This is a question that I am often asked. How can I act more convincingly and truthfully?
It’s simple, and no one said it better than George Costanza, the great sage of 90s television. He told Jerry before a polygraph test that he believed it was a lie. This is, in essence, believing in your circumstances to the point that they are no longer divisible from your real life. This is the ideal and the goal for actors. So what can you do to make sure you don’t lie? PersonalizationPersonalization, ladies and gentlemen! It is about personalizingpersonalizing every aspect of your work.
To make the scene more relatable, you must first personalize the relationships. These relationships must be made real and tangible. Everyone works differently, and everyone has their methods. However, there are generally two main schools of thought. You can either create the entire world you imagine or create all the characters and images you want and invest fully in them. Consider how specific your relationships are in real life. For example, if you were thrown in prison and had to call the last three numbers on your phone to convince them to bail you out. These conversations would be very different. Because each person has a unique relationship, you will need to use different strategies with each one to achieve your goal.
This is the relationship that every character in every script and piece of writing has with their friends.
Another school of thought that I subscribe to is that personalization-personalization is easiest when you use real people from your own life who have a similar relationship to your character and the person you are speaking to. Next, place the person you know in the imagined situation of the character. Consider how it would feel if you were the real person who did the same thing as this character. Next, create your scene. This should be done for each character you speak to or discuss in any script. This relationship should be as intimate as calling your ex to bail you out from jail in the previous exercise. You will be amazed at how convincing your work becomes if you can do this and believe it.
StageMilk.com images are a topic that I’ve written about countless times. Images are the most powerful tool an actor has in his toolkit. Images are a powerful emotional tool that can stimulate memory and make audiences feel that the actor is the real thing. I wrote a huge article called Images – The actor’s hidden power if you are interested. To get to the core of the matter, you need to personalize the images in your script the same way you did the relationships. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to create new images of your character using your imagination or trying to add memories to your character’s world. It’s up to you to decide what works for you. It doesn’t matter if you include a specific sweater, a time of the day, or a parent’s mention in your script. You must have a clear picture in your head and a point of view.