In this Masterclass lecture, we discuss the importance of certain tools that the actor has to help him, her or them dive deep into what motivates and drives the character throughout a given text. Just as a ballet dancer needs to know all the technicalities to do a thousand faute turns and do them so they seem effortless, the actor also needs to have a set of tools supporting him, her or them to do the work. There is no shame in the actor, or any artist for that matter, needing and utilizing tools that will help physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually during the creative process. This is what makes an actor an incredible craftsman or craftswoman. It is the difference between an actor making choices that have nothing to do with the text, and an actor that makes choices that have everything to do with the text. It is also the difference between an actor going into an audition and living the writer’s work, and an actor going into the room and rewriting the writer’s work by making uninformed choices. If the actor truly wants to live in the unknown of moment, he, she or they have to be aware of what is known to do just that. This is what actually creates freedom for the actor in the space. He, she or they have to be so connected to the life essentials of the character so that he, she or they are able to freely live moment to moment based on what is driving the character forward. This is why it is so important for the actor to be able to identify, understandand connect to the unwavering uninterpreted facts as laid out in the text. These facts, otherwise known as the given circumstances may sound very elementary to some, but truth be told, the givens are the very foundation or skeleton, if you will, to the life of a character as specified by the writer. And it takes a very skilled detective to really identify all the givens, especially the most subtle of facts that can easily be skimmed over that influence the full creation of character. Once the actor is able to identify all these essentials he, she or they can then begin to understand and formulate what is the driving force, life goal, and overall dream of the character that specifies all action, motivation, and yes, even listening, throughout the arc of the entire piece. This, otherwise known as the spine, super-objective, or overall throughline is there to guide, support, specify and most importantly stimulate the actor and all his, her or their senses to live fully the life of the character. Once all this is identified, the actor then has the creative opportunity and responsibility to now bring his, her or theirinterpretation based on those facts alive using the totality of his, her or their instrument. And that is when the next chapter of the creatiive magic really starts to happen!
I hope you enjoy this lecture!
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