ObjectivesWilliamBall

ObjectivesWilliamBall - .) , O bjectives Objectives ,II ,I'...

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J~ .) , Objectives ,II ,I' THE GOLDEN KEY In the empty space before us there is a chair. Let us say the " I chair is an ordinary household chair-straight backed, wooden, and green. Now, in our imaginations we place someone in the chair. This is the beginning of acting. The someone we place in the chair will be the character that we wish to portray. We can visualize him sitting there. We can sense him. We can smell him. We can hear his movements-for the purpose of this ex- ercise, I'm going to use "he" or "his." Suffice it to say, the per- son in the chair could be a male or female. The actor's purpose is, first, to observe the model in the chair and then to go sit inside the skin of the person in the chair. Before the actor goes and sits in the chair, he must observe the person in the chair with methodic scrutiny. When the charac- ter in the chair has been observed completely, the actor as- sumes the skin, contour, and personality of the character in the chair, as if stepping into the model's space, or sliding into an invisible envelope. Let us look for a few moments at this character sitting before us. What is there about him that interests us? What could move us to imitate him? Let us list those aspects that fascinate us: 70 his appearance his movements his smell his nationality his habits his memories his laugh his failures his dreams his daydreams his nervous gestures his smile his mannerisms his health his loneliness his age his fears his weaknesses his biography his needs his experiences his wants his clothing his income his birth sign his perceptions his name his profession Objectives his hobbies his social status his politics his accomplishments his attitude toward death his family his friends his religion his passions his intellect his education his language his voice his posture his weight his strengths his diet his goals his energy level his likes and dislikes his sexuality his eccentricities his sense of humor his temper his pride or lack of it his morality his self-confidence his love We could add more; when the list was complete, we would have a fair and accurate picture of his character. His name is Leslie. There he sits, gazing and breathing si- lently and motionlessly in the green chair before us; sitting there in his own clothing, in his own posture, in his own complexion, in his own thought, and in his own history. I am the actor. I stand before Leslie observing him. He the 71
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A SENSE OF DIRECTION model, I the artist. I am to become him. I am to think his thoughts, share his feelings, speak his words. How shall I be- come him? He awes me. In some ways he and I are alike. But in most of the patterns of his life-his expressions, his rhythms, his looks, his wants, his background, his ways of going about things-he is very different from me. Yet to succeed I must be- lieve myself to be him. His goals must become my goals. His appearance must become mine. His words must rise from my heart and soul, and I must experience his pain. My model slips a hand into his pocket as he turns his head
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ObjectivesWilliamBall - .) , O bjectives Objectives ,II ,I'...

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