Have YOU noticed – in life, if we lose track of what the conversation is about then THE CONVERSATION STOPS. We can’t go on!!
BUT when actors lose track of what the conversation is about they often just SAY THE NEXT LINE ANYWAY.
It’s NEVER going to be real is it!!
Actors often have (I believe) a fear that they wont be interesting to the audience. They fear that BEING STILL is going to be uninteresting. But (particularly on the screen) the moment where the actor is working at making the decision is THE BEST BIT. Being still while you are making the decision is good acting process AND IT’S LIKE LIFE.
A REALLY BAD ACTING CHOICE is blurting out the next line without having a reason for saying it.
Actors not only have to know what they are saying but also WHY THEY ARE SAYING IT.
Learn to wait for the impulse.
(The Rehearsal Room has many exercises designed to teach actors to wait for the impulse. Actors HAVE to learn to overcome their fear. They often have to learn how to trust their impulses when they are acting – whereas in life they have no problems doing it.)