I posted yesterday about the importance of sharpening our core acting foundational skills. In the workshop I attended on Saturday, Sandeep spoke about the fundamentals of acting as:
- Connecting to your breath, your character and your audience (be it a live audience or camera).
- Engaging all your senses to be fully in that moment with your character, your words, your fellow actors and your audience.
- Believing wholeheartedly in the message you’re portraying, in whatever manner is required to transmit said message effectively.
He said that getting all those aspects in order and there’s nothing more you can do to be a great actor. Of course, technique can still be layered on this to achieve, for example, adequate projection or to successfully connect with the emotional state of your character, etc.
But at the performance’s core, those are the main points.
Clint identified an actor as a glorified messenger, a person whose task it was to best communicate the words and intentions of the scriptwriter. I like this definition. It demystifies the idea of the actor and removes the profession from the “celebritised” status given it by the general public.
As an actor, one’s purpose is to communicate as well as possible the story intended by the production team. This is not to say that every audience member will receive the intended message; this all depends on the nature of the audience and where they are at. Just so long as the actor has done the best job possible in delivering the tale.
I resonate strongly with all that was communicated by Clint, Norris and Sandeep, and I can already feel a strong resurgence in my own performance simply by observing these basics of being present, connecting with my senses and the work, and firmly believing in the message. If I, as the performer, the messenger, do not believe with conviction, in that moment, of my message, there’s little chance the audience will.
I feel that, with my experience and training, I do connect naturally with my material in general. Still, it has been useful to get more conscious of this process again.