Have you ever watched a film, TV show or play and said to yourself “I don’t believe him/her?” The actor wasn’t truthful. You could SEE the acting. This happens to A LOT of actors. This is why many actors never make it past the audition. As soon as they leave the room the casting director is saying “He/She was very ”act-y.”
Here at The Actors Workshop, we are always talking about “keeping it simple.” When you keep it simple, you are honest in the work. When you keep it honest and truthful, you are believable.
The problem with using scene study, breaking down a scene, or method acting, is the actor wants to know the outcome before it happens. Why? The tendency is for actors to feel the need to do something, plan their responses and reactions, try to be interesting etc. They will try to create the situation from the script rather than allowing the person or persons they are working with affect them. It’s not about you! It’s about the other actor(s).
The solution to this problem is to learn to be a moment to moment actor. No planning, no preconceived notions about how the scene will go. Just BE in the scene with the other actor and react truthfully by focusing all your attention on them.
Real people deal with situations in the moment, no matter what it is, and from those moments come emotion. The less you do, the stronger the result. The more you just react, in the moment, the more truthful your acting and the better you’ll be. Just keep it simple! In this clip Robert DeNiro touches on this very subject.
As the Nike slogan states “Just Do It” and it will take care of it’s self!