Saturday, July 26, 2008

ON ACTING: Risky Behavior

In acting, do all the risky, impulsive things you would not do in your everyday life. In good, exciting acting, a well played character has little insurance; all is debt: s/he spends the money s/he doesn't even have.

Acting jargon often refers to that is "heightening the stakes".

The other night in class, after the scene, the student said: I had the impulse to kiss him, to play the sex card to keep him from leaving me, but I squelched it.

I said I'd probably approve of that carefulness in life: why kiss the bastard and create the possibility of more pain, a heightened rejection? But in acting, take the chance, run the risk, increase the stakes. After all, the kiss and the possible pain will only go on for a few minutes, until "cut", or the curtain descends. Great acting moments are born from such behavior.

Courage (and it's 'kissin' cousins, impulsiveness, short-sightedness, even illogical stupidity) rules the acting day. Without courage, and the resultant mistakes the courageous make, there is no drama; and there can be no great acting.


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