Learning the Principles of Acting
then practice, practice, practice...

ABWAG to learn acting

Tiny Ron
       Tiny Ron Taylor the ABWAG-Man has come to your rescue with a web site that is like an acting manual using a database structure to communicate the feel, think, do technique, along with a resource of plenty of useful tips, helpful definitions and related terms of acting. It's all free to study and no sign-in is required.
     Acting a Better Way w/ Actors Globally

      Audiences imagine more in their head than you can ever act out. Audience will do it for you, their imagination is great.
Acting and Directing Subject Index: 
a to z 
b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y
  Drama Coach Don Richardson teaching in his acting and directing workshop in the year 1994. HERE.  
  Acting is like a hang nail; why pull it when you can cut it.
Enjoy acting!

   Defining acting.

  Actors create experiences they have never had.

  Subject Outline

Do you want to be an actor? If, yes!

Welcome to the World of Imagination

     Acting is a work of the imagination, it's a form of self-hypnotism.

     When they roll the camera, it is the actor's world. Three basic questions.

Alpha Hirogen "Star Trek: Voyager"Set of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

         Tiny Ron                                      Photos by Ron Taylor

    One of the first things you must learn is getting into the imaginary world.

Approach acting as a House of Entertainment

   Actor is not in a temple, you have to be entertaining, larger than life and occupy the space.

   First rule: must entertain the people. Don't be a downer. People will turn you down. Deal with life bravely. Showmanship

        An actor has to serve the audience, work for the author and then give the director hints, he will buy it.

Welcome to the ABWAG playground!

All acting has to be larger than life.

Between life and entertainment, pick entertainment.

                                           Life energy is not acting.

Actors can't just be in their heads, they must physicalize it.

An actor's job is to play their character.

      Never be nothing as an actor... ...acting talent is the ability
 to imagine things and let them happen in your feelings.

How you acted as a child.

Don't act careful, but act like children and game play.

       There are a lot of people out there who think acting is all about it being real, it's not about being real, anymore than a painting is being about it being real.

A scene doesn't have to look real, but seem real.

          Chose emotion and objective and your body will behave in the character, and if you can't turn your body over to the character, you can't act.

          Emotion is the primary force, can't do it with cleverness.

          Human will is great, you can hypnotize yourself. Just mesmerize yourself with thinking of one thing, your objective.

Actors must use complete sense memory everywhere possible.

                Tiny Ron (Taylor) you have the absolute best online acting website (ABWAG) on the internet.!!!!!!! I stayed on for hours. Your site is more informative than most of the seminars and workshops I have attended. Well written, simply stated...examples.....JUST AWESOME!!!  Ruthann  
           The acting experience is what we are trying to accomplish, what it feels like to act. We are trying to BREAK THE BARRIER that is made up of the actor being clever and thinking it through as they act. This all leads up to looking like acting, it has no resemblance to life. Tiny Ron Taylor feelthinkdo.com  
Click here for BACKTAGE article.
Leave the Agony Behind by Brad Heller.

  "Don completely changed my outlook on acting and made it fun again. I discovered that it's possible to get emotional without having to think of any thing personal."  
  Brad Heller  
  The better way to teach your body the discipline of being other people in a world of illusion.  


Don't act, just feel and stay honest.

Being honest: absolute honest in feeling and objective.

How to Act: feel, think, do technique is the way the actor wants to act

  Hot tip: all theatre is foreplay.

in the imaginary world.

Received e-mail:               "After reading the book I believe that I understand more about (ABWAG) web site and the motives behind its creation."
       Modern acting begins with honesty.

Tiny Ron in Don Richardson's Acting and Directing Workshop

                                                       Photo by Bob Karr

Leave reality outside acting workshop.

Don Richardson teaching his workshop.

Stir the imagination of audience with feeling and thought.
See Don Richardson teaching in his acting and directing workshop HERE.

The principles of acting come from all the things you do in life.

Skills and talent.  

How to start with instant acting.

Films are about body language, conflict and moment to moment.



Young actors act carefully, they have to learn to make mistakes.

          An actor's mind and body rebel, they refuse to leave reality for illusion.

          Everything comes from your imagination. Don't do things that physically can hurt you.

Actors are trained in the world of illusion.


   Condition reflex = Teach your body.

