Friday, May 09, 2008

ON ACTING: The Tactics of Winners; or, "Why Variety is the Spice of Life"

Variety in performance arises from the natural actions of naturally committed winners: a committed winner never stays with a losing tactic long. If a scene (by definition a conflict) continues past a line of dialogue or two, it is because both contestants have not found the fulfillment of victory...and they have decided to continue to expend energy to win.

If the characters are courageous and smart contestants, they will not stay with a losing tactic (emotional attack) long. They will try an initial tactic; if it and when fails (as it continually does in a long scene: a long scene is a priori an unresolved scene), they will naturally move on to the next tactic/emotion.

The scene will be: 'Here's my anger, now let me win'; that fails, 'Here's my sadness, now let me win'; that fails, 'Here's my sexiness, now let me win', that fails, etc.

Therefore, if an actor seeks variety (of emotions; of emotional revelation)in a performance ('variety is the spice of life'...and makes a performance interesting), the two mantras that should guide a good actor are: (1) always seek to win; and (2) have the openness, intelligence, courage and ability to change tactics/emotional- attack throughout.


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