Never perform behind a table or a chair or a bag (at your feet)

For 'excerpt acting' showings, this is crucial.

  Let the audience see all of you. Never be masked by an object.
  If you move behind a table or a chair - only do so for a short (very short) time.
  The audience will interpret this 'hiding' as lack of confidence (whether true or not).

  I regard this as an ABSOLUTE RULE in 'excerpt acting. I have seen so many apprentice actors throwing away a scene in this way, until teacher intervenes and explains.
  Why do so many apprentice actors 'hide'? This is an important question to consider.
  IGNORANCE OF TECHNIQUES: This is the journey through acting techniques. When teacher explains, the apprentice actor appreciates the importance of revealing a performance for 'excerpt acting'.
UNCONSCIOUS SHYNESS: Part of the personal journey of the apprentice actor. Acting classes bring this to the surface. One of the many hurdles to be overcome.
UNABLE TO VIEW ONE'S PERFORMANCE USING THE 'THIRD EYE': The performing actor has to develop the 'third eye' technique of 'seeing' the performance as if in the audience. So the apprentice actor is not seeing the whole picture.
DELIBERATE CHOICE - WRONG: A student considers 'logically' that he/she should take up a position behind a chair or a table. The script seems to encourage this, in their reading. Wrong! It needs more experience to navigate the stage furniture.

 EXCERPT ACTING: This strict rule applies only to excerpt acting. Of course, within a whole play, the focus of the audience's attention is not always on the one actor. And the director could well block one or more actors to stand behind a chair or table for part of a scene.
  TAKE CARE WITH BAGS AND SUCH OBJECTS: Never place a bag at your feet. Get it out of the way. The audience will be distracted by it and wonder why is is placed so strategically. The audience will also worry that the actor will trip over it.
  I REPEAT: I have seen apprentice actors throw away scenes and monologues by such 'masking' and 'trip' objects. Again - study what professional actors do. And if they have a bag or suchlike near them, how they work with this prop.

 'ACTING 101' - FIRST YEAR OF ACTING TRAINING

You have experience of acting in school or pre-university courses? Here is advice for a college or university acting course. Or for an acting school.

 This 'ACTING 101' course plan aims at achievable results for a wide range of students.

 

 


 

 

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