Saturday, February 05, 2005

The Myth of Acting

On a movie set, we often hear a director say this to an actor: "Don't act, just be yourself." The statement may sound puzzling to outsiders, but trained actors know exactly what it means.

The myth of movie acting is that an actor must be "energetic about the drama of the moment". "More sadness!" "More anger!" -- you would think movie directors constantly scream those instructions at the actors. Not so. The ones who do are probably first-time directors, and if they keep barking out those meaningless directions, the likelihood of their getting another film assignment dims. A-list directors treasure those moments when true emotions flow through the body of an actress and manifest on her face naturally.

Those of you who are blessed to be photogenic should realize that there is an oceanic gap between being photogenic and being a successful screen actor. There is no shortcut to stardom -- you must take acting lessons. A drama coach can teach you valuable lessons you will never learn by "emoting" in front of your bathroom mirror.

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