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Am I Getting This Right?

Information about how to test a performance and see what works and what doesn't.
Two doors on a stage with spotlights shining on both, in front of the doors is a keyring with several keys.
© Luleå University of Technology

What does it mean that something is working? Particularly if you’re working on a monologue in a room by yourself, it’s easy to start measuring yourself against some vague glorious result.

The best way around this is to always know what exactly it is that you’re working on in any given moment. Are you deciding how to move? Or working on the dynamics? Or trying different active verbs to see what feels like it makes most sense? If you know what it is that you’re working on then you’re not just randomly trying to act brilliantly. And, again, don’t try to do everything at once.

Remember that the point of the work is to bring the play to life in front of an audience. So, everything you do is to make them get it, and this usually doesn’t involve you feeling or experiencing anything in particular.

Instead, see if it moves forward. Is there a through-line from where it starts to where it ends? Does it hold together?

And can you keep up with it? If you can’t follow what’s happening the audience probably can’t either. Don’t rush it. Take it one step at a time moment to moment. The audience want to experience what happens with you.

In the end it just comes down to: Do you know what you’re trying to do? And then you do it.

© Luleå University of Technology
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Introduction to Acting

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