"Something Old and Something New ..."
IS THAT ALL THERE IS TO ACTING!!
REHEARSAL ROOM actors agree that being able to find a simple core issue to listen to during a scene makes it MUCH easier to listen and respond. Once an actor is listening and responding then the whole acting process suddenly becomes a lot easier. Every Rehearsal Room actor eventually has a moment of epiphany – “Is that all I have to do!!! That’s easy!!!” Making it easy brings confidence; confidence brings bolder choices and successful bold choices, in time, builds trust. ‘Confidence’ and ‘trust’ are the key ingredients that ultimately make an actor stand out.
A KEY TO SUCCESS
On many levels, the chance of success hangs on discovering that core issue which clearly defines the most important element in the conversation (for your character). There has been an ongoing Rehearsal Room quest to make this decision as easy as possible. Every actor who has done the classes is aware of the value of …
(There are other choices to be made regarding the responder but lets leave it at that for the moment to keep it simple.)
THE CORNERSTONE OF REALISM
The other element that every Rehearsal Room actor is aware of is the value of labeling, with a verb, the characters ‘unconscious psychological desire’ – the character’s ‘need’. The advantage of defining these two elements comes from the fact that this enables the actor to appear to be functioning on two levels simultaneously. The actor/character therefore appears to functioning both consciously and unconsciously and that in itself is a pretty consistent way of appearing complex and real. That simple task is the cornerstone of ‘realism’ in performance.
To assist in simplifying the process of choosing a ‘need’ there is The Rehearsal Room’s verbs list – a short list of verbs for the actor to choose from. This list is aimed at making clear and active choices. It is a VERY effective tool. (You can view the verbs list here.)
But now Emily Coupe has experimented with using that simple list of verbs to not only choose her character’s unconscious psychological desire BUT she has also tried using it to determine the nature of the conversation – two tasks in one. It’s getting simpler and simpler.
If Emily has worked out that her character is instigating the conversation she first decides –
For example if the first choice determines that the conversation is a ‘challenge’ then Emily looks for an option in the verbs list that will determine what the challenge is over. She might decide that –
“I am ‘challenging’ you to trust me”
“I am ‘challenging’ you to respect my rights”
“I am ‘challenging’ you to love me unconditionally”
However, if the conversation is a ‘test’ …
“I am ‘testing’ to see if you can be trusted”
OR, if the conversation is a ‘battle for control’ …
“I am ‘battling for control’ to get you to trust me”
HOW ACTIVE AND SIMPLE IS THAT!!!!
WHAT A CLEAR WAY OF ARTICULATING A REASON FOR THE CONVERSATION!!
There are of course many many options. Have a look at The Rehearsal Room verbs list and see what you think.
The test for the effectiveness of any choice is to ask the simple question, “Can I actually do that?” The resounding answer to that question in the above examples is surely, “Yes. I CAN do that easily.”
It's fantastically simple.
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