Aaron Speiser Scene Study Notes From 1/21/13 –> 3/10/13

1) If you have an activity such as putting on a shoe during a scene — it must be a real activity. It can’t just be like, “I’m putting on a shoe while I tell this monologue”. For example, if putting a shoe is used, then you must also know why you are putting on the shoe, and where you are going. Depending on where you are going, you therefore also have to know the urgency of it. Even if you are passionate about what you are talking about, you still need to put on your shoe if you are heading out.

  • Monologues are blocks of words, but it is what is really about what is beneath the words: [what it’s about].
  • For example if I say, “Life is unfair and I wish I was rich” as my objective this doesn’t mean anything to us.
  • You might also say my monologue is about getting this information “off my chest” but this also is not interesting. When do we enjoy watching someone get something off of their chest? That is boring!
  • You must live in a world of objectives – -what do you need, and the actions you take to fill this need.

2) Comedies are flips and fast turns of emotions. You mislead, mislead, mislead, and then take them the opposite direction. You must also give yourself permission to let go because you must be uninhibited.

3) Knowing your character. If you are a high ranking coronel in the military, you are extremely powerful. You don’t need to move for anyone. You don’t need to prove how powerful you are, all that matters is that you know it. The next step once you know your own power is to know who you are dealing with [relationship]. Yelling and screaming are for weak human beings.

4) On beats. There are no beats when we talk in life. Using beats to breakdown a scene is helpful when working to clarify changes in actions.

5) On laughing. Laugh at ourselves when we are dumb. Must give permission.

6) As an actor, no one is crazy. You are always justified.

7) On being physical in scenes. Love taps. If you play a hooker you can do some physical flips as well. Playing your opposites is so important. Action [kiss] –> then slap on the head. Its a love tap. Guys like it!

8) As an actor, your instrument must be unlocked. You must act, react and laugh on stage. This means letting go, not just laughing inorganically. The audience delights in the actors joy. When the actor laughs, typically we laugh.

9) The minute you feel like your doing ‘acting’ stop and do nothing.

10) In real life, we don’t stand across the room and stare at each other. We look when we have to.

11) Surprise yourself. Letting go and having no idea what is going to happen. In film, so what? Be brave and take the risk. This will lead to the best art — its when you don’t know if it is good or not.

12) The only thing you can play is an action. Objectives are states of being. You might be depressed, but you cannot play an emotion.

  • Bad actors will play the emotion “frustrated” for an entire scene and it is so annoying because whatever they do they are playing “frustrated” and it is silly.
  • Another example is playing “pissed off”. You can’t get what you want always pissed off. It’s a state of being. You think someone is going to give you money if you are all pissed off all the time? No. You can only play actions such as to steal, to convince, but you can’t play to be pissed off as your action to get the money.

13) On being drunk. Lose your center of gravity. Shift it to somewhere else.



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