Rules for Acting
Compiled by Bethany Kanfer
Said mostly by Robert Cordier
- Don't act, react.
- Don't be afraid of volume.
- Don't give away your cookies too soon.
- Don't confine yourself.
- Make everything matter more.
- Build it up.
- Use your action.
- Focus your energy.
- Use shock sparingly.
- Self-pity is not interesting.
- Go for the big emotions.
- Learn the text flat. Make a paraphrase. Put your emotion into the text.
- Drama is not about day-to-day moments.
- It's better to be overflowing with feelings.
- Feel in the present.
- When you do any kind of work, don't ever do it in the past. Even if it's written in the past, do it as if it were happening now.
- Don't start with the text.
- There is not one good play where you don't get angry at some point.
- Once you liberate anger, you can do it inside, outside....
- Don't psychologize. Physiologize.
- Acting is simple, once you get it.
- We want to go for the big things.
- Advanced work is better to start early.
- It's better to start with difficult plays.
- It's better to attack difficult things than to do silly little things.
- The first big mistake one can make is to try to act right away.
- You can do a lot by not moving too much at first.
- Patience is the main quality of an actor.
- You can open up any sort of ways. It's not the words, it's the meaning.
- Always make sure you can read the script.
- A good play can be done many ways, as long as you justify what you do.
- Go deep, deep. You don't have to act all of it, but as long as it's there, it's rich.
- It's difficult to die.
- Never play with props without practicing.
- Never play just one thing.
- Make the stress where it counts.
- Don't hit yourself.
- Don't come in like an old shoe, came in like an actress.
- You can't do everything at once.
- It's never good to go too much downstage.
- If you negate the context, it's like you're suspended in outer space.
- Everything you do now is very important.
- Don't run on stage.
- We are not pretending.
- A dry run is never a dry run.
- Sneaking out is no good.
- You cannot be tentative onstage.
- If you're going to be onstage, do your best, otherwise, stay in the house.
- Play for the ones who'll tell you you're great.
- Don't disconnect when you're offstage.
- If you're not going anywhere, stay where you are.
- Think that you're thinking.
- Don't throw your script on the floor.
- Are we in church or are we in the theatre?
- Don't act the words.
- Be there.
- Don't stand like a pimple.
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