This weeks blog will cover going deeper into the story.
Going deeper into the story is imperative as an actor as this will allow your choices to come from the situation and your sub-conscious as opposed to your conscious mind.
The best actors allow the choices to come from the story up through their bodies and into a form of expression that is honest to the moment and the situation that the characters are living in.
The first aspect that you must decide upon is what is the scene about? The best way to do this is to pin it down to one word. For example the scene in Titanic when Kate Winslet and Leonardo Dicaprio are on the ship at 2am and talking to one another is a love scene. They play it moment by moment and live honestly in that scene. Now let's say that Leonardo Dicaprio decides he is overcome by anger and strikes Kate Winslet in a violent way it ceases to become a love scene and most importantly it does not serve the story. Therefore pinning it down to one word is essential. However, on the surface it is a love scene but we must always go deeper as artists. What is the example of Titanic really about if we were to go deeper into the scene? It is really about two people who have found their soul mate only for one of them to be taken away cruelly by fate. It's about soul-mates.
Let's look at another example. The American Dream. What is the American dream about? On the surface it is about being able to have it all. You can have it all. Remember there is no other country that has a Dream. There is no British dream, no Indian dream, no Australian dream, there is only the American Dream. So look deeper and see what the American Dream is about. So if we say it is about being able to have it all then the country is selling you what? In reality looking deeper into the American dream you can only come to the conclusion that it is about greed. If you look at characters in plays or films that are chasing the American Dream it is to achieve more than they already have as they are not content with their current situation. Characters in plays or films that are chasing the American Dream are always fighting for more. It does not matter if the Actor is playing a Drug dealer or a Officer of the Law when they are chasing their dream it is always about wanting more. As actors we must know this feeling of chasing something really well. Are we not chasing the idea of being a respected actor with which can come great rewards?? Yes you may say well I love to tell stories, I love to travel that is why I am an actor. However, being really honest with ourselves is being rich and famous not something about acting we desire too? There is no shame in being greedy it is part of our make up and part of the seven deadly sins. It allows us to be motivated to go after what we want and that is a good thing. However, if you cannot be totally honest and admit to being greedy too it will hold you back as an actor as it will not allow you to go deeper into the story and allow the choices to come through you.
Once you achieve going deeper into the story and allow the choices to come up through your body and to fully express the character in the situation it will allow something that most actors miss in their work which is emotional depth. Great actors have great emotional depth.
Begin to look at each scene, story that you explore and go deeper into what each one is about and pin it down to one word. Remember not to just look at the surface but to go deeper. It will help you become a great actor/artist.
Until next time keep working hard on your craft.