Are you convinced that you convince the audience?

Are you ready for acting lesson 7? Before we start ask yourself an important question. Do you do the exercizes on a regular basis? Are you getting the hang of it? Remember: The first 6 lessons were not the "once in a lifetime"-kind. You have to keep repeting all of them. Acting is a business in which you NEVER stop learning. Even great actors we see in films, like Johnny Depp, Al Pacino and more, frequently go back to work on their skills. Sometimes because they need to prepare for a role, sometimes just for the repetition itself.

Now this acting lesson 7 is about acting convincingly. Why do we believe an actor when his character is a nervous little criminal, and next movie we love him because he is a charming gentleman. It is the same actor, and still we believe both characters he playes. Of course we also mean the actresses. It has to do with the way they convince us.

Now Acting lesson 7 is about how you can make an audience believe that what you are doing is the truth an nothing else.

Konstantin Stanislavski gave a lot of tools to achieve this:The actor must identify with the character being portrayed in some way, most importantly, the motives, or the driving force of the character. This may also include likes, dislikes, fears and desires.The actor must feel the emotions in real time whilst acting out the character.The scenes within the play must not be over rehearsed, for this may kill the feeling out of the performance and lines spoken may become a recital. This allows room for improvisation.Acting the Stanislavski method often involves taking risks and adaptation.Take a script, doesn't matter which, and follow these instructions:

Make sure you get a preliminary overview to the story to get a feeling for the story prior to reading the script.Make note of the following:

Look for key factors within the characters you can identify with. This may be shame of one’s background, desire for self-improvement or self-denial. You must draw upon your own experiences to find the answer.Identify what each character wants within the story.Identify the obstacles that are preventing the characters from reaching their goals. Remember that the obstacle could be one or several, real or imagined. An obstacle for example, could be poverty or a private fear.Think about how the characters try to achieve their goals.Select a scene that best portrays the motives and feelings of the characters.Finally, select an emotional memory that closely represents what the character might be experiencing within the chosen scene. This memory can be kept private.

Finally, think about the question Stanislavski often posed to his students when helping them connect with the character. “What if this happened to me?” This helpes to make the character part of the actor, rather than the actor falling into the trap of imitation.

It requires some work to understand the character. The more you practice the better you will get at it. It is the final "what if" that helps you to convince.

We hope you enjoy getting to know the character you chose!!

A great teacher at work

Uta Hagens Acting Class on DVD

See how young actors are brought to a new level of acting by their acting coach Uta Hagen.


Uta Hagen shares her wisdom

When your activities stay pieces of action it is not right. What you do more important than what you hear you stop hearing and then you are not connected. Do all the activities before you learn the lines.Uta Hagen.