The principles of acting
come from all the things you do in life.
outline magic you see principle
The modern way to
act is to learn all of the principles of acting, then forget that you know
choice of material can be unusual and startling, but then you go at the
acting obeying all the best principles
It all comes from principles, that is the
MAGIC you see in
Check-list of principles (not a recipe):
- First principle: be audible.
- 80% feeling, 20% technique
- Acting can not be absorbed, you
have to do it.
- Acting is a dream.
- Acting is the work of the imagination.
- Actor can't pretend
things, it has to be emotional experience.
- Actor should never make yourself
comfortable crossing your legs etc.
- All good acting must look like it was never rehearsed at all.
- All work has to be hidden. Act with
your whole person.
- Art of acting is to move the audience not the actor.
- Bigger emotions must be more relaxed.
- Bully look for coward.
- Bury all the work, conceal work.
- Can't have people play outside own imaging.
- Can't play effect the scene has to have on audience.
- Can't think the story, can't
- Character can be out of
control, actor has to be in control.
- Choice best emotion of scene.
- Clarity is most important,
less acting. Make the character understood and attractive.
- Coiled snake is more
frightening than one sprung.
- Constantly tease audience, what is coming next it's all foreplay, when you get to the f***ing it's over.
- Conversation is not a scene.
- Do it for the one man who knows.
- Doing what to whom?
- Don't act dangerous.
- Don't be awed by playwright.
- Don't be over swayed by emotion.
- Don't be too structure, find a way to bury wheel.
- Don't cry to get audience to cry.
- Don't do complete horror.
- Don't do the
opposite to humanity.
- Don't do the same things over from other parts, every project
- Don't do things twice, (if she knells before him once) second
time isn't dramatic.
- Don't do two things at once.
- Don't duplicate, do what caused
- Don't ever put hands in pocket only to pull gun or play with
- Don't go on a trip of dialogue
for past events. Don't play words for value. Stay with
objective at present times.
- Don't go straight down bowling alley.
- Don't have more fun than audience.
- Don't listen to director in
- Don't lock onto other actor's eyeballs.
- Don't make a heart breaking speech in a heartbreaking manner.
- Don't play line to line.
- Don't play surface of play.
- Don't play the lines on the page.
- Don't put sugar and top of chocolate
- Don't reveal everything at
- Don't shout away in scene.
- Don't smile: don't look like you are having more fun than the
- Don't try to save the scene.
- Don't turn playwrights word into breath. Fill a palace room
- Don't walk over the diamond fields.
- Emotion propels.
- Emotions (feelings) are
separate from thoughts (objective).
- Emotions not thoughts.
- Everyone has a territory even the dead.
- For acting purposes: talk out to someone, not inward because it
disappears for the audience. Always talking to someone or something. Talk to yourself in
- Foreplay, hold the final act.
- Good art is never muddled always
- How to be a dangerous person.
- Human beings are mysterious, many levels, don't oversimplify
- If you can't go back to the principle,
you can't go back to reality.
- If you present reality
as reality, it doesn't entertain.
- In comedy people can do things
together, but not in drama.
- In drama don't do things in
unison. In comedy you can.
- It's got to be completely creditable,
otherwise it can't work. It's not possible. What is the story?
- Job of actor is to be the character.
- Keep hands out of pocket.
- Know how to play the game to win.
- Learn in movies when to be still.
- Learn the principles; then they have to become
in your acting.
- Leave talent alone.
- Let me tell you something, unless you have magical things or
very dramatical things to say don't just sit down, because when you sit down the audience
- Like I said to the Indian, die faster.
- Make the emotion big enough to act with.
- Must command audience.
- Must know principles.
- Mystery like comedy
- My work is story
telling. The horror is that there is no horror.
A thing should reveal itself slowly.
- Never act with a finger.
- Never allow it to be over, until it's over.
- Never get involved with props for master and close-ups.
- Never look for the chair, find it with a leg, then sit.
- Never make a comment on your character.
- Never play a role in high
wispy voice or child like for anything. Only
for dumb blonds on game shows.
- No muscle tension in an emotion.
