Monday, June 22, 2009

ON ACTING: Depending on the Director

There and many actors who, in preparing for a role, expect the director to tell her/him everything to do. That is naive and unproductive. Actors are professional workers, expected to accomplish a task based on their own understanding of the task. Imagine a plumber who came to the house and asked the owner how to fix a leak.“Fix the leak?! Are you kidding? What do you think I hired you for? Here’s the problem, the dripping faucet, I’ll pay you $100, I expect the faucet to be fixed in an hour.”

Just so the actor should expect the following attitude from the director: “Here’s the role, here’s the set, the blocking and the lines; I’ll pay you $1000, I expect the scene to be done in six weeks rehearsal (a play) or a rehearsal and two 'takes' (film). Another way of looking at over dependence on a director guiding the actor through his/her task: imagine arriving at a set and have the director ask YOU: “How do you think I ought to direct this scene?” No actor would be much inspired or comforted by that question! Well, neither is a director comforted by an actor who has not well thought out how he or she is going to approach and perform a given role.


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