13 April 2021 - 10:50 BY Louw
Stuck or Too Predictable: Tool To Help You Keep It Interesting & Unlock New Impulses
I hate it when I feel I’m making predictable or boring performance choices. Even worse, getting stuck and I can’t seem to find the right performance choice.
This happens. It’s normal. We should expect these times to come. The problem is when we don’t work hard at fighting against the machine. If acting was easy, everyone would be doing it and winning Oscars left and right.
We need to get stuck. Yes, we need to. Otherwise, we will be making the same predictable choices over and over in every new role we get to play. The trick is to be willing to do anything possible to breakthrough, overcome the predictability or boring choices or just un-stuck yourself.
I have come across a great tool that helped me challenge these stuck or predictable times.
Tool to try (Unorthodoxy Exercise):
- 1st Rehearsals at home: Do a scene the way you rehearsed. Notice how it feels and what feels predictable or boring or where you get stuck.
- 2nd Rehearsal at home: Now do the scene again but do it as crazy and weird and impulsive as possible. Whatever comes to mind, however inappropriate or illogical – Ex. Throw on a British accent, do it while you jump rope, shout every word.
- Change stage directions to the opposite: shout when it says whisper, laugh when it says cry, jump when it says sit down. Turn the stage directions around and let yourself have fun just letting your freak flag fly!
- 3rd Rehearsal at home: Think back to what weird impulses or changes might actually work within the scene and the meaning of the scene or an added layer for your character. Now incorporate little nuances, retaining the bits you feel worked during the “crazy rehearsal.”
- Don’t hold back, be as crazy and weird as we know you really are!
I have discovered some epic contradicting performance variations for some of the characters I’ve played. Things I never thought would work but after exploring it in as crazy as possible way, I found little nuances that added more layers to my character and kept a scene interesting.
That’s what makes acting so attractive. You get to break all your own rules.
How did you find the technique/tool/advice? Did it work for you? What was different this time? Share with the tribe and let’s keep on creating beautiful, honest and memorable performances. Let’s execute our best selves!
Edwin van der Walt