ON ACTING: Divng Deep into a Scene
While all of the above are valid and sometimes entertaining compliments to the dialogue in a scene, there is another way perhaps to create excitement in what the actor perceives as a "dull" scene.
Sometimes I tell actors that if they want "more" in a scene, don't just necessarily look to enhanced physical expression to activate the seeming "nothingness" in the scene, I gesture and say "look here," pointing to my gut, indicating a deepening of emotions as the way to make "something happen" in a scene.
I call it the "still waters run deep approach". While maintaining the calm surface level of a scene, the actor can, by deepening the emotions swirling under that calm exterior, create a sense of foreboding. Then each simple movement that formerly seemed unexciting now becomes fraught with significance. Like swimming out in a deep lake, in so doing the actor creates a sense of excitement and danger. While the actor still swims smoothly along the surface of the scene, under/in him the darker waters of truth or substance are now-enhanced, threatening to swallow the actor from within, or burst through the surface, creating a vibratory tension on the surface in the actor otherwise outer smooth performance.