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Last Words in the Wings

Tips on how to think and act while getting "on stage" after finishing preparations.
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Some final thoughts in the wings before we walk out on stage. Do you understand your choices? Do you really understand them? That’s all you can do for now. You’ve done all your preparation– You know what you want and who you want it from. Maybe you have a couple of active verbs up your sleeve. And in rehearsal you’ve worked on the rhythm– –dynamics and blocking any other specific elements of the script. So how do you now use it all when you walk on stage? You forget everything. Well, not actually everything. You need to remember your lines and the blocking– –and any number of things you’ve agreed on in rehearsal. I don’t mean to actively try to eject anything from your memory.
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But rather to let go of your preparation. Of the objective and the relationship– –and whatever you’ve imagined about the circumstances of the scene. Don’t try to show it or act it. Whatever is actually clear to you will stay with you– –and whatever isn’t will and should go away. And there’s nothing you can do in the moment to bring it back. Approaching the work this way– –you will quickly find out what is specific enough and what isn’t. And then you can always work on it some more afterwards. You might also find out that some of the information you’ve given yourself– –is just too much and completely unnecessary.
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Remember that the point of the preparation is to give you a clear point of view– –that will inform your listening and answering in the moment. The listening and answering is always the most important part. Because that will connect you to what is actually going on right now. The truth of the moment– –as a shared experience between you and your scene partner and the audience. Everything else is just in your head. The preparations you’ve done will make the moment clear to you. The work you’ve done on the text will make you sharp and effective and nuanced. And keeping your focus on your partner and what you are doing– –will make your acting present and organic. So, let go.
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Put your focus on the doing and your scene partner. Listen and answer moment to moment. And see what happens. Get out there and play. After all, it’s a play
In this video, Johan’s in the wings giving some final words of advice before we walk on stage.

If you really understand your choices, then that’s all you can do for now. As you walk on stage you need to let go of your preparation anyway. You shouldn’t try to act it. Whatever’s actually clear to you will still be there.

Working this way, you will find out what is specific enough and what isn’t. And then you can always work on it some more. As always, the most important thing to remember is to be in the moment and to listen and answer to your scene partner. That is what makes an organic performance.

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Introduction to Acting

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