        ABWAG to learn acting is a place to learn acting with no pain to you mentally or physically.


Dress yourself in your imagination.

          An actor must be trained in the skill of acting. It is a craft with a toolkit full of tools. The individual tools are acquired through the learning of the art.

  1. Becoming other people.
  2. Approach your work with body relaxed so the emotion can take over.
  3. Acting is not about talking, it is about behaving.
  4. Think your objective, leave your body alone.
  5. As an actor you must accept the world of illusion.
  6. Entering a dream, you must stay in the dream.
  7. An actor has to serve the audience and work for the author.
  8. Director says, "show me what you've got."
  9. Audience has to see body language, make everything physical.
  10. Remember, half of your performance comes from the other person.
  11. Tell your body to do something, that's acting.
  12. Sharing an illusion.
  13. Let go, don't act carefully.
  14. Simple, simple, simple.

          The modern way to act is to learn all of the principles of acting, then forget that you know them.

          It comes down to the human face, not just special effects.

          The fundamentals of acting is to not flounder around, but look at the resources of principles. Principles never change. It's not, "I have a great idea".

            Staging from principles.

In a scene you must give it meaning, be specific and make a point.

Scene Analysis

           The director should work up closely with the actors and then as the actors get on their feet and get more security, the director should step back, step back and leave no foot prints in the scene.  
Giant and Soul "Alien Nation: Body and Soul"
                                                                                      Tiny Ron

Acting Gems

            To heck with the rules, heck with the standards and heck with the principles, I will make the audience love me. That is all wrong, you can't trick it.  
You're fools guys and gals trying to find the easier way.*
The more inventive you are, the better actor you are.
Don't love your performance, love...
The Art of Acting

In order to control an audience you must first learn to master yourself.


You have talent, see what it can do!

To act we are talking about skills, you just don't throw yourself into it.

         When you are very good in a scene and you come off and you're not sure exactly where you were, that is when you are good. When you come off and say, "oh, was I terrible," you weren't in the scene. If you come off and you say, "boy, was I great," you weren't in the scene. If you can step off into space and not know where you are for a moment and trust your talent to take over and everything you have learned to date and allow that to propel you, then you come off in doubt, you come off like, "where was I?" That is when you are very good in the scene. That is what really acting has to feel like. It is like taking a trip. It is being somewhere else and being someone else. As long as you stay you, it is never going to happen. That is the trick you try to achieve.

Talent will take care of you, don't just perfect skills.

Act down to your finger tips.

The secret: Give up the controls, hardest thing to learn in acting.

            In acting in the movies a lot of big star actors are always there, they are a pain in the side. They are all over the place. But rich good acting, that is not what happens. The actor disappears, and that is what the actor should do, you work up closely to your character and then you step back, step back, step back and leave the character alone. You give the character your mind, your body and you buzz off. All you do is collect the check.

Storytelling and reveal character, that is what it is all about.

          We are storytellers. I'm not talking about logic, I am talking about the skill of telling a story. We all try to act with our intellect, you can't do it, acting is an emotional experience. It's only a partial mental experience. Don't look for psychological conclusion as an actor. A good actor knows when to do it, how to do it and make the right choices. Use all the resources you've learned from life and then you say, this can work in terms of the audience. You have to be theatrical. It won't work if you don't have no smarts. Consider the material in depth. What is the reading in it that will interest an audience. That is what they are looking for when they hire you.

          There is rarely anyone to help you out there. You have to know what to do to help yourself. Actor in this industry has to be ruthless, selfish, aware of everything that is going on. Actor has to be self-resilient, self-reliant and self-sufficient. Work-up a standard of excellence. Train your own instincts.

          The acting experience is what it feels like to act in the imaginary world.

Buzz in actor.

          Acting is self-illusion, not just costume, has to come from inside.

            Naturalism is dull, you have to give the audience a circus. Every moment should be full. Take an emotion and make it big without strain.

Top ten items in acting a scene.

           First, get yourself into that emotional state where you have to get your body feeling the peak of exercise: you are out of breathe, the adrenalin is going through you and your heart is beating. Then the director yells action and don't recover.

          When you do things like feeling emotion and thinking objective you don't even have to think about doing it. It all becomes subliminal in your acting. Don't be conscious of all the principles of acting once you learn them. Trust your body, your body can do many things for you. Your body remembers.


