Friday, January 19, 2007

ON ACTING: 'Note to Liz'

In reviewing her performance during the seminar, the student said:

"Looking at my tape, I see that it lacked energy in the beginning, and was heavy the entire way through. Instead of playing the problem, we should have just been kids hanging out during the summer talking about our parents. What do you think?"

My reply:

"What do I think? I think you are very bright and right-on in your analysis. Another way of looking at it: when we want to experience deep emotion in a scene, we don't play the emotion or the problem in the scene. Instead--and this activity happens before the scene--we create as the actor the possibility of feeling deeply in ourselves (called 'preparation'), and then, once the scene begins, we deal (as the character) with the other character logically in a manner that will KEEP US from those feelings being felt too the scene progresses and IN SPITE OF OUR BEST INTENTIONS (as the character) the other person makes us feel those deep feelings!!!" We could call it: "Drama in spite of ourselves."


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