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Why Actors Should Learn The Art of Listening And Reacting


Actors act through their acting instrument-Body and Mind 

Here we are discussing a process in 'Mind'-Listening and Reacting


It is an understanding the meaning and objective of what is being talked about. As an actor, you have to exhibit through expressions and responses what you are listening to what your co star or group of people are talking about. Even outside  sounds from other sources like crowd, TV, loud speakers  Chanting of Mantra in a temple, sounds of birds, rain or sound of crackers produce a response from a person. Therefore, you must develop a habit to listen every sound carefully


A normal consequence to listening is REACTION
You should be able to react to listening by:

  • Physical means like gestures of hand, feet, head and shoulders
  • Emotionally by surprise, anger, sadness, disgust, Courage, speechlessness
  • Verbally by muttering or words or nonverbal, only through expressions

Reaction is extremely important in a "Reaction Shot" when your reactions are filmed. Better are your reactions, better are your chances of an editor including your reactions among many.



Many a times a director will ask you to speak your lines in a different way to see if he/she can improve a shot. The method is to learn to speak lines using imagining different objective of your lines.
Example: suppose you have to say-"You are going to Juhu Beach tomorrow"
1/ It could be a simple statement
2/ Emphasize each word-

  • "YOU, are going to Juhu Beach tomorrow"(nobody else but you)
  • "you ARE going to Juhu Beach tomorrow" (instructing)
  • "you are GOING to Juhu Beach tomorrow"?(have to go)
  • "you are going to JUHU BEACH tomorrow"?(only Juhu beach and no other place) 
  • "you are going to Juhu Beach TOMORROW"?( only tomorrow and not any other day)

I hope you have understood. Start sharpening your acting instrument from TODAY itself!

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