Friday, October 31, 2008

ON ACTING: Words/Dialogue

A good actor uses words in a performance as an athlete uses instrumentality of whatever game he is playing: a tennis player brings his racket and tennis balls to a game, a football player brings footballs and a helmet, a baseball player brings a baseball and bat. Words are the actor/warrior's weapon de combat.

Ultimately, like any warriors' armament, words' final specific use will be determined by the reality of the stimuli/synapse/action flow of the game itself.

While the actor enters the scene with perhaps some some general idea of the subsequent flow of the game, like the football coach may have a list of plays written on a clipboard in anticipation of the game, the primary factor the actor must concern herself with is studying and knowing (after memorizing) the words of the text: what is the idea being expressed here? What is the logic inherent in the words? What is the thought I am trying to convey to the other character; what idea am I trying to convince my opponent in the scene is proper and right for him/her to believe...always remembering to leave the exact use of the words (tone, rhythm, pace, etc.--impelled by spontaneous feeling) for the game itself.


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