Friday, February 29, 2008

ON ACTING: The Dam and the Flood

In our everyday lives we are all dams. Our deepest rivers of emotion are blocked behind concrete walls of carefulness, caution and reason, creating vast and blocked reservoirs of feeling.

So actors, when enacting human characters in a play or film, must remember to have emotional reservoirs AND dammed up walls: while activating great amounts of emotional water prior to performance, they must enter the scene properly dammed up as well; and then very importantly only as the scene progresses--as the conflict chips away at their dammed-up human nature, have created in them cracks in their cemented resolve--and finally, and always unwillingly, be unable to prevent a flood of feeling to overflow them at the climax of the scene.

Only bad actors enter a scene without a dam; and only bad actors seek a willing flood during it.


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