Friday, January 26, 2007

ON ACTING: Good Scenes and Bad Scenes...and what to do about it...

After taping a scene last night in class (which the the actors performed very well...interestingly and movingly) another student asked me where that scene was from. I said: " was from a mediocre soap opera." The student, who had liked the scene and the actors very, very much, was a bit surprised. His face read: "From a soap opera?" I tried to assuage his confusion. I said: "Acting is like dressing up and going out. It's not the dress or suit that's necessarily exciting but who's wearing it; often, in acting, it's not the scene but who's doing it. Actors like Meryl Streep and Anthony Hopkins can make the phone book interesting."

The chore of the good actor is to make the mundane interesting, the commonplace exceptional, and the everyday significant. An exceptional script is a rare occurrence.


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