Frequently, when actors stop talking they feel they are no longer interesting to the audience. On the evidence of a recent class, the actor might then start moving around – trying to do things that they think will make them interesting to look at. Perhaps they are trying to do things that will engage the audience. Or perhaps they are just trying to make themselves feel more comfortable.
Either way this is a very low %age return.
It always looks unmotivated. It never looks real. And it doesn’t explore the difficulties that are confronting the character in that moment. A KEY PART OF THE ACTOR’S JOB HAS BEEN TOTALLY IGNORED. It’s the actor’s responsibility to explore the difficulties that are confronting the character.
If the character –
# doesn’t know what is going to happen
# or is unsure what to do
# or doesn’t know what to say
… then they are experiencing a significant level of difficulty. Difficulty is the single most important factor that drives a story. While the character is working out what to do about that difficulty the audience will be engaged.
The actor does NOT have to jig around on their spot to be interesting. They merely have to focus on seeking the best way to solve the difficulty.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Be STILL and think about ways of solving the real problem you are facing at that moment.