ACTING WITH BEATS: ONE
OVERALL OBJECTIVE: INTENTION What is your overall objective in the scene? It must be SINGULAR, IMMEDIATE, AND PERSONAL. If you make an entrance, it brings you into the space.
- SINGULAR: You must be focused on one thing.
- IMMEDIATE: It must be something you can get now.
- PERSONAL: It must be important to you.
OBSTICLE: WHAT IS IN MY WAY? You must be able to play the obstacle. It cannot be abstract.
- EXTERNAL OBSTICLE: Focused on an object or person outside you: a corkscrew, a sound, the way a character looks at you.
- INTERNAL OBSTICLE: Focused on something inside you: a fear, a memory, a desire. It must be specific. It can be an image in your mind. It can lead to expression in your body: sweaty armpits.
ACTION (TACTIC): What you do to get to your objective.
- Advance toward the objective
- Overcome an obstacle
- Deal with current circumstance
- Be expressed with an active verb
- Connect with the other actor
- Be conditioned by the relationship (which changes in the scene from minute or second to minute or second).
- Change all the time.
YOUR OBJECTIVES MUST BE SPECIFIC AND PLAYABLE IN THE SCENE
- Bad objective: to make her happy; to make her love me
- Good objective: To make her laugh at my funny face!
YOUR ACTIONS MUST BE VERBS – AND THEY MUST BE DOABLE IN THE SCENE! THE VERB MUST LEAD TO A RESULT YOU CAN CATCH IN THE SCENE. Here is an extensive list of playable verbs by Paul Kuritz. You can add your own. The more specifc your verb, the more specific your action
- VERB: To amuse.
- ACTION: I stick out my tongue and cross my eyes
THIS ACTION WILL LEAD TO A RESULT YOU WANT, OR NOT. IF IT DOESN’T, THEN WHAT? CHANGE ACTION? REPEAT ACTION?
BEATS: Every scene/moment must be broken down into beats!
- I’VE GOT TO_____________ (>)
- HOW ______________ (<)
- SO I _____________(=)
Example 1: External
>Open this jar<How stuck it is!=I use my upper body and squeeze my hands as hard as I can<my hands hurt!>rest my hands=I stop twisting and shake out my hands
Example 2: Internal
>Get the boss behind that door to give me a raise<I don’t know what mood he’s in>I will get him to say “come in”>I knock softly on the door.
LINE: BOSS: Come in! What do you want? (shouts angrily)
< How angry he sounds! > My body stiffens> I won’t ask him now > I open the door gently> How he’s glaring at me!> I will sooth him>I smile and gently open the door:
LINE: (smiling) Just wanted to know if there’s anything you need, Mr. Tan.
Images can motivate a moment from inside the actor: for example:
- I knock softly on the door (Image: touching a hot stove)
- How angry he sounds! (Image: Memory: my father shouting at me)