Sunday, August 28, 2011

ON ACTING: An Old Friend...'Objectives'

No matter what aspect of acting we might discuss; emotion, listening, style, text, and on and on, the smart actor never forgets to return to objectives...or aims, intentions, needs, goals, purposes.

Objectives create the energy fuel necessary in an exciting performance. The most we want something, the more the bodily system is energized to achieving that goal. The greater our needs, the more susceptible to emotion we become: the happier emotions, joy, relief, happiness follow the achievement of our goals; the troubling emotions, sadness, anger, frustration, despair, arise from our failure.

Actor requirements such as real listening occur because the other characters contain the possibility of our success; what they say to us is important to us, their words becoming the logical playing field through which we must  foray to achieve our goals.

Likewise we must really see the other characters' faces and bodies. We look carefully at them to see hints of whether they are aiding our goals, or impeding them. Likewise we 'read' their non-verbal reactions: can we discern whether we are we winning or losing? Others reactions contains the hints that give birth to our reactions...which are our subsequent subtle actions aimed toward achieving our goals.

Tied in to objectives, the text becomes emotional/verbal aspects of our thought/word processes all aimed toward convincing others to give us what we want (need) from satisfy our emotions in pursuit of our goals. Moreover, because of objectives,  we achieve acting style or elegance, a good actor's economy of effort, because in the long run a lack of energy is really unattractive profligacy, waste.

A performance without goals is like random pearls absent a necklace, doomed to roll around unfocused, shapeless, and ultimately de-energizing. The good actor knows that by stringing the beads of a performance together with purposeful activity--creating a unifying of actions by seeking a central goal--is the primary and unifying task of am interesting actor.

Good actors remember that all human life is organized around the central purpose of survival. A good acting performance should do no less.


Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks Cliff, your timing is spot on!
I was just looking at my lines for a new role I received and just then, you turned on the lights.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Cliff Osmond said...

I am delighted to be of help...and at the precise moment! Congratulations of the new role; and good luck.

3:54 PM  

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