Tuesday, 21 February 2017

ACTING IS REACTING

One of the most shocking and most annoying things I have found when I watch some actors, is that they do not act when they are not speaking. That is the number one scene killer for me. 

A lot of us actors feel that as long as our reactions and actions when we speak are good enough, then people will see how good we are. We don't seem to really care if the other actor(s) in the scene is giving an equally great performance. 
Unfortunately, you cannot be judged in a movie based on your performance alone, and that is why it is a movie not a monologue or a one man show. 
It is not about actor A or actor B being very good individually. It is about how their work together makes the audience feel. It is about WHAT HAPPENS BETWEEN THEM. 

We are used to saying our lines and expressing them accordingly, but what happens to us when the other actor is speaking? 
Do we become neutral and get lost in the scene or do we get involved and react to what he/she is saying? 
One actor has to give off a stimulant for the other actor to react to. 
If you don't react to the stimulus, then you are not really acting. 
For example, you are a male actor in a scene with a female actor. She is playing the role of your character's girlfriend, and her line to you is "George I have something to tell you, but I want you to sit first because it's really hard for me to say". At that point, your reaction to what she has said will be a mixture of uncertainty, worry and slight fear. The anticipation has to start building on your face and in your body language before you even speak.

I said in an earlier blog, that editors love to cut scenes where actors react more when they are not talking. 
Most times an actors ability to communicate feeling with non-verbal communication is the strongest part of the scene.
So, someone says something strong in their dialogue that gets the audience wondering and pondering. What they are looking forward to is how it makes the recipient of the information feel, and how they will react to it. 

The difference between a professional experienced actor, and one who is not properly trained is the ACTOR'S BUSINESS (physically, psychologically and mentally) when he is not speaking. These internal factors bring out the appropriate reactions and expressions when the information received is properly internalized. 

Learn to hear, listen, understand, feel and express in the moment. It doesn't mean that you will take out one full minute to listen and react. It just means that it has to be as realistic as you can make it. How would you react normally in real life to information? 
Even though you have read the script and you know what the other actor is supposed to say, it has to come across to the audience that you are hearing those words for the first time. The ability to do that and pull it off convincingly is what makes you stand out as a great actor

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2 comments:

  1. I love this!!! Thanks... I really wish a lot of people will understand... Was on set one day with an actor too and when ever its my line she just dies in her character... It actually removed me from character repeatedly... I complained and the director was like I should do my part and stop complaining... I felt bad... Thanks again

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