  Don't get ready for the next moment.

In life, we have no idea what's going to happen in the next instant,

Audience goes 'aw'...

The Moment Between the Trapezes

state of disconnected

that's what makes your acting resemble life.
          Learn the scene, then you don't know what is going to happen, the lines and staging are almost like amnesia. You are in a state of disconnected from what is rehearsed. There is a sense of urgency between the two trapezes. There is no recall, everything is unknown after rehearsal.  

To make acting look real through the quality of the accidental.


Walk to the edge of the diving board

      and step off into space,
Acting natural won't get you anywhere. You have to be above the mob. You have to have fire in the belly. If you carry dullness, you're doomed. Stand up there and vibrate. Forget reality and just look for the theatrical.



   talent will take over.




Your talent will work, how advanced you are will show.
Leave your body (talent) alone, it will do all the right things.
Things you find come out from your talent, not your brain.

The acting experience is not knowing how you acted.


Philosophy of Acting

So, right now, you're looking for insight.

     Work mainly with an emotion, because without emotion acting is worth s**t.



           Character can be out of control, but you the actor must always be in control, keep your skills. You must have great feeling, but stay in control of your instrument (your body, an actor has to learn to play the violin, figuratively.)  It's all about emotion.

         Use the principles you learned to work with, those are the tools. Most people learn them, but don't apply them.

         When it is working for you, don't do anything, don't make it better. The hardest thing for an artist is when to know when to stop, when is it enough. Don't guck it up.

         Don't start acting, once you remind audience you're an actor it's over. Cannot take every big moment and turn it into radio, vocalize or make it loudly. The problem is to deal with big moments, they don't have to be loud.


ABWAG is an alternative to method acting.

Acting a Better Way w/ Actors Globally is learning the feel, think, do technique for the purpose of acting and then practice, practice, practice... until you don't have to think about it, anymore.

           ABWAG has taken a few principles of acting from method acting.



         Joy of doing the work is ART, not from torment, forget armchair psychology used by many actors and directors. To the actor a director says, 'I want this result, do it however you do it', is a better way instead of all that psycho therapy stuff in Method acting.

Method acting is too cumbersome.

          Something methody: people will tell you they do not teach method acting, but be careful there are many different branches of method acting out there.

          No interest in neurasthenic acting.

            People who make so big a fuss about acting, should not be acting.


Actors are spell binders and entertainers.

Theatre is never life.

It all comes from principles, that is the MAGIC you see in acting.

     A House of Entertainment is telling the story in movement by finding what I call the pattern of behavior.
     Work as an actor is to be an entertainer.      To make a decision based not on investigating our inner psyche, but on our theatrical sense.
     Make a thing entertaining in feeling.

Writer give actors something to interpret.

An actor's job is storytelling.

Actors must learn to understand screenplays.

If they don't know what the story is about, their acting is trash.

           Biggest mistake made by actors doing a scene is "what is the story"?

           Actors must know what story they are telling to be able to use all their resources.

           Purpose of film today: play each moment fully. Don't over simplify in just dealing with plot.
           First reading of screenplay is to enjoy the story.
           Second reading is the time to think of an individual character and to start making choices.

           The character isn't simply an extension of yourself.

Love the craft and principles, not the image. 

           Audience should never know actor is scared.

           An actor must:

                                    1. light up the screen,

                                    2. have a buzz in themselves,

                                    3. be on,

                                    4. use energy for entertainment,

                                    5. look into special interesting things of the character,

                                    6. love them self; I'm great and I'm amazing,

                                    7. leave their talent alone and

                                    8. learn instant acting.

          Actors never ask themselves, "what would I do," but need only to think "who am I", who the character thinks he/she is. Acting is being other people, the actor doesn't come into it.

          Be aware of what is going on in the inside and the outside of the character.

Learning the camera  

How to stand on stage.

theatron -- seeing place -- Greek


         Acting on the stage and for the camera are the same, the difference is proportions.

         Each actor has to develop their own study habits.

Drama is difficulty, that's the secret.

         When you do a drama look for the things that are ingratiating, look for the fun in it, and most of all look for the humanity in it.

Humanity is the secret in all acting.

Read books on anthropology.


Also learn:

Comedy is half your work. Comedy is about opposites.

