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Week Introduction

This article introduces week two of the course

Last week we said that, in the words of Sanford Meisner, “the foundation of acting is the reality of doing”. This week we will dig even deeper, and start looking at the dramatic situation and the building blocks of most scenes you will encounter.

Approaching the work this way will even more clearly and specifically address the challenges we discussed last week. So, if I’m not to think about how great I would like to be, and what emotion I should feel and display, then what should I think about?

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the scene is just the dialogue. And, sure, to some extent it is. I mean in a way that is all there is. That’s the only real thing we have in front of us. But the danger in just seeing the words is that it leads us to think about how to say the words, rather than how to play the scene. This is just one step away from, again, thinking about the end result which leads to self-consciousness. It also risks leading to a, relatively speaking, shallow and stereotypical analysis of the material. And it hinders us from freely exploring the script in the rehearsal process with the director and other actors. So, rather than just looking at the words, we should try and look under the hood, so to speak, and see how a scene is constructed.

The building blocks we will be looking for are these:

  • Activity
  • Objective
  • Relationship

Important to note here is that we will analyze the scene, or situation, as actors. Not as academics. The difference being that we are only interested in information that can inform our acting, nothing else.

The next steps will consist of three videos discussing these building blocks and how to think about them. I encourage you to take notes on anything you find interesting or confusing and to give yourself a moment to reflect between each one.

© Luleå University of Technology
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Introduction to Acting

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