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Uta Hagen's six questions
- Who am I?
- What are the circumstances?
- What are my relationships?
- What do I want?
- What is my obstacle?
- What do I do to get what I want?
Basic Character information
- Marital Status/history
- Educational level
- Economic/social status
Lists people who use methods, but not technique in performance
Anecdote. Albert Basserman only began to fully "play" in first dress rehearsal, felt she needed to wait her turn, told her he's never done and neither should she
11-13 kinds of acting
- Representational: Imitating character's behavior
- Presentational: Trusts a form will result from IDing with character
13-17 Actors need besides talent:
All-round arts education: Training of body, mind and voice.
17-18 it's no use wanting to be "the best" because:
You must do your own best and value your opinion of acting
24: We have an image of who we think we are
But we can be more than this. Actors need their own identity
25 Roles in life
Change depending on who you're speaking to, location, what you're wearing etc.
26 if you don't think you connect with a type of person
Than you will only be indicating what they would do
28-9 we might not think
we're shy, vengeful etc. but we've been that way at some point
30-31 study up on characters
Put yourself in the paintings, don't just look at them
34-42 in some roles you may need
to substitute, especially if you aren't used to the scenario. You don't have to be literal, you can replace feelings with similar ones
42 substitutions are complete
when they are synonymous with the actor, play's events, objects and produce a significant action.
(color, textures etc.) can be stimulating too
43-5 keep your substitutions________ and make all _______ of an object
- Details (so it's not just a general object)
46-49 Use objects for emotional memory
Objects are more reliable and use sense memory to help you recall things.
50 Avoid examining _________ for emotional memory
Experiences you never wanted to talk about
50-1 if an object is losing its freshness it could be because
- You are stopping to demand that you feel, because you have not made your object synonymous with the stage
- You are anticipating how/when the emotion should manifest
- You have dwelt on the emotion for its own sake rather than for furthering your stage action
- You are weighing the degree of intensity of previous use of the emotional experience
- You are afraid the emotion will elude you
53-4 Sleeping and waking
Get comfy, concentrate on one area of your body, close eyes and center them straight ahead, direct attention to unconnected object, then to the given circumstances, then open eyes
56 It's not your responsibility to have the condition
But to show you have it and deal with it in the terms of the play's action
60-4 Five senses
- Concentrate on how things look/sound/feel/etc. in real life to recall them later
- Listen to words and context
- Don't make unnatural (constant) eye contact
Don't consciously decide thoughts
68-70 walking and talking
Have a reason, have a purpose. Even the clothes you wear affect your movement
Can only take relevant things on stage because some reality is distracting
Don't look for interesting events, use mundane shit. Don't mime use real props. At least an hour of rehearsal for each two minute exercise
89-94 Basic object exercise
A couple of minutes doing something, should appear spontaneous
When you enter don't sneak on/make a scene. Think about: What I jus did, what I'm doing now, what's the first thing I want
97-100 Be ___________ while waiting to go on
89-105 Immediacy/dealing with problems of anticipation
Look for something as if you don't know where/when you'll find it.
89-111 Fourth wall
- Primary purpose: Looking at a mirror etc. imagine the objects and attach them to the auditorium
- Secondary purpose: Just having things there for your attention to wander
89-118 Endowing objects
Give object physical attributes and practice with them everyday
89-123 Talking to yourself
- Monologues=talking only to yourself, not the audience.
- Be aware of how you talk to yourself
- Decide on surroundings and what you're doing
- Explore being in a different outdoor situation, be aware of how you move
- Learn to watch what you do when on your own
89-133 Conditioning forces
- Scene is rarely about these forces, they just impact them.
- Hurry: You must be precise about destination/time to get there
- Quiet: You must know why/where people are you don't wish to disturb
- When practicing work on the task until it has logic you are familiar with
90-145 Character action
Choose 2 characters from one country and time. Put them in a place and give them a common, simple, relevant objective. Construct behavior logical to each character by changing endowments of the objects to serve each character
147-150 First contact with the play
- Read play over and over without impressions. Define what the playwright wants to communicate in a single sentence.
- 10%subjective 90%intellectual work
- Examine play in terms of time, needs, place, conflicts etc
Study play with facts of family, background. Combine with real life, ask why, don't discuss with anyone
- Decide past, present and future circumstances
- Where/when/how they affect you
- Make relationships specific and complex
- Don't judge your character
- Combine with real people
- Can make them a different age
174-6 Three categories of objectives
- Overall: Who am I
- For each scene: Linked to events
- Moment to moment: the beats of the scene
176-7 Conscious and subconscious objectives
- Conscious= Self image and morality
- Subconscious=what influences you
184 Action is ______, Hagen crosses out _______ from stage directions because they are not actions
186 The mood
results from actions
188 actions can be split like objectives
- Overall=to overcome overall obstacles and fulfill overall objectives
- Main action=overcome main obstacle
- Immediate action=overcome immediate obstacle and fulfill objectives within individual beats of the scene
- Don't be a narcissist and do homework on the play,
- Set up the place and keep improving
- Don't help your partner
- If they're suppose to stop you/respond just keep going.
201-209 Practical problems
- Have material on hand
- At auditions get an objective
- Decide who the audience is if you're talking to them
- Practice accents before getting into them
- You can't work from an outward appearance
- If you're in a comedy don't try to be funny. Same for tragedy.