Comedy is a science, you must learn the science.

          In comedy, do start with everything real, instead of starting with everything funny.

          Play comedy. Your character must suffer. Comedy is someone else's tragedy. All of it is the sad story of life. It's the way life goes, it's sad, it's unfair, it's terrible, it's suffering and it's tragic. There is no good comedy without suffering.

          The more you are in trouble the funnier it is, that is the secret of comedy.

List of basic jokes.

          Humor is not who throws the pie, but the humor is where the pie lands.

          Reaction to jokes, straight man gets pie in face.


          The goldmine for comedy is the continuous track principle. The track has to be continuous until the beat before the train gets derailed.

You can't play comedy, unless you know drama.

Main thrust of drama is to move people.

Main thrust of comedy is to amuse people.

Everyone has their area of funny.

          There are a lot of funny people in the movies and on the stage, but there are very few people who are human funny. And when they are human funny, they are twice as good as anybody else.


          During a comedy scene an actor is in a state of mischief; a prank on the audience.

            Joke is like a gem, you have to frame it.

        In comedy:  contest of wills. Laurel and Hardy are goofy, but based in reality. You need separate individuals, someone has to be the straight man (Hardy), a person who the audience recognizes with. Then the other is the clown (Laurel.) Driving force gets it done; one has to be driving force (Hardy), the other guy leads into difficulty (Laurel.) The straight man can reverse anytime (Laurel) and then be the clown (Hardy.) Must have an under lying basic joke: blind leading the blind. Audience is laughing at themselves.

  The secret of comedy is precision.

Art is a suggestion, art isn't thrown at you.

Styles in Acting

            Here is a list of eleven styles for the actor to learn and follow. One style will help you stay in the right key with any scene.
Items: 1. Drama 7. Science Fiction

     A style of a film or play does not change.

2. Comedy 8. Farce
3. Mystery 9. Black Comedy
4. Classic Tragedy 10. Comedy of Manners
5. Modern Tragedy 11. Theater of the Absurd
6. Fantasy


          As you can see there are no such things as a comedy-drama or love romance mystery, etc.

          (In drama you can have comedy, but don't go for big laughs. And in comedy you can have drama, but people can't die).


          Actor must know about humanity to make the character real. Humanity is the whole principle of theatre.

          What makes an important actor? Find what other people don't. Actor has to have a profound understanding of humans.

          In acting don't do the opposite to humanity.

          How to plan the scene from a showmanship point of view?

          Motion pictures require motion, not just emotion.

          If you can't tell story in behavior, it won't work with words

          How to make a scene special, how to illuminate it? As an actor be a chef, be decorative. Acting a scene is like a chef planning a meal. He doesn't serve you the same thing. If you start with a asparagus, is the main course asparagus, does he give you asparagus fruit, and does he end up with asparagus cake.

Learn to act and how to sell it to generate money. If you can generate money, they will pay you money.


The greatest impressionist is Van Gogh, he never painted carefully.

  The passion is there.

In your art take big broad brush strokes.

Good painter attacks his painting.

      Principles of painting also go for acting, use a big brush and let it dribble.

Van Gogh

      In life we struggle to overcome emotions. The job of the actor is to be swimming in them.

         Acting is being other people. It has nothing to do with you -- the actor is not the character.

Queen Mother "Alien Nation: The Enemy Within"   Find yourself in the skin or world of your character.
     Tiny Ron

            Actor can't pretend things, it has to be emotional experience.

How to find emotions? We know what words mean: anger, envy, horror, anxiety, joy, etc.

         The emotion like "anger" is all the times you had this emotion in life, not just one instance in your life.

         Here is THE EXERCISE to learn how to make the emotion big enough to act with.

         Acting is having the emotion that best fits the scene. An actor can not try to play effects of scene. If actor works without emotion, it will look like acting. An actor can't lie or do it without passion. It is about true feelings and true objectives: do not to be artificial, but be real.

         An emotion isn't a constant, an emotion goes up and down, it goes all different ways.

         The whole idea is to see how much emotion and inner life actors can give their characters. The actors must give themselves over to the moment, they must soak themselves to be real.

         Approach your work with body relaxed so the emotion can take over.

         Use all your resources, not just emotion.

         Avoid compassion or pity as your character's emotion."

Definition of an objective: Objective is in character's words.

