ONE ACTOR/ONE ROLE
This workshop is designed specifically to provide actors with the tools they need to gain true independence in performance.
Each actor is assigned a One Person play and over the course of the four weeks their focus will be on creating that one person. The goal being to create the life of that person so securely that on opening night they can step onto the stage free to live as that person. Knowing who, where, what and why they are as that specific human being. Grounded in their given reality. Home.
From the initial breaking down and analyzing of the script, through the myriad exercises necessary to create sense and logic, form connections (i.e. relationships) to every person, place and thing mentioned by and/or dealt with by the character, through the mandatory receiving and incorporating of specific direction to the seemingly endless repetition of dialogue and actions to achieve the illusion of spontaneity.
“For an artist, greatness happens when you can take something organized and make it feel like it was improvised.”
– from POSE by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals
To make an audience believe that you are the person you must create the belief yourself.
“That is probably the biggest secret of acting: If the actor believes it themselves, they can make you believe it.”
– Melissa Leo
First step: Observe the character like you would anyone who is not you to gather the information you need to know who you are creating. Listen to them, watch how they react to their situations and circumstances. How they deal with the people in their lives. How they are affected by everyone and everything. Imagine what it says about who they are. Then stop observing from your perspective and start observing from theirs. Speak their language, think their thoughts, feel their feelings, have their hopes, fears, loves, hates… Choose to remember a history of people, places, things and specific events that have left indelible impressions on you. Not the “you” you are as the actor, but the “you” you are as the character.
“Don’t think for a moment that I’m really like any of the characters I’ve played. I’m not. That’s why it’s called ‘acting’.”
– Leonardo DiCaprio
Solo plays demand that actors create everything they need for themselves. There are no partners to feed you. No partners to blame. You must take care of yourself. Be responsible for yourself. Knowing that you are able to create everything to you for yourself is invaluable. It increases your confidence level immeasurably.
Never worry again about finding yourself alone on set. When necessary, you’re all you need.