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Preparation for Acting. 8 Key Terms and Steps for Actors. Can acting be taught?. What do you think? With a partner discuss your answer. Be prepared to share your opinion. . State Theatre Standard.

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preparation for acting

Preparation for Acting

8 Key Terms and Steps for Actors

can acting be taught
Can acting be taught?
  • What do you think?
  • With a partner discuss your answer.
  • Be prepared to share your opinion.

State Theatre Standard

Students will act by developing, communicating, and sustaining characters in improvisations and in informal or formal productions.

Standard 2.0 Character Acting

1 relaxation
1. Relaxation
  • It is a necessary starting point for acting.
  • It is physical and mental.
  • A relaxed actor can do anything, but a tense actor is always constrained.
  • It cannot be forced. It can only be self induced.
  • It is a matter of putting your daily life stress away so that you can focus fully on acting.
  • Examples: rolling the head in circles, stretching, bending forward and backward, and moving fingers
ways to relax
Ways to relax
  • Think of pleasant images
  • Play soothing music
  • Observation (Study what you see)

It is a starting point NOT an ending point

Do not confuse it with “not thinking”

Relax with your eyes wide open and your senses fully awake.

observation exercise

Observation Exercise

Take a minute to observe your surroundings…

2 trust
2. Trust
  • Trust is a mutual relationship between you and your fellow actors.
  • It is a precondition for acting.
  • Anxiety is inevitable because you do it with and in front of other people.
  • It cannot be forced.
  • You must take initiative.
  • It means that you are comfortable with those around you. It is the feeling that you can make a fool out of yourself without embarrassment.
  • Acting exposes personal vulnerabilities.
  • Trust develops out of self-confidence.
  • Pure socializing has its place among actors.
  • Rapport among actors, developed through trusting ensemble work, is the context for a fine performance.
3 exuberance
3. Exuberance
  • Acting require a level of performance energy that other activities do not.
  • It also requires a positive and non-critical attitude so that you can be confident.
  • Energy and positive attitude=exuberance
  • Actors must possess a willingness to make a fool of themselves in public if need be.
  • This does not come easily.
  • We are socially conditioned to inhibit public displays of exuberance.
4 discipline
4. Discipline
  • Actors must be disciplined artists.
  • Without discipline, trust disappears.
  • You must expend your energies in the pursuit of high standards and artistic effort.
  • Theatre is not casual. It is intense and organized.
  • It makes you someone who can be counted on.
  • Artistic discipline is learned within the acting class.
5 criticism
5. Criticism
  • Actors must learn to come to grips with criticism.
  • There is no way around it.
  • It comes from instructors, peers, audiences, directors, press, etc.
  • Some is constructive, some is destructive, and some is beside the point.
  • Criticism hurts because “art comes directly out of the actor”
  • It is sometimes taken as a personal attack.
  • Realize that you have much to learn and take it in stride
  • Use it for your advantage.
  • List a time in your life when you have displayed or had to deal with the following: Trust, Exuberance, Discipline, Criticism, and Relaxation.
6 a playful attitude
6. A Playful Attitude
  • Acting is serious but never solemn.
  • While it’s artistic roots lie in ritualistic worship they lie equally in play.
  • You must balance between discipline and creativity
  • Acting is work, but it is also play.
  • If you forget that, then you lose a crucial aspect of this very subtle art.
  • Theatre is mind filling just like chess or sports.
  • Acting and sports are similar (leisure and competitive play)
7 freedom
7. Freedom
  • The actor must learn to be free and learn to enjoy it
  • Free from physical and psychological inhibition.
  • The actor’s imagination must be unhindered.
  • A free actor can imagine anything.
  • An actor who is afraid to imagine the unimaginable will be emotionally narrow.
  • You must be free to play with the inner turmoil of your character.
  • You must be open to lust, terror, joy, and exaltation.
  • Acting is emotionally risky.
  • An actor who retreats behind a fixed image of himself is not free to act.
8 preparation
8. Preparation
  • The study of acting is a prerequisite to other arts such as directing.
  • It is useful for public speaking, politics, law, etc.
  • Dance & Athletics are also good
  • Writing, poetry, singing, and storytelling.
  • They all require feeling, emotion, movement and getting at the heart of feelings in a constructive way.
  • Reading helps actors understand the complexity of human life and human experiences.
  • Theatre going is a prime preparation for acting. It helps you see the potential for performance.