Saturday, June 09, 2012

ON ACTING: The Formula of Human Actions...and Good Acting

The sequence of human actions (in reverse): Actions are fourth. Feelings are third. Sensory experience is second. Goals are primary: all life--and its resultant actions--starts with goals (objectives, aims, intentions, etc,) and move on to stimuli, feelings and finally actions, or responses.

People seek to attain a goal; then they come into contact with the world through which they must move to attain their goals; then they are stimulated by those sensory experiences to feel. And ultimately, these stimulated feelings (a sense of inner activity) result in outer actions.

That is the formula of human existence.

That is the formula of good acting (and, since all good acting is living), it must be thus in good acting. You, as your character, commits to a goal (to be achieved through others in the scene), your character listens and looks to the other characters in the scene, these 'others' stimulate you-as-the-character to feel, your feelings are expressed outward in what you say and do vis-a-vis the other characters. These resultant on-stage/onscreen actions implicitly--directly or indirectly-- reveal the actor-as-character's feelings which gave them birth)...and by seeing and hearing the actor's actions, the audience identifies and is thereby emotionally moved.

It is simple and basic in design. But it is a nakedly honest task; and all too often, to follow this formula excellently well--the task of any good actor--takes some time, patience and, above all, confidence in self.


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