Monday, October 15, 2007

ON ACTING: The Essentiality of Believing One Can Win

One of the most essential qualities actors/conflictors/characters must have in any scene is a belief in their capacity to win.

Even the pessimists among them are believers in victory; pessimism being a mere self-protecting armor, a disarming ploy.

Pessimists prepare themselves for the pain of engagement by preliminarily assessing a low probability of success; unlike the optimist who fortifies himself with an extraordinarily high possibility of goal achievement; but both are mere tactical choices, not true estimates. Like in horse racing, some horses like to front runners, confidently leading the pack in the early going, whereas others like to initially linger in the back of the pack, playing 'losers' until making their final move toward the front--and the finish line.

But what ever the character's tactical style, pessimist or optimist, running back in the pack or out in the lead, both entrants in any scene enter the race believing they have a chance to win. Only a foolish human (or a horse) enters a race sure s/he is going to lose. Ergo; in acting an interesting, honest actor, always enters a scene believing s/he has a chance to win, and believes she has the ability to convince the other person in the scene of her point of view. That's what makes an honest and interesting scene; or race.


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