Thursday, May 22, 2008

ON ACTING: 'Owning' Dialogue

The casting director had gathered several actors into the room. She was looking for a 'host' to introduce a reality show. The dialogue was written on cue card in front of the camera. She told the actors that when they read the dialogue into the camera, they should "own the dialogue". What did she mean by that?

She meant that she wanted the auditioning actors to say the lines as the actor's own. The lines were no longer the writer's. They were the actors. The words were now meaningful to the actor himself; they told the actor's story, as it were. The words were a reflection of the actor's own personality. The actor was now the character, the words were now the actor's. To 'own' dialogue is to utter the dialogue as the actor's own personal expression..

We buy a dress or suit. Someone else may have made it. But once it is purchased, it is ours; it is worn by us; to express us. When we are hired as an actor, and given dialogue, we say, "Thank you, writer, for giving me these words to express myself. It's exactly what I would have said. You and I feel and think exactly the same. You may have written it. But you have been paid off; I own it.


Post a Comment

<< Home