         Objective should be simple, active phrase, starting with the word "to".

         The objective is the conscious intent of the character.

         Objective must always be in the language of the character, limited to his own background and education.

         There's no one correct answer when you're looking for the objective of the character. Pick the one that seems best for the character and one that 'turns you on' as the actor.

         The objective is the conscious intent of the character; (he needs a woman to give him trouble).

          Objectives must always be difficult to attain.

Difficulty is the fuel that lights our acting fires.

          Actor must think of character's objective over and over to be oblivious of everybody; crew, director, etc.

          When you act you should concentrate on your character's objective and nothing else. Your discipline has to be complete, that is how you stay in character.

          The discipline in your mind is not to think, how am I doing? Because you'll forget. Instead, it is to concentrate on the character's objective. Thinking just that is: controlled obsession.

          Objective is not just what you think, but what you do.

          Think objective - the body knows what to do!

          People tell you to focus, but never tell you what to focus on. Focus on your objective.

           Don't act without an emotion, more important than words, even the objective.

          Learning how to listen in a scene: you can't make your mind a blank, so you must keep thinking objective and stay with the emotion, you'll hear the way we do in life.

          Really see and hear other actor, you will react.



          The only other acting book I recommend to read besides 'Acting Without Agony: An Alternative to the Method' is Michael Caine's acting book 'Acting in Film', which tells us "to occupy yourself while you listen, think of what you would say, but don't say it". This is an over-generalized objective. Michael Caine's acting book 'Acting in Film'

Michael Caine Acting on Film Part 1 of 6



Fill the silences is actor's job.

           One of the cardinal rules is... stay with one emotion and one objective until something occurs to change it. (You don't drift off because of the dialogue.) You only change because of new information or a new event.

          Have an attitude for the character, then you would have their personality.

          Attitude without an emotion will never work, you must vibrate inside.

          Also, find another attitude for character from new information.

          Acting attitude can control audience. You are the performer, a lecturer, you have to control the audience.

          Characters don't go around showing what's really inside of them, they wear a mask for protection.

          When re-doing a scene, don't repeat what you just did, but go back to cause of it (the emotion and the objective,) then hoping your talent will even make it better.


The Four Pillars of Acting







Sense Memory

     What is the style of the story?
     The style does not change for any reason.
     All choices come from the type of style.
     Pick the emotion.
     Emotions are feelings large enough to change your life or destroy it.
     Always start with emotion first: feel... think... do...
     The objective is the conscious intent of the character.
     Always chose an objective that best serves the scene. Not objectives that are general and not what makes logical sense.
     Use sense memory everywhere possible.
     Sense memory is not enough to understand it intellectually, you must teach it to yourself.

A note.

     Even though you learn how to do an objective and an emotion doesn't make you an actor. There is much more to it than that.

          Never do anything without a plan.

          Not reality, but credibility. Principle is "that its got to be completely creditable" otherwise it can't work, it's not possible. What is the story?

          A scene is not a duplication of life, if it does you have monotony, but a reflection of life. Audience says, 'yes, I know I felt that way.'

..... Hot Tips .....

          Know the perimeter of what you can do, so you aren't miscast. Perimeters of what you are right for, what you suggest to the audience, otherwise, it's work, work and it still doesn't work.

Jacko "Last Man Standing" Bruce Willis
                                                          Tiny Ron

            Performance is like a strip tease. The whole thing is foreplay, just maybe, not yes.

          If the behavior is correct, even a deaf audience will understand it.

            Just the most important note:          

Learn how to juggle only three things when acting:

                                                1. feel::::::::::emotion

                                                2. think:::::::objective

                                                3. the~~~~~~~wire

           An actor can only control their conscience for acting purposes, they can not control their sub-conscience. What the sub-conscience does is it does things to the actor.

          This is make believe (you're the cop, I'm the robber), just walk into it. You are just in this dream. There is no you the actor.

          In acting get yourself where you don't know what is coming next.

                                          Tiny Ron

          Don't get ready to do anything, your body will do it.

          Trust your talent, don't instruct yourself.

          If you teach the body how to act, it will act.

          Character out of control, but actor has to be in control.

          Knowledge when to do nothing is a powerful weapon.



The Art of Directing

       Director is the pilot of the story in a lighthouse to keep the actors off the rocks.  
     Actor and director's work is storytelling.

