Sunday, September 09, 2007

ON ACTING: "Anticipation"

"Anticipation" characterizes a performance wherein the actor is re-acting to another character's lines--or any other action--before the lines are said or any other action is consummated: the actor smiles at a joke before the punch line is delivered, becomes angry from a painful riposte from the other actor before the angering statement is fully said, or acts knowingly to information that has not yet been revealed onstage.

To ac with 'anticipation' is to be an unskilled actor.

"Anticipation" is generally a symptom of the unskilled actor not really listening to the other actors on stage or seeing what is going on--not properly 'in-the-moment' as it is expressed in acting terms, or jargon. Instead of listening to and looking at the other actors in the scene, the actor is rather 'in-his-head', inwardly focused, self-conscious instead of other-focused.

This generally occurs because s/he is generally thinking of his/her own performance, what s/he intends to do (or what s/he has already done); reacting not to the reality before him/her on stage, but according to some preconceived metal image of how the scene should and/or will occur. A test: put the 'anticipating' unskilled actor in the same scene on a different set with other actors, nothing would change. Their performance is constant--unchangeable--like death itself.


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