Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Scene Study

Today we are going to look at a very poplar acting study. Below is a scene. There are no character names, no setting, and no back story. The assignment: two actors first pick who is going to be person "A" and person "B." They then agree on the circumstances surrounding the scene. Next, memorize your lines and perform the piece.

A: Hi!
B: Hello.
A: How’s everything?
B: Fine. I guess.
A: Do you know what time it is?
B: No. Not exactly.
A: Don’t you have a watch?
B: Not on me.
A: Well?
B: Well what?
A: What did you do last night?
B: What do you mean?
A: What did you do last night?
B: Nothing.
A: Nothing?
B: I said, nothing!
A: I’m sorry I asked.
B: That’s all right.

The trick is creating a scenario that is fully fleshed out. This includes both characters knowing what they want and knowing their motivations. In addition to that, there should be action - what is it they are doing? Avoid generalizations. Avoid "feeling" anything. Root the action in motivated choice and see what you come up with.

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