     In the house of entertainment the actor and director have to serve the audience and work for the author.

     An actor or a director should definitely follow and learn the list on scene analysis.

      Actor thinks of causes. Director thinks of results.

     Actor has to make the right choices. For director it is casting.

     Just have a general idea of scene. Ammo given to actors is the emotion and objective. Director then let's the actors go.

Director favors the one who can act when filming.

          Purpose of film today: play each moment fully. Don't over simplify in just dealing with plot.

          Don't make bad choices. If the choices are wrong, scene won't work.

          In making choices, it is where you are in the story and how much the audience should know.

          Recognize traps of scenes when they are there, so you know how to avoid them.

            Acting is the only art you cannot be caught doing.

No awareness of self is good acting.

          If actors go back in their past, they are aware of self. Total abandon must come from an actor while his/her instrument (body) is vibrating with feeling.

            Understanding Discipline of Acting - Actor must give up self-thoughts.

          Audience doesn't care about the actor's problems, only the character.

          An actor must turn their body over to the character, if they can't do that, they can't act.

          When you act you have to act not just with your will, not just with your thoughts and feelings, you have to act with your whole body.

          Act with your whole body, the feelings are going, and use your voice without burying dialogue trying to be natural. Use color and don't mumble.

          An actor must have a good vocal instrument, but not fall in love with it.

          The more inventive you are, the better actor you are.

          Overall effect in movies is seeing. We are a watching creature.

            Behavior tells the story.

The dialogue is the ornament on the garment of the actor.

                                                  Tiny Ron

Click Here for NEWSFLASH about acting

             Secrets of drama: what is recognizable to audience.

          Who is doing what to whom? That is the rubber band stretched in a scene.

          Audience like to watch people try to save themselves.

          Recall things in life that the audience has forgotten.

          Modern acting has a ragged edge to it.

          For a scene to resemble reality, it has to be conspired reality. A planned reality is not organized, it has a ragged edge, it is not smooth. That is the human dilemma. Do everything organized, but in life nothing is organized.     

           Turn on all your lights: bigger than you are and still look real.


Order of Importance


1. author

      Author is the star: play of words. Author gives story, character and dialogue. Actor gives it life.

      Truth of the author. Remember not to act dialogue.
2. audience

      Entertain the audience. Key to play. Most important character is the audience.

      The wonder of acting is to present a human being to other human beings, so the audience get glimpses of themselves.
3. actor

      What does it have to do to the audience, what should it accomplish? Actor has all the judgment, not the director.

      The actor must be simple, honest, and vocal: you will learn how to do it and then you will trust that you know how to do it and leave it alone and just do it.
4. director

      Does scene do what the story requires? Director is an observer. A series of variations from actor. Director picks one.

      The director turn actors loose on set, then lock it in for camera. Director's job is to make a scene work. If it works, it works, don't worry about the logic.

Actor's Wit

           It is possible you can learn more from animals than humans in life.
     The actor starts with a clean canvas -- you are the material in creating another person with the character's who am I, what do I feel, what do I want, attitude and mask.
     The character is asking these questions, not the actor:

who am I?

what do I feel?

and what do I want?

          Also, find the personal character's attitude toward others, because every character must have an attitude to make their individual self.Then give the character a mask... always remember people wear a mask.
     Reading a part, don't believe everything character says: natural behavior of lying everyday.     The face they put on to the world.     What is really going on inside the person is what you choose. What they pretend is only their mask.

However, if you succeed too well in your mask, there is no drama.


Bigfoot "Sasquatch Mountain"
Actor Tiny Ron
Know what to do with a character even without lines.


          Actors must make choices from what scene should do to audience.

          From the emotion comes the imagination and from the objective comes the staging.

          Emotion (feelings) are separate from objectives (thoughts).

          The biggest principle of them all:

"The actor feels the emotion and thinks the objective to become the character, then reaches for the words to make the character look real." -Don Richardson-

         An actor's job is to create people in an imaginary world.

Theatrical sense, not psychological conclusions.

Don't think up clever things.

Do all acting on impulse.

Lothar "The Rocketeer"
       Tiny Ron
Use your sensitivity from your heart.
Body vibrating with feeling.
Brain to brain acting.

