Sunday, August 19, 2007

ON ACTING: 'Choices'...Fixed or Fluid?

Actors are always talking about 'making choices': that is, 'choosing how' they-as-the-character are going to play a coming-up scene. And in such 'choosing' future acting behavior they are deciding--in advance of their actually playing the scene-- the expected emotional coloration of a future incipient moment; the best way they should (they feel) eventually to do a whole scene; or, in many cases, even a small moment in a scene.

When 'choosing' in this manner, actors are preparing themselves to best enact those scenes (preparing to act character behavior within these scenes) in a manner that is both logical to life (consistent with reality...because a good performance must be real) and exciting (consistent with exciting reality). The dual need for both reality AND excitement is why casting directors often ask actors in an audition to make "bold choices" , "risky choices"; they are asking actors to accept the danger of exciting reality--to make choices which are while always real more dramatically compelling to an audience. Emotional bravery and courage are the performer's coin, both literally and figuratively.

But, whatever the actor's 'choices' are for the scene...bold, risky OR safe...they are, in the final analysis hypoththetical; they ramain suggested choices of future and unpredictable behavior.

After all, how we possibly KNOW that we, as the actor-as-the-character, will definitively react to the other actors in the scene when the scene finally happens.

Planned-for ('chosen') reactions in a scene can never be precisely predicted in a final performance ("You can NEVER practice the upcoming game; you can only practice FOR the upcoming game; the game has yet to happen"). True reality required us--however minutely, to be open to a final modification of our rehearsal 'choices' by the spontaneous reality of our characters' and the other characters' moment-to-moment stimulation of us in the actual playing of scene itself; when--inevitably if we are really playing the scene--our emotional system's other choices, ones that our deepest unconscious emotional system will make for us in the heat of the moment, can occur.

Only reality subject to science is predictable in advance; art which is worthy of being called creative is always fresh and new.


Post a Comment

<< Home