Tuesday, April 01, 2008

ON ACTING: Play the solution, not the problem.

One of the most egregious errors made by often well intentioned but inexperienced actors is playing the problem; or actively stimulating an emotional condition from within. For example, a man is held at knife point; the character is logically frightened...so the actor 'plays' the fear, trembles in horror, directly acting (auto-stimulating) the condition, or problem.

True, this problem/condition of immobilizing fear is a proper emotion to feel. But the actor should never PLAY the emotion on their own; nor. worse, as an end in itself: actively seeking on one's own to be afraid. Think of fear happens in life, as imposed to bad acting: (1) fear is is generated from without; fear is uncomfortable; it is unwanted; it is forced on the character from the stimulating outer fact of the pointed knife; (2) that condition of fear, created and unwanted by the character (who logically wants to feel anything but fear) is converted into an action (such as an intense focus on the knife and trying to find a corrective to that condition, or problem). And in the attempt at finding a solution to the condition ('How do I stop the person from stabbing me?, for example') the action-generating condition (fear) will naturally, inadvertently and automatically be revealed. Character will be revealed in action (rather than in an auto-stimulating, self generating, and unnatural--bad acting--manner).


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