There is a point in your training as an actor where you realise that you can do in-depth character work while you still have the script in hand.
Before this you were convinced that you couldn’t infuse your work with emotions before you were off script. “It will all happen once I memorise my lines.”
This is a problem for a number of reasons:
It shortens the amount of time you have to do meaningful exploration of all possibilities for the character.
You could run into problems if the unexpected arises in performance. A strong emotional surge could unsettle you so much that all your lines escape you because they are not rooted in the emotional foundation of your role.
You could learn your lines on only one emotional path, missing out on other opportunities.
Learning to perform at the top of your performance ability while using a script is a crucial step in expanding your ability to participate in anything audio related such as radio plays, commercials, corporate narration, educational narration, animation and cartoons.
These and other audio performance fields are ripe with continual well paying work opportunities.
All of them require the skill of delivering a polished performance while using a script. None of them expect you to memorise the words.
You must be able to act while using the script.
Today’s digital apps and software can make you sound between three and 300 years old; animal, vegetable or mineral. What they cannot do is make you sound happy or sad.
Think of orchestras - these accomplished musicians all have sheet music in front of them, none are expected to memorise the pieces.
This is a skill that can be assessed and then you can practise developmental routines to improve that skill.
The precise nature of these routines is material for another time.
BTW directors; you need to test for this key ability during the audition process.
How to do that is material for yet another time.
This article comes to you in partnership with University of Botswana
Department of Visual and Performing Arts
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