Acting On Instinct

What Does It Take to be a Professional Actor?

          To be a great Actor you have to be able to be human on cue - to be human on purpose. It doesn't take a certificate from a Trade School or a Degree from a College or University. It takes mastering a craft that requires us to use ourselves in order to tell the story on the page. It's learning how to pretend with a purpose - pretend at a level that combines play, discipline and concentration. It's Craft, Art and that ethereal thing called Talent all rolled up together.

            The major task of an Actor is to create the character that is in the story. The script does not give you all the information that you need. 

You have to discover the basic essential characteristics of the person you are asked to portray. This is done by applying techniques, that have been developed over the years, to help you reach the emotional and intellectual reality that is required in order for the audience to believe that you are the person whom you are pretending to be. You have to learn to take the little bit of information in the script and then make up the complete person that is in the story.You have to create the person who needs these words.

         One line still requires a character in order for us to believe you. The director expects you to bring a complete character to the set that can be adjusted. That makes you an actor that can be directed.

       The other thing you have to be able to do is to tell the story with your character. This requires that you understand the essential conversations and relationships that are on the page. This takes practice - because we're not used to doing this in our regular lives. We simply talk to the person across from us. But we are bringing our entire life that came before to that conversation. We're just being ourselves. When we're acting, we have to get to the place where we are "just" being our character.  We have to be "Human On Purpose."

      What I want you to know is that I care about my students learning the craft of acting. I want you learn how to perform at the highest level. That means that you can work with the best in the world and be secure in the knowledge that your technique will enable you to be considered as an equal.