Introduction… Acting is an art form
I’m giving away my time FREE… with a mini course of LIVING THE ROLE. These are acting tutorials for building a living character!
I’ve heard people say to me for years, “you are one of those play actors right?”
For the first few years I did “play” my parts in show, those that I got into. What I did was, act the part well… what I didn’t do was truly bring them to life. I didn’t “live” the characters. I was able to bring some truths to the parts, they were entertaining, but they were mostly surface portrayals.
What I wanted was to bring to life these characters… to have a whole 3D living beings on stage. That’s what I needed!
It took a few years reading every book on acting that I could find. I read as many actor’s biographies as I could find. I still was acting in any show that would have me. I was looking for the holy grail of character development for the stage, screen, and voice overs.
Then one day by accident I found a book by Michael Shurtleff, Audition. That book was the Rosetta stone of acting for me. I had read all kinds of acting books, but I wasn’t seeing the magic they were supposed to have. Mr. Shurtleff gave me the decoder ring. He open the door for LIVE THE PART!
No longer was I “playing” the character… I was LIVING THE CHARACTER!
To be a good actor… YOU NEED TO LIVE THE PART!
Now comes the big question: How do you make that happen? And an even equally big answer… any way you damn well want. any way… as long as you tell the truth about your character. Build from truth and imbue this character with real life and make it unique by blending in your own personal knowledge of life, friendship, relationships, and work. What you know makes you unique in so many ways. Be brave.
A technique of acting will help you find the character, which in turn leads you to approach the text/script/written word in a way that helps you bring the dialogue alive? How do you know what choices to make? The goal of a trained actor is to build a fully realized 3D character, with a rich backstory. You must believe the character your play is truthful and not a cliché, a caricature, a thin external representation of someone who barely resembles a human being. You must believe what you are speaking is real and that you’re not just reciting, spouting or commenting fluff. You are bring to life a living human being.
In order to help you get started, I want you to find a monologue to work with in the later tutorials. Why a monologue? If I could, I would actually have us do a brunch of improv and roleplaying together. But, since I wanted this course to be FREE that doesn’t work. I’ll have to use short monologues to teach how we need to think quick on our feet and be ready to handle all the questions from people at home visits, malls and corporate parties as Costume Character. From those I will lay out a backbone of how I build a character. This is based on many different methods: there’s Stanislavski’s acting technique, the Actors Studio and the magic of Mr. Shurtleff. I have pulled all these into a set of questions that need to be answered… I answer all of these every time I go out to perform. These build any character I audition for or live and it also helps me defined who I’m every day.
Who am I?
Where am I?
What lies between the lines… subtext?
What do I need and must have?
What is the conflict?
Why do I want this?
What will happen if I don’t get it now?
What happens if I do get it?
What must I overcome? The conflict must be real and happening now.
The big key question is… “What”, what is your intention, your motivation, your action? You should never walk on stage, into a audition, or a home visit without an idea of what and who you are… you should always have an objective. For this objective to work it must be written into the soul of the character you’re living at that moment.
Your living that character… your not playing at this character, your are living that person’s life for those moments!
Here’s where you can find monologues for this tutorial…
Next… Living the Part
*This is me living the role of Hastings in Shakespeare’s Richard III. I’m the guy in brown with the beard.