Friday, May 16, 2008

ON ACTING: Confronting a Bad Script

He asked: "How do you deal with bad writing?"

How do you overcome a mediocre wardrobe when that's the only clothes available to you and you're havng to go to a party ? An exciting person can wear anything. It's really not about the clothes, is it? It's about the person wearing the clothes.

The task in preparing to perform in a script with bad writing is: how do I not let bad writing--substandard plot; poor dialogue; etc--inhibit me, negatively affect my acting? Bad writing is of course a hidrance--that's why playing Shakespeare is so wonderful: you can just give over to his plot and conflict and let the dialogue carry you to express the rich fullness of the emotional reality of the character.

But bad writing should not panic you. It should be accepted as a challenge. A great actor can play an exciting love scene just counting from one to ten; and back again. Believe me, I've done the exercise in class, and if the actor is seductive enough, the other person on the receiving end is not entranced by the words (or in this case, the numbers) but by the emotional quality of the seduction. Great lovers do not always chant poetry!

When confronted with with bad writing, analyze the character and plot, find the deepest and richest humanity the scriptwriter would have expressed if they had the talent. Ask yoursef: what was it the bad writer was trying to reach for in his/her bad script--after all, he/she s writing about human beings, and human beings have unlimited possibilities--embrace those possibilites as your performance reality, and let logic and emotional truth of the human conflict and human character carry you through the performance...and the bad plotting and dialogue.


Post a Comment

<< Home