Saturday, May 05, 2012

ON ACTING: "Free Falling"

I had been encouraging a new student actor to give up once performance begins conscious control of his rehearsed performance, and instead to give over to the subconscious reality of the new performance fact, to treat each new 'take' as a new and vital thing, to look, listen to the other actor-as-character in the scene (each and every time--always in renewed pursuit of his character's goal), trust that all his prior rehearsed work was somewhere in his subconscious muscle memory, and let come what may.

He finally did just that--very successfully--during his monthly scene work filming class a few days ago. He took the DVD home, watched it, wrote the following back to me:

"Just wanted to thank you again for pushing me through the airplane door. Who knew that free falling could be so fun?"

I wrote him back thanking him for such a good performance--and giving me a brilliant metaphor for good, spontaneous, 'reality' acting. "free falling." And, I should have added: 'free fall' acting is an activity in which you never hit the ground. The parachute opens before any dangerous long-term, external consequences ensue; like in bungee jumping, the curtain closes or they yell 'cut,' before you get permanently whacked.


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