An actor colors within the lines of the text, stage directions, and direction from the director to stay true to the playwright’s intention and the director’s vision. Yet, the actors as an artist must dare to color outside the lines to inhabit a living, breathing character who leaps from page to stage or screen. The actor’s personal take on the character’s essence and interpretation of that character’s words and deeds. This particularity in an actor can engage in dialogue and relate to scene partners to create to a specificity in interaction in that script or screenplay. in rehearsal, on stage, and on set
An actor depends on a three-pronged approach: research, analysis, and interpretation. In-depth understanding of how those circumstances impact the way a character acts brings an immediacy to the actor’s work. The given circumstances contextualize the character’s immediate surroundings and life experience. By drilling down into an analysis of the script, scene, and beat frames the dialogue. The script constrains the actor, giving verve to push against and test the boundaries of the scene. These limitations inform the actor’s interpretation of the writer’s reality. The result is tensegrity among the given circumstances, background, and contemporary background that compresses the character into a unique essence.
The art of acting infuses keen listening on a cellular level with kinesthetic feeling and input from sight, sound, taste, and smell. When I lived in New York, I developed urban radar that alerted me to danger even before any threat appeared. By relying on sensory cues, I assessed risk and responded proportionately instinctually. In dramatic context, the heightened situation may provoke a disproportionate reaction in the given circumstances. Acting on instinct is essential to authentic and alive performance.