The Fundamental Problem With Actors

byCharlie Sandlan

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Charlie Sandlan - Acting Coach NYC - Acting Coach in NYCThe most pervasive, fundamental problem with the majority of actors today is one thing; the inability to really listen.  So many actors, especially those that are untrained, are consumed with “acting.”  They wait until the other actor finishes their line so that they can act.  They spend hours practicing their line readings, obsessed with the ouch, rather than the pinch, which is the impulse.  The one thing that will immediately separate you from the mass of “want to be actors” is this important fundamental.  Acting is continual.  Moments unfold.  The real knack of acting is the ability to go from unanticipated moment to unanticipated moment.  A scene must be as fresh and spontaneous on the first take as it is on the fifteenth.

How can this be accomplished?  Just listen.  But more importantly listen for the first time, surprised in every moment.  This is a skill and one that is not understood or highly valued by most actors.  This is because most actors do not possess craft, or have understanding of the importance of technique.  Listening, answering, and responding is the bedrock of acting.  This must be ingrained into the actor until it is second nature.  How many time have you been to the theater and left with absolutely no experience?  This is because you watched actors on stage merely saying lines at each other.  My hunch is that there as a great deal of yelling, or just spewing text at the other person.  No one was listening or taking in what was being said to them.  And really, an audience will experience what the actors on stage experience.  How can organic and experiential happen without listening, taking in, and responding personally?  It can’t.  This is why most theater is empty and shallow.  Broadway litters the stage with untrained television and film actors who have nothing to rely on other than their personalities and limited instincts.

Charlie Sandlan - Acting Coach NYC - Acting Coach in NYCBefore an actor can really begin to learn how to break down scripts and interpret material, the fundamentals of acting must be ingrained.  That is why Sanford Meisner’s technique is so brilliant.  With the first year of training these fundamentals are instilled.  The goal is to develop a truthful acting instrument, an actor with vulnerability and sensitivity.  Along with that is learning how to craft in a simple, clear, specific way.  But if an actor does not have the ability to really listen, they most likely won’t work, and if they do, it won’t be very compelling.

Charlie Sandlan is a well known and respected acting teacher in NYC. For more info about the best acting studio in NYC, call (917) 789-1599.

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