Thursday, October 22, 2009

ON ACTING: "Sometimes You Have to be Cruel to be Kind"

There was a new student in class who had just finished a “camera technique” class at another institution. We were about to tape her first scene in my class.

She was glowing with new found knowledge and spoke of her "responsibility to the director and viewing audience", asking me where I was going to set up the camera in order to film the scene.

She fumed and fretted about camera placement throughput the rehearsal classes.

She was particularly unhappy with how we were filming her; said she had just discovered from camera class her left side was her best side; that the audience would get more of the power of her performance from that side.

Finally, on the day of shooting, I told her I wanted to face away from camera.

She was shocked. She said no one would see her; the camera would only see the back of her head. Afetr a long silent moment, I replied: “With the fake, unreal performance you’ve been giving, the audience will be grateful.”

Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.


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