Wednesday, August 05, 2009

ON ACTING: The Character is YOU

Once you agree to play the game of acting, you, the actor-as-character, will engage in conflict. You, the actor, will really take the emotional hits; you, the person, will really sustain the effort. You, your person, will now be the living character. You are no longer the actor. You are now the character.

Does that mean I will be playing me in every scene? The character in every scene will always be me?

Yes. Why else would I be hiring you?

Beginning actors often say, “What I like about acting is pretending to be somebody else.” My reaction is always the same: How can anybody be somebody else? Being somebody else defies physical law. You may be a different aspect of yourself, a newly re-configured aspect of your personality, but the same molecules are always still involved. Read Newton’s Law’s on the conservation of matter and energy. Actors are always themselves, albeit continually transformed. Actors are emotional Gumby(s), capable of twisting themselves into any (emotional) shape the script requires, but they remain essentially themselves.

“What side of me do you want tonight; the hateful side, the gentle side, the confused side...?” That is the proper question the actor asks himself when getting a new script.

To play a character is simply to emphasize one or several aspects of your total personality over the other(s).


Blogger Gary Pilgrim said...

Thank you Mr. Osmond, honestly this is something I've wondered and struggled with since I began last year I always thought the answer would eventually come with experience but now I realize in wearing the skin of a character it is not necessary to step out of your own but only to emphasize the similarities between the two.

Thank you

1:37 PM  

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