Tuesday, February 27, 2007

ON ACTING: Determining Worthiness

In judging an acted scene, it often "ain't the scene, but who's acting it"; as in fashion: "it ain't the dress, but who's wearing it."


Blogger David said...

Yeah, well, this is a frightening thought.

Could you say something about "playing the problem?" What it is, how to avoid it.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Cliff Osmond said...

On the acting phrase, "playing the problem":

'Playing the problem' is a derisive acting term that characterizes an actor who enters a scene indulging himself/herself with the full emtoional weight of the scripted delemma--the problem--in the scene: the girl who doesn't want to continue a relationship, the boss who is trying to fire an emplyee, or the the puppy who wants to be walked when the hot date is ready for bed. The 'problem-playing' actor in any of these scenes would comport himself throughout a scene with "acting" frustration, moaning, complaining, exhibiting the full range of agony that a human being seems susceptible to when confronting a similar difficult task...especially one who enters the scene accepting defeat in advance.

The way to avoid "playing the problem" (and, by the way, as in everyday life, manifesting the unattractive acting persona thereby created...and it is primarily unattractive because it is false: if the actor really hurt that much, he would be doing something about it!!!) And therein lies the corrective to "playing the problem": the good actor enters the scene focused--throughout--on ending the personal emotional agony in the scene, change the circumstances causing the unwanted emotional experience, defeat the other character(s)with words, deeds and feelings, all with the intet to get them to come around to your point of view. My personal mantra for avoiding onorous "playing the problem" in acting is: "Don't suffer; solve. Don't whine; win. Don't complain; convince." Act that way, and win, lose or draw, it you will create a much more appealing character.

3:13 PM  

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