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How to Rehearse With Actors? Part 2

How to choose OBJECTIVES?

  • Objectives should be active.
  • The objective is not the final result of the actor’s action.
  • The objective should be more of the inner actor’s adjustment.
  • Try to find the sense of intention behind the objective.
  • Avoid saying “he is trying to get her to…”; use “he wants her to…” instead.
  • Don’t get stuck trying to come up with the word to describe the objective. If you can’t find it, maybe it’s not necessary. Move on.

ACTION VERBS are the verbs that describe the action and are playable and imaginative.

VERBS are a great way of communicating with actors. Instead of using emotions, use verbs. Try not to say things like “take it down” or “give more energy” because these statements are very confusing to actors and they don’t know what to do, give them ACTION VERBS. 

My favourite way of working with the actors is using IMAGES to describe everything that is happening in the scene. This way you can explain dialogues, places, and subtext. The best way to use IMAGES is to work with the actors and share IMAGES and experience together. Instead of asking for emotions, use IMAGES.

Sometimes a very good way to get an actor’s imagination going is to talk about problems and the characters experiences. If you concentrate on an OBSTACLEit creates a sense of task and keeps the actor’s attention to the role.

Get all the FACTS regarding the character you can get from the script. Compare your notes with the actor’s notes.

Use questions WHAT IF? or AS IF? to adjust and interpret facts you are given. This is a very good way to talk about the character’s behaviour without using adjectives.

What is not being said in the script is called SUBTEXT. It is a handy tool to figure out what is indeed being said and what the intentions of the scene are.

Without PHYSICAL LIFE there is no performance. PHYSICAL LIFE is a reflection of a character’s inner life.

Your directions have to be clear enough to relate to the character’s situation and relationships.

What you need from your actors is connotations, engagement with one another and ability to affect each other and to be affected.

You need to create such a safe environment for an actor that he/she will not want to be a character but A PERSON.

When you give directions to actors, they have to be simple. Don’t make anything complicated especially before you shoot a scene. Always make sure that the actors listen to one another and play off one another.

List of things to remember:

  1. Keep it simple.
  2. Use your own experience.
  3. Keep attention on the actors.
  4. Don’t let the actors wander off.
  5. Make sure one actor doesn’t feel superior to the other.
  6. Make sure they don’t give direction to one another.

Try not to use adjectives, adverbs or indication. These are not staged direction tools and are not playable.

One of the best way to direct actors is to ask questions.

Notes from my own director’s notebook you might find interesting

  1. Make your action concrete to relate to your memory.
  2. Change motivations behind actions.
  3. One actor has the same motivation as before, and the other has changed motivation.
  4. Don’t follow the easiest way.
  5. The actor always has to be active even if he is static.
  6. You need to give actors concrete actions.
  7. We are.
  8. Always try to show the unknown side of things to the audience.
  9. Aim always for authenticity.
  10. Always seek for the real truth and not the popular conception of reality.
  11. Use your own real, specific and intimate experiences.
  12. Proceed step by step but without falseness, without imitating actions, always with all your personality and all your body.
  13. Remember about the silence of the mind.
  14. Our first obligation to art is to express ourselves through our motives.
  15. Take the risk of a failure to create.
  16. Use stimulation to give actors a chance to be creative.
  17. Emotion observed is no more extended emotion.
  18. Acting is reacting.
  19. The goal is to find a relationship between the text and the actor.
  20. Give everyone a few minutes silence before shooting.
  21. Don’t let an actor show the audience the character’s inner life but live it.
  22. The actor needs insight into the character life experiences.
  23. Trust the moment.
  24. If an actor can’t concentrate, give she/he a simple task to relax.
  25. Give direction that doesn’t damage the actors’ confidence.
  26. Make sure an actor concentrates on an object.
  27. Before you start work, you have to know what it is you want.
  28. Motivate actors, let them make choices.
  29. It’s all about behaviour.
  30. Stay focused on the characters.
  31. Use single action to stimulate actor’s behaviour.
  32. As a director, you need to know the story, the characters, the environment and the back-story.

You may also find useful:

Click here to go to part 1

Click here to read part 3



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