Yes. You can skip the 101 (as long as you eventually learn it), and jump straight into the short-cut. The reason why is because most actors are physical, and this is a great way to really taste the work.
Complete this sentence. A social dictate: I am __________ in a world of ___________.
You do this by coming up with 5 Adjectives. Once you have the 5 most important adjectives (words from the script, from author’s description, etc.) that describe your character, you have someone say them to you in this order.
1 least important
5 most important
What do you feel like? The first thing that comes to mind. If you were to describe yourself with a NOUN, what are you? A cheetah, a palm tree, decaying trash, a snake, a barracuda, a canary?
Logically, if you are _________, then what is everything else around you? Are they also canaries, but they are uglier/prettier? Are they a different creature or noun? I am a square in a world of rectangles. I am a mouse in a world of cheese. Get it? Don’t over think it. Know your script, how you feel and fill in the blank.
Super Objective: What do you want out of life: I want to ______________. Start there. Then keep asking why until you dead end (and it makes sense), and don’t answer any question the same way you answered a previous question. I want to fall in love. Why? Because I won’t be lonely. Why? Because I will have a companion? Why is that important? Because I feel empty without companionship. Why? I think I will die without a companionship.
I am a canary in a world of uglier canaries who wants to avoid death.
An emotional status that is always the function of the character. It’s the most inner layer of your ‘onion.’ Make a decision. If you are a jackal, you hunt. Your predominant condition is to hunt. If you are a canary, you express with voice melodically.
I am a HUNTING JACKAL who wants to RULE THE WORLD in a world of FOOD. (Velma in CHICAGO)
Finally, everything should have 3 moments: 1) Moment before, 2) What happens (use of senses) first, and then 3) What you do first.
I’m coming from the classroom, I HEAR a crash, I plan to punish.
I planned to punish, I see there is nothing out of the ordinary, I question.
THE ACTING TRIANGLE OF TRUTHFUL HUMAN BEHAVIOR:
In imaginary circumstances + Believing Self’s Characterizations +Responding = Reality of Doing.
This means, take a play and your character work, respond to others realistically based on your senses (and direction), and any audience will believe you.
Other Quick Pieces of Advanced Acting Advice:
Ø It is okay to switch between the history of the character, and your history!
Ø Find a spark right away and let it effect your body language.
Ø When lines have the same emotions, find different body language to make more interesting for the audience
Ø In a story (in a song or monologue), keep it physically contained (this doesn’t mean, ‘don’t move’ It means, only move if necessary, or directed). This includes your EYES, HANDS, and HEAD.
Ø Everything you do is story telling – you can’t take a step without it being part of the story. Don’t waste any thought in what your body does every moment. Study yourself and others.
Ø Surround yourself with the truth.
Ø Strong physical movement before every beat change
Ø Stay away from your partner
Ø As we get older, we do less
Ø Be present
Ø *It’s not about who is right or wrong, it’s about the truth
Ø Judgments block your work, don’t make any.
Ø When you think, recall, or remember, your focus is on one of the three house focal points: House Center, House Left Center, House Right Center (don’t move too far right or left; the audience will think you are talking to someone in the wings. Any imaginary object is on the forth wall at one of those focal points.
Ø Take the attention off yourself, off the pressure to perform, off of being perfect, and off of being right, and put that energy in the work.
Ø Focus on the eye downstage of the person opposite you.
Ø When an epiphany, move downstage