Monday, August 16, 2010

Communication and Acting

Actors are expert communicators. They are able to communicate very complex ideas, very quickly. In fact, they communicate the entire essence of a human being, a character, and often do so simply by entering the shot or stage and embodying the role.

Why do you go in front of the camera, or on stage? Is it to get paid? To be famous? To be loved, or to get sex? All of the above and more? Well, these are not the best reasons to enter into this very difficult, insanely competitive profession, If, on the other hand, you are an actor because you love “let’s pretend” and you love to communicate, you’re in the right place and with the right rationale.

Every gesture, every word, every vocal inflection communicates. Your existence, as we covered earlier, communicates. And many others will stop and listen to you, and watch you, and be eager to receive your communication, if you are a good actor. Isn’t that wonderful, and a wonderful reason to be an actor? people will listen to you, and care about what you’re doing. You may move millions of people to tears or laughter, just by communicating well. Then, you’ll get paid! Just for doing the one thing you can’t help but do if you exist…communicate.

If your attention, once through Step X, is not on how you will COMMUNICATE the decisions you’ve made, first to the other actors and director, and then to the audience, then you’re not acting, you’re doing something else. You’re job is to play a game brilliantly, a game of “let’s pretend”, and to communicate it so well that it is clear, understood, and moves others.

How do you improve your communication skills? Start by understanding that a communication starts with you, and must be received and understood at the other end. Are you actually initiating communication with the intent to be accepted and understood on the receiving end? If not, you should be. Get your intention to communicate to the audience firmly in play. Then, communicate the script and all those decisions you’ve made, and make sure they get it without nudging them in the side with your elbow and winking. Have it as your conscious purpose to communicate brilliantly.

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