial to memorize the strains so I do know them backwards and forwards. So then whenever you’re on set with all of the issues occurring they don’t distract you. what you’re doing and also you’re not enthusiastic about your subsequent line, you’re simply capable of be current. You possibly can have a look at your scene associate and simply reply to them. I simply at all times need to be as ready as I can probably be.

MM: Shoot days on a movie or a TV present as an actor could be each exhilarating and exhausting, seemingly infinite one second after which lightning quick the subsequent. What have you ever realized about staying prepared and/or passing the time on set? Any suggestions?

TB: Ha! Sure! It’s actually onerous when you’ve got an enormous emotional scene and also you assume it’s arising in like ten minutes so that you go forward and get your self into that emotional place after which it’s really like three hours later that they name you. And you may’t actually keep in that emotional state for 3 hours. So I at all times ask to have the twond AD or a PA give me like a half an hour heads up earlier than I’ve to go on set so I’ve a way for the timing of the manufacturing. I work with whoever I’ve entry to in an effort to ensure that I get a heads up. That’s my one tip. There’s nothing worse than being known as to set whenever you’re not ready.

MM: Are you able to speak about your relationships with casting administrators? What are some issues early profession actors ought to consider as they’re going out for auditions and assembly CD’s?

TB: I keep in mind a sense early on that they had been simply miles other than me. However they’re so much like actors. They must principally audition or interview for his or her jobs and there’s so much at stake for them after they deliver individuals in and present them to a director.

What I at all times attempt to do after I’m getting in to fulfill a casting individual is to actually are available ready. I need them to know that I’ve obtained their again. Not by saying that to them, however by getting in and turning out audition. It’s the easiest way you possibly can insure a future relationship with that casting director.

Tim Bagley on Monk
MONK — “Mr. Monk Fights Metropolis Corridor” Episode 7013 — USA Community Photograph: Vivian Zink

The opposite factor is, casting administrators are individuals and so they have their issues…issues which are work associated, issues with the producers, issues with the writers. They’re people who find themselves simply making an attempt to current themselves nicely. Like actors.

MM: Do you watch your work? I do know some actors who don’t ever watch the completed movie or TV present they’re in.

TB: I often do watch it. I watch it to be taught and to develop. I keep in mind Elizabeth Taylor one time saying she by no means watches her work and I believed to myself “Huh, possibly if she did she wouldn’t have pushed as a lot as she did.” [Laughs]

One time my niece mentioned to me, “Uncle Tim, why is it everytime you’re on TV your eyes at all times bug out?” So I watched for that and I seen that she was proper. So I needed to discover ways to form of chill out my eyes and never work as onerous. I simply assume in case you watch your work you possibly can be taught out of your errors.

[Laughs] Oh! Additionally, there was this one time I used to be on an episode of V.I.P. and I used to be taking part in a global terrorist serial killer and I got here into the scene with an enormous gun with a silencer on it. And I keep in mind pondering, “nicely, I’ve obtained to point out the loopy eyes.” However then after I noticed it performed again and it was so excessive and ridiculous and I believed, “Tim in case you’ve obtained a gun with a silencer on it, all you need to do is stroll into the room. They’re going to be scared. You don’t have to point out them that you just’re harmful. You don’t have to point out them loopy eyes. Simply be calm. The gun will do all of the work.” So yeah, you be taught stuff like that from watching your unhealthy performances.

Tim Bagley on set
Tim on the set of “Grace and Frankie” with Sam Waterston, Kyra Sedwick, and Martin Sheen

One different expertise of watching my work lately, there was a scene on Grace & Frankie when a visitor director got here in, Kyra Sedgwick, and she or he informed me we’re going to shoot a scene the place your character is smoking a hookah. She needed to know if I might inhale and blow smoke rings. And I informed her I’ve by no means executed smoke rings, however I’ve 4 days. So, I went to a few hookah bars on Melrose and requested individuals there and so they confirmed me how you can do it and I practiced. After which after I went to set I blew some rings and she or he was like “How did you do this?!” And I informed her I went to some hookah bars to be taught and she or he was so impressed, however the reality is: that’s an actor’s job. In the event that they let you know they need to see you do that, it’s your accountability to discover ways to do it. I’ve realized how to take action many issues due to performing jobs.

MM: That’s a part of the enjoyment of performing, actually, isn’t it? Delving into elements of life you won’t have explored in any other case.

TB: Sure, it completely is. And I watched that scene as a result of I needed to see the way it regarded. And positive sufficient, it regarded actually good. It regarded like I had been smoking hookahs all my life!

MM: That’s so nice. You will have labored with a formidable array of actors through the years. Any favourite scene companions? Anybody you’re keen on working with due to how they problem you in a scene?

TB: I’ve had so many and I do know individuals at all times say that, however I simply love actors and I discover one thing joyful in taking part in with each one among them.

Tim Bagley

I’ll say one expertise I had, and I by no means actually speak about this, however after I labored with Tony Shalhoub on Monk…it was my first episode on the present and I used to be solely alleged to visitor star as soon as. He simply made me really feel like 1,000,000 bucks, like I used to be simply gold. We improvised somewhat and I might see him laughing and to see him laughing meant a lot to me. They usually saved calling me again for extra episodes and each time we had a scene collectively Tony would say ”Can we improvise somewhat right here?” And I came upon later that there actually was no different improvisation in that present; I believe he simply loved our playful change. What I took away from that was how he made me really feel. He made me really feel like I used to be a rare actor and I simply assume it’s so vital that after we play with individuals we ensure that they know we respect what they’re doing. Tony is such an aesthetic man and only a sensible actor. He was always stunning me, and it might make me step as much as his stage and attempt to shock him. It was thrilling to play a scene with him. However once more, the massive takeaway was simply the best way that he handled me. It meant all the things to me. And I simply at all times take into consideration that after I’m working with different actors now.

MM: I can say from my expertise watching you’re employed on Lecturers that you’ve most undoubtedly handed that good vitality ahead. All of the Katydids liked being in scenes with you.

Grace and Frankie

TB: Thanks. We had the very best time on that set!

You possibly can see Tim Bagley within the ultimate season of Grace & Frankie popping out on Netflix this summer time.

Matt Miller

Initially from Kent, Ohio, Matt Miller is a Chicago-based director and producer.

As a business director, latest credit embody work for Eggo, America’s Greatest Eyeglasses, Black Flag, AT&T, Seeso, Hyundai, Crest, and The Hartford.

An completed stage director as nicely, Matt’s credit embody Irish Theatre of Chicago’s manufacturing of The Seafarer (nominated for five Joseph Jefferson Awards, WINNER for Greatest Ensemble), The Killer Angels with Lifeline Theatre (WINNER Joseph Jefferson Award for Sound Design), Superior Donuts with Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co., and Oblivion for Steppenwolf’s First Look Repertory.

Check out Matt’s workshop, Discover The Humorous: Industrial Workshop with Matt Miller: In Particular person! Discover ways to establish the humorous in business copy and goal the very best locations to improvise from probably the greatest within the business!