Saturday, March 14, 2009

ON ACTING: Even More about 'Control'

Actors are often hesitant in releasing emotion in performance--they are afraid of losing their ‘personal control’: they are afraid of hitting someone if they really get angry; or really falling in love and leaving their spouse; or becoming irretrievably sad and never stop crying.

In all the years I have been teaching I have had no murders, no suicides, no burst tears ducts, and no pregnancies due to highly charged angry, sad or sexual activity on stage.

Control, rather than the loss of control is the central truth of most life.

Actors can and must must learn to free themselves from unnecessary emotional over-control; but they must do so a little at a time, scene by scene; like a child crawling away from Mama’s skirts. All growth is a process, not a single step.

They should allow themselves to take on progressively more emotionally challenging scenes and characters. Each class, rehearsal and performance should teach them to move further and further away from the kitchen before scurrying back to check out if Mama is still there...which she invariably will be.

In this safe but steadily 'self-nudging' programmatic and developmental manner-- learning to slowly trust self and not Mama--a reluctant actor can best learn freedom within ‘emotional control’; and the actor can grow more and more solidly, logically and enduringl confident with each emotionally freeing step.


Blogger funny girl said...

Your timing is perfect. We are in the last week of rehearsals and I'm feeling the need to push the limits a little bit more, but I was also feeling scared because I'm so afraid to cross that line. Thanks for the encouragement!!

I find it especially hard to make "life and death" out of scenes that are seemingly simple...meeting someone for the first time, etc. How can I make those moments more important so that I really get to the meat of the scene and not just skim the surface emotionally??

1:58 PM  
Blogger Cliff Osmond said...

funnt girl:
"Life and death", huh? Think about the time you broke up with a partner and thought: 'I'm going to die if they don't call me!!' OR: 'I'll kill my mother if she calls me again!' To a good actor everything is life amd death. That's why good actors have enlarged egos: EVERYTHING is significant!!! And all that personal significae transfers to every scene and every character.

10:40 PM  
Blogger funny girl said...

Hey Cliff! Just wanted to let you know we had a fabulous opening. Thanks again for all your great words of wisdom!

6:27 AM  

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