Date: 2017 April 12th
Place: Theater and Cinema Ho Chi Minh city University
Lecturer: Lydia Park
Should the actor be born?
Could acting be learnt?
Could acting be taught?
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”
– William Shakespeare
Basic principles of acting
Therefore, the first thing the actor should do is self-observation, to observate oneself, to observe the others, all people in life. An actor need to observe/ care/ pay attention to all other people.
Now, try to recall what you usually do in your everyday life. If it’s hard to remember, then just try to remember about what you did in this morning, before you come to my class.
An student answered that this morning, after waking up, he ran to the school. Then, Lydia told him to come to the stage and redo the thing that he did this morning. He ran two, three rounds on the stage. Then, Lydia asked the audience that: “Do you believe that he ran like that this morning?” All the audiences said: “No.” (include me, I was not convinced by his running too). So Lydia asked him to try to remember how he ran this morning and try to do it again. He ran again but there was still something unnatural in his feet, his face. Lydia asked him so many times that: “Did you really run like that?”, “Is it true?”, “Is it true?”, “True?”, “True?”… He said “Yes” all the time but there was still no audience convinced by his re-doing. Then, Lydia summarized three basic steps of acting.
Acting includes three factors: acting, emotion, intelligence.
What does it take for acting?
Six steps or six questions.
- Who am I?
- What circumstance am I in?
- What is my relationship?
- What do I want?
- What does make me can’t do what I want?
- What do I have to do to do what I want?
Film acting and Play acting
Is there any difference between acting for film and acting for play?
In acting principles, film acting and play acting is not different with each other. It’s just diferrent in technique because in film, the actor has to act for camera to record image and voice fully. While acting with camera, the actor’s action depends on the kind of shot.
Example: The action of the girl when she sees the one she loves coming to her from far away.
In long shot:
She can jump, wave her hands strongly, call his name out loud because the camera can record her whole body, the micro is far away from her.
In medium shot, close up shot:
She can’t jump because that action can make her head out of the frame, she can shake herself softly. She also doesn’t need to call his name loudly because the micro now is near from her.
The space of acting
When the actor is on the stage, the actor is on the illusion space which is different from the space where the audience are watching. The audience’s space belongs to the 4th side, the ordinary life. By thinking the actor’s space and the audience’s space are totally different, it can decrease the actor’s pressure on the stage. The actor must remember that he or she belongs to illusion space, not belongs to the same space with the audience. They need to focus on the story’s space, their own space. The method of acting with mask makes the actor do this thing easier. That’s the reason it was formed: to make the actor concentrate more on their own space.
Our body is like an instrument
Our body is like an instrument. How can we do to make it sound for us to act? What does our body sound? Now, let’s find out about high-power poses and low-power poses.
Havard university made a research about how high-power poses and low-power poses affect to our mind by dividing two group classes. In one class, students were required to do high-power poses a lot. In the other class, students were required to do low-power poses a lot. One month later, when they (the researching team) asked two classes whether they want to join in the outdoor activity, here is the result.
When being asked about the reason why they wanted to join in outdoor activity, the students in the high-power poses class answered that they didn’t know clearly why they wanted to join, they just felt that it was good to join. In the opposite, the students in low-power class answered that they didn’t know clearly why they rejected, they just felt that it was not good to join.
Testosterone (male hormone) has an important role in people’s mind. It makes people more possitive, more activity, more confident. The researchers notice that testosterone in people changes while they do high or low-power poses. Here is the result.
Testosterone in people is also expressed through fingers.
Our mind can change our body.
Does our body change our mind? Yes.
Therefore, we have to observe the kind of actions that the character we act often does. Then, try to imitate/copy their actions. By doing that, we will gradually understand their feeling, their action.
So, make your body sound to let the audience enjoy.
April 28th, 2017