It is an actor’s job to breathe life into the words on a page and make the characters come alive for an audience.
In life, we always know why we say what we say and do what we do. Our actions and our words are justified. When playing a character, it is not enough to simply memorize the words. You have to know why you say each word. Otherwise, why would you speak?
To personalize the experience of a character and understand their motivations for saying what they say and doing what they do, ask yourself: “what would have to happen to have the same experience AS IF it happened to you?” For example, a character is saying goodbye to someone they love and seeing that person for the last five minutes of their life. The actor must ask themselves what would have to happen to them to have that same experience? Think of a person you cannot live without. Where would that final five minute meeting take place? Set the encounter in a place they love. See that place in detail; the sights, sounds, smells, etc.
Justification is an invented, concrete fact. When playing a role, you must know where you are and why you are doing what you are doing. By “knowing,” I mean the knowledge comes from somewhere inside you. We work from the truth of ourselves always.
Acting is not about showing, it is about knowing.
For information on classes or private coaching, contact Heather Snow Clark at (718) 344-6766 or Heather@heathersnowclark.com