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On Stage

Information about what to do and how to think when first getting on stage.
So, now you’re on stage acting. Everything we’ve done in this course up to this moment has led us here. All the preparations and rehearsing. And now you’re here. The lights are in your eyes. You can feel the audience watching you. The adrenaline is rushing through your body. Your heart is racing. You’ve done your preparation and you’ve let it go. So, now what are you going to do? Well, you get to work. First, you listen. And by listening, I mean taking in whatever’s in front of you. What you see and hear and experience. What your partner is doing and saying– –but even more importantly how they’re doing and saying it. And then you answer. From your point of view.
A point of view which is now informed by the choices you’ve made. If you’re alone, if it’s a monologue– –you might put your focus on the audience. –or on what you’re doing– –or on the responses from an imagined scene partner. Or whatever else speaks to you in this moment. There’s always something to focus on that is not your own performance.
Secondly, one of the most helpful hints about acting I know– –the one little thing that can transform a performance in an instant is this:– –one thing at a time. It’s very tempting to start acting the entire scene right away. Because you know the whole thing. And you know what the really juicy part is two pages from now. And you’ve really done your homework. So, you kind of start to try to act everything you know all at once. But this will only lead to confusion– –and make you miss what’s actually going on in front of you right now. Simply answer this moment– –and then the next one, and then the next one. And moment by moment the scene will unfold.
Trust that it will. Then have fun. Make mistakes, don’t try to be right. There is no right. Your performance doesn’t exist yet. The character doesn’t exist. The scene doesn’t exist. There are just words on a page. You are what makes everything come to life. And how you do that will be unique to you.
Always remember that the moment is the most important thing. Acting happens in the moment. It happens now and only now. As a shared experience between the actors and the audience. Your most important job is just to be present for that. And then you have to accept that every moment won’t be perfect. And it doesn’t have to be. Just put your focus on the next one.
What is important to remember? In this video, Johan talks about actually being on stage acting.

One of the most important things is to only do one thing at a time. Simply answer this moment, and then the next one, and then the next one. Then moment by moment the scene will unfold. You have to trust that it will.

He also reminds us to have fun and make mistakes. There is no right. The performance doesn’t exist yet. There is only you.

Acting happens in the moment as a shared experience between us and the audience. Our job is just to be present for that.

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Introduction to Acting

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