         When you are a star you have to be aware of certain things. If a moment is important, take your time. Clock in your head.

          Lead with your feelings, not your brain.

            Invention on invention.

          Turn your acting into something to watch. Recognize the moments, they are the lifeblood of drama.

          Each moment must be played with a beginning, middle and end.

          Scene isn't worth anything unless there is conflict.

          Conversation is not a scene, no matter how witty: a confrontation is a scene.

          You have to explore every moment with all your energy. Play all the values. To turn on your lights also means to turn on all your awareness. Every moment is brand new. Nothing has been rehearsed.

Acting is the work of imagination.

          Enjoy acting in the world of imagination. Remember you are putting on an entertainment.

          World of imagination is also known as having the actor stay inside the imaginary fourth wall of illusion.

            Feel, think, do technique is the way the actor wants to act in the imaginary world.

          Learn to do things with your imagination, that's what sense memory is. Dialogue is least important.

            Mesmerizing yourself with your character's objective.

          Story telling, don't take up time with things that don't matter, art of compression.

          Never yell in acting unless it is the only thing.

          Modern acting is talking with your body before you talk with voice.         

          Certainty is wrong. Do all your planning, work it out, learn the words and then step off into space.

          When the characters have goals that are easy to attain or if they give up trying, the audience loses interest in the character. The greater the struggle; the more the excitement. The larger the risk; the greater the suspense.

          Principle: Never allow it to be over, until it's over.

            Know everything for the first time, as if there was no rehearsal.

            Rehearsal can't be organized, it has to be spontaneous.

          To appear spontaneous, you must learn technique, technique, and then technique to cover the technique.

Jacko "Last Man Standing"
Tiny Ron

          You don't have to work at what you are. You are all ready good at it.

          The actor's brain is limited, their impulse is unlimited.

Stay with the truth of story.

            The answer is you have to make everything that happens meaningful; an attention getter. You have to keep the audience awake. Your first job is to keep them interested. You're not teaching them about humanity, you're entertaining them. You must keep them interested. So, if the director says to you, O.K., sit down over there and you sit down over there and there is nothing going on... make something go on that is important to the story and the character. That is your creative job.  That is what you get hired for. If I'm a director and I hire De Niro, I know that he isn't just going to bog down.  He is going to do something interesting. That is why he is worth all that money. That is why they hire him, they don't like him. Nobody likes anybody in this industry. They hire you because you are necessary, because you do something that is interesting that will sell tickets. Do you know why your basketball player makes so much money? People pay a lot of money to see him. That is why he makes more money than a brain surgeon. Brain surgeon only has one client that needs him at a time.  Right? But a basketball player has a multitude that need him at a time, that's why he makes more money. And the Stars that make more money are the ones who can do something interesting. The way to be interesting is to find out what is going on in the story, who is your character, what does he want, what does he feel and dramatize it. Don't just think about it, but do it. Your objective is not just what you think, it's what you do.  And you have to do it physically. It is not just a question of finding a place to settle yourself where you are the least target. An actor doesn't sit down because a character sits down, an actor sits down because he is half the target seated than he is standing. You fight your heart out to get in front of the camera, you want to be hidden when you get up there? It doesn't make sense, it is illogical. Why be an ostrich?

Don Richardson's Acting and Directing Workshop

     This particular critique in Don's workshop was all technical stuff with hardly any story suggestions, however, I do find the principles used here interesting.

     Officer and a Gentleman     Drama

     Director, an actor and an actress.       Sept. 6, 1990

     Scene: He is coming to propose to her.


     Objective:   to make everybody jealous       to save myself

                       to save my face                       

     Emotion:     greed                                     hope


  • Leave something for the audience's imagination.
  • Back of mind understand camera.
  • Story being told in images.
  • The unusual is what it's about, not just beautiful.
  • Vanity not beauty.
  • Think camera. Think motion picture.
  • Always simple.
  • Do a thing once, then progress. All of it is revelation.
  • Think of your objective.
  • Director thinks in results: clinch mouth, etc.
  • Actor thinks in causes; emotion and objective.
  • Have to be precise - director says something, do it.
  • Physical requirements - changes.
  • Must make physical what's important. Otherwise, audience won't know it.
  • Any change - be precise - always be actor when listening to director.
  • Be aware of what is being seen. Where is the camera, what is it doing.
  • Plan to be a big actor - be in charge - what to wear, etc.
  • Give the audience time to focus, do one painting at a time.
  • Good art achieves it overtime.
  • Many years to become an absolute.
  • Precision - comedians must learn precision.
  • Good art is never muddled always focused.
  • Study play, scenes, emotion, objective and who am I?
  • Throw yourself into rehearsal.
  • Your talent will work. How advanced you are, it will show.
  • Get rid of everything that doesn't have meaning.
  • Strip down to only the essentials.
  • Dispense with everything that is dispensable.

