What’s going on everybody? As Spring approaches our doorsteps, let me share with you some gems from legendary acting coach Uta Hagen, from her book, A Challenge for the Actor.
Hagen proposed six key questions actors should ask themselves as they study their roles:
1. Who am I?
What is my present state of being? How do I perceive myself? What is my personal history?
2. What are my circumstances?
What time is it (i.e. century, decade, year, season, month, week, day, hour, minutes)? Where is this place (i.e. continent, country, city or village, neighborhood, house or apartment, and rooms)? What are the surroundings (i.e. landscape, architecture, furnishings, social conditions)? What just happened, is happening, and do I expect to happen?
3. What are my relationships?
Consider the newness or familiarity, age differences, affiliations, who is a leader and who is a follower. What do I “love, hate, or are indifferent to , like, dislike, pity, adore, disdain, admire, envy, are obsessed by, etc.”?
4. What do I want?
What is my objective? What do I want? (There are three types: the superobjective which carries a character through the play, the scene objective which carries a character through the scene, and the immediate objective which carries a character through the moment. These answers should be stated in simple sentences.
5. What’s in my way?
What or who is stopping me from realizing my objectives? What obstacles must I overcome? (Remember, getting what one wants is rarely easy, and for the sake of theatre, it shouldn’t be too easy. There’s no drama in that.) The obstacles you specify here should be directly related to the wants you mention in response to question 4.
6. What will I do to get what I want?
To answer this question, you must describe specific and concrete actions that you will or might undertake to achieve your objective. (For example, “I will stand outside his window and sing love songs to him,” or “I will steal his wallet and copy his id card,” or “I will call her on the phone every night until she says yes.”
Yours Truly will be teaching “Networking Tricks for Actors” at PATStudio (6925 Willow Street, NW, 1st Floor, Washington, DC 20012) on Monday evenings from 7:45 – 8:45pm March 19 & 26, and April 2, 9 & 16. The workshop is $25 a night. Each workshop is self-contained.
Here is a testimonial:
I just want to thank you, and let you know that your networking class was very informative. I am already starting to think like a celebrity, working on business cards and trusting myself, you call it, Speed of Implementation. Hope to see you in more workshops. Thanks again
John Pallotta teaches two classes Monday afternoons and evenings, from 4:30 to 6:30 and 6:30 to 9pm respectively at The Source Theatre (1835 14th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20009). Bringing you over 30 years experience on “The Craft of Acting”. To get in this special class, which I attend, please text or call 646.619.7777 and register today at www.dcacting.com
John Pallotta Studio
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