Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Great Acting Blog: "21 Principles For Better Acting"

"Learn your lines, find your mark, look `em in the eye and tell `em the truth." - James Cagney


As I come to produce my next short film, my mind is a-clutter with dozens of small details which can pre-occupy to the exent that my own performance in the film may suffer. So, in a bid to ensure the standard of my performance doesn't drop, I've decided to renew, refresh and re-state my acting principles, and in so doing, ensure clarity, simplicity and a laser-like focus. The list is not exhaustive, but contains those issues which are uppermost in my mind at the moment.



(in no particular order)


  1. Everyone tries to do the best they can.

  2. Total commitment to my action.

  3. Total commitment to my acion requires will, disicipline, and courage.

  4. Tell the truth.

  5. Be simple.

  6. Practice my action til it's habitual.

  7. Have the strength of mind to analyse the script correctly.

  8. Ensure every line of dialogue is encompassed by my action.

  9. Only concern myself with action.

  10. Be generous.

  11. Trust my preparation.

  12. Preparation is a point of departure, not the destination.

  13. Don' try and force the moment to conform to my preparation, improvise in the moment in response to what is actually happening in the moment.

  14. Memorize the lines until they are habitual.

  15. Your performance is a presentation before an audience.

  16. Character is created in the mind of the viewer by the juxtaposition of the actions of the actor with the fiction of the script.

  17. Relax.

  18. Give everything.

  19. Use your imagination.

  20. Any emotion which is not organically created by my attempts to do my action, is a lie.

  21. The outcome is no concern of mine.

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