Monday, July 09, 2007

An Emotional Acting Class

Yesterday was my fourth of eight weeks of acting class in this series. I love the class. I love the teacher. (I guess it's obvious by the way I talk about both.) We started off by doing more of the drills so we can easily become another person. A lot of actors go into the profession because they want to pretend and spend a little time being someone else. Along the way, they get battered down by life, bad teachers, mean directors, and false information. They lose that initial purpose to play. These drills make it into a game again.

Sometimes when you drill something, old thoughts and ideas will come up. If you keep drilling, you get to the other side, usually with some brilliant realization. Yesterday I realized that if I didn't like a script or a character, I'd distance them from myself and do a very subtle charicature. I wasn't able to spot that before. Now I can be whoever, I can pretend to be characters I would normally dislike and revel in the game of it all.

In class we covered a scale of emotions that I use at my day job. It's great for understanding human behavior, and that's what acting is all about. We spent a nice chunk of time going over about forty tones on the scale in depth with good dictionary definitions, discussions and examples from films of each one. This scale is one of the most valuable things an actor can ever learn. Next week we'll be doing drills based on this scale. Exciting!

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