Sunday, June 27, 2010

ON ACTING: The Tentative Actor

Actors often get tentative in an audition. They are afraid they are going "to make a mistake" in their acting choices (meaning a misinterpretation of the script or character). So they barely let their acting performance out of the bag; they paint their performance carefully in the washed out pastels of tentativeness rather than the bold color choices of a vivid oil painting.

I (and many others) often advise actors, who are perhaps tempted with carefulness raher than with boldness, to make a character/acting choice (right or wrong) and then "go for it"...casting directors often call it "taking a risk"; i.e., holding nothing back.

Think of it this way. Let's say I want to buy a fast car (the equivalent of an exciting actor) and I go to the testing track to test them out. Which car are you more likely to buy: a car going 160 miles per hour the wrong way around the track; or a car that is going 120 miles per hour the right way around the track? The first one right? You buy the faster car and you turn in into the right direction. The same with actors.

The casting director sees an exciting actor make a wrong choice of character interpretations, the casting director can simply make a character adjustment and ask the actor to do it again. On the other hand--and unfortunately--with an unexciting actor, the casting director says "thank you...goodbye", and doesn't care which way their performance car was headed, right or wrong...except out the door.


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