If acting was easy, everybody would be doing it.


     Real choices in life...

     objective: to be an actor

come from selfish motives and pride.

     emotion: ambition

     The same goes for a character in a scene; the choices must come from selfish motives and pride.

          Actors are born with the aptitude. A person has to have the aptitude to act. If it is not there, you cannot teach somebody to be an actor.

          Actors have a will. Adequate actors do their thing, even the triumph of no talent.         

            American actors are hung-up on a search for truth.

          Acting has nothing to do with actuality. This is where Lee Strasberg was totally wrong, you don't have to experience something to be able to act it.

How to play insanity in an easy and simple way. Tall Man "Shadow Box"
         Tiny Ron

          An actor's choice of material can be unusual and startling, but then they go at the acting obeying all the best principles of acting.

          Avoid becoming a great thinker. The trouble with people who are talented is, they become great thinkers.

          Don't do mental acting, allow the body to do what it knows. Don't make pictures, be the character.

          You learn the words and forget that you know them.

           Be real people, don't be all over the place.

          As an actor you must reveal everything about the character.

          Learn how to play your instrument.

          Serve the author's intention.           

          The answer is the actor has to give a scene: meaning, be specific and make a point.

          Antidotes of life to apply to scenes.    

          Acting is being other people, not recital.

          Don't act with intelligent, but emotion. Audience is effected by emotion, not intelligent. Audience is caught up in emotions, not ideas. Bernard Shaw wrote ideas and it was dull, but he did add political bites in it. Audience moved by the emotion, dialogue is nothing, they are not moved by dialogue.

          The incomplete gesture is today's acting, not the complete gesture.

           WRONG way to act.



Audience looking for the bizarre. Beyond their own lives. Arrange and entertainment, interesting and spectacular. 

People feel at movies, they don't think.

        Understand the audience out there. Major part of actor's work. Don't think each person individual. Audience is a herd reaction; unified, one unit, and one group. They are a mass of people reacting. They want uniform morality, such as... we are all against bad.

        Give audience time for important pauses, to let their imagination work, so they can relate to their own experiences.

        Audiences imagine more in their head than you can ever act out. Audience will do it for you, their imagination is great.

      People go to the theatre to live other life's. Audience wants to see suffering. "Yes, I have been there". A world for audience to come into.

Tiny "Holyman Undercover"
                                        Tiny Ron

       The whole secret, the audience has to get involved. They don't just sit and watch or listen. They have to get into the situation of the character. They have to identify with them.

An actor has to serve the audience and work for the author.

People will give up illusion for reality.

Lead the audience to the unknown.

Audience needs to be trained.

Pictures have meaning.


Click on marquee.

You have to see this.


Acting and Directing Subject Index: a to z  or a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z


REMEMBER: Everything you learn about acting should become subliminal.

Did you learn anything? Acting Quiz

           Learn to use the tools I've given you. I won't always be there to hold your hand.

Go to my web site --->
Be delighted: you're learning your art.            ABSOLUTELY ABWAG

      Tiny Ron on May 28, 1998 created this ABWAG web site in order for all actors and directors around the world to learn the principles of acting.


How to Act: is in the memory of my acting teacher Don Richardson.

Listen to the one who knows.

Please feel, think, do when acting.

We're here to study acting, and in the end, it can't look like acting.

Lady       As an actor be enjoyable to have around, do not question the directors ability all the time.        Good art comes out of happiness.


        Check out the e-mail comments I have received.

My website is not here to make money, but to teach actors the better way to act.

It is called DON'S WAY OF ACTING

Everything I have written at this site on acting came out of the mouth of my late drama coach Don Richardson.
Copyright © 1998-2013 by Tiny Ron Taylor. All Rights Reserve.