Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Marginalia

A few precepts recently uncovered (again):

• Play action according to the given circumstances; that is, don't try to put an entire movie's or play's performance into a single action, just play it.
• Use props to support action
• Have something do do with my hands
• When the A.D. says "speed," Lead into the scene with a physical gesture
• If drinking from a cup, ask someone to put something in it, water, bourbon, doesn't matter
• If nothing else works, see what color my acting partner's eyes are; if that doesn't work, think of all the things I'd like to do to that actor, good or bad, reasonable or insane, but something (which is always better than nothing)
• Don't listen to my own voice while acting. It tells me nothing.
• Performances by famous actors in big movies are made one action at a time, just like mine, but with better lighting.


5

5 comments:

Cindy said...

Several of these strike me as being particularly pertinent to the daily performance art of living a life well: the first, third and last two especially. Not listening to your own voice...this one gets downright profound.

Anonymous said...

Conversely:

Use action to support props when they're bigger than a television.

LIQUID PROPS ARE THE DEVIL. THE DEVI-I-I-I-I-I-I-IL!!!!!! Learn to fake drinking. Read your Uta Hagen.

"think of all the things I'd like to do to that actor" - just be careful with this one.

jason

Cindy said...

Ack! Yes! I concur with Sir Jason about liquid props, or at least of that possibility. Once a fellow actor purposely spiked what was supposed to be a jug of water from which I was to drink, with a large amount of lemon concentrate. Trying to swallow an unexpected mouthful of that and immediately deliver lines with a straight face was...challenging.

:p

David said...

I need real 'liquid props' for on-camera work, where not-having it is distracting enough to create a flicker of inattention, visible to the audience. On stage, it's different. No way, José.

Signore Direttore said...

David

I especially love your last comment re: the better lighting.

Personally, I would not rely upon Uta Hagen for the endowment of food and beverage props for on-screen work, with the exception of alcohol or caffeine.

My Best,
nc