- No punctuation in speech. No commas, no periods. It is idea to
idea. Stop anywhere, but not at a period.
- One of the cardinal rules is you 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.
- People disoriented do things disoriented.
- Play a psychopath. Insanity:
very practical, pick two or three emotions for a period of time, change irrationally.
- Play someone insane: Two emotions that has no use in scene. No
logic in switching emotions. Audience will assume you're insane. All times unpredictable.
Principle of playing insane.
- Principle of movement: by itself must tell the story. Who is aggressor? Passionate?
- Principle of movies:
behavior in story telling.
- Principles of painting,
also go for acting, use a big brush, let it dribble.
- Speak with your body before you
- Step off diving board, talent
will take over.
- Story telling, don't take up time with things that don't
matter, art of compression.
- Telling a story: first you have story by itself in interesting
people have to be able to relate.
- The audience is suppose to have fun. And we will have fun only
if you are more miserable than we are. That is the whole principle
- The content: you must hold
- 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
- The horror is there is no horror.
- The must scene: where
villain is punished.
- There are no new stories.
- There is also the principle
that actors when they play criminals, always try to get arrested.
- The strongest man in the world.
- Threat - don't suggest evil - start out ordinary.
- To have a worthy antagonist.
- To know where you are in your journey of telling a story.
- Trick: Clinical insanity is how far a person is from sanity. Two emotions.
- Use the principle you
learned to work with. Those are the tools. Most people
learn them but don't apply them.
- Villain don't play a villain.
- What people want is based on their pride, when choosing an
- What the character knows.
- What the character wants is always a selfish
you act is getting over the difficulty.
When you do things like
feeling emotion and
thinking objective you don't even have to think about
doing it. It all becomes
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.
- When in doubt do nothing.
- When the behavior is correct,
even a deaf audience will understand it.
- Where ever possible use sense memory.
- You can't eliminate human pride.
- You can't play a dangerous
person. It can't be done.
- Your choice of material can
be unusual and startling, but then you go at the acting obeying all the
best principles of acting.
- You learn the words and
forget that you know them.
- Choice emotion for
drama then go it higher for comedy.
- Comedy scene: (Husband) is comic, (wife) is straight man.
- Continuous track.
- Don't do shtick, do
character. (Look for his dignity).
- Don't freeze a character to ride a laugh.
- Don't go for all laughs, only
ones that are important; creditability. Don't try to make it as funny
- Don't sacrifice characters for laughs.
- Funny not who throws pie, but
funny where pie lands.
- George Abbott. All dialogue must be understood in comedy.
- Get them to have a relationship. "One
makes the pancakes, the other eats them".
- Give up a laugh to be credible.
- Heighten the words. Simple
- If you have to choice between funny or real, choice real.
- If you're on the right basic joke
you'll accomplish a lot.
- In comedy people have to suffer. In farce
have to suffer.
- Joke lands. Two people have
to connect. One makes pan cakes, the other eats it.
- Laurel and Hardy:
driving force gets it done, one has to be driving force, other guy leads into difficulty.
- Looking for opposites.
- Never sacrifice character for a laugh.
- Play comedy one straight man and one funny man.
- Principle in comedy: People really have to suffer. Farce: They really have to suffer.
- Principle of opposites is the whole basis of comedy.
- Principles are what make it
- Principles of opposites:
the absurdity of things, like the (ice cream and Nicole and Goldman joke.)
- Riding the laugh.
- Sense of Ridicules. If you can't go back to the principle you can't go back to reality.
Strange bedfellows. Human dilemma. Black comedy based on despair. Funny is not enough.
- They don't laugh accidentally, they laugh when you want them to
laugh. That's the whole principle.
- Think off the wall, go outside the nine dots.
- Understand the material to make choices.
- We will laugh only if person doesn't get hurt.
- What are the principles of
comedy. Understand the concept. Find the humor, find what
- When a funny interferes with creditability, throw it out.
- You can speak softly,
if you use resonate.
- Your choice of
material can be unusual and startling, but then you go at the
acting obeying all the best principles of acting.
"In the end, it
can't look like acting."