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Directors Could Be Awful | Don't Give Details | How To Prepare Fast

How to prepare performance without details
Tension and arguments due to absence of character details

You get a call from your artist coordinator or casting director informing you have been selected for an audition/ TV serial/ film 


What's next?

Audition Or TV Serial Filming Scenario

  • You have not been told of "Character" you will be playing. Or maybe, broadly told of a "salesgirl" or a "brother" or a "lover". Beyond that nothing. The direction team has other important issues to tackle
  • Even if you know the "character" you would be playing, it may change on the last day
  • Script? No way! There may be changes in the script due to numerous reasons. You are not Salman Khan or Priyanka Chopra charging a hefty $ 2 million that you get a script 6 months in advance.
  • You are getting tense as the shoot date is approaching. How to do the script analysis, scene analysis, character analysis and set the objectives for each unit?
  • What happened to all that you have learned in an acting institute on Stanislavsky and Meisner techniques, paying 2 to 4 lacs and spending precious 2 years?
  • You ring frantically to your coordinator or the casting director for script and get a standard answer-
"Tension mut lee Ji-ye... script mil jayegi" (don't worry, you will get it).
  • Now you are really getting worked up. "How can I memorize my lines if long?". "In how many scenes I'm in?"  
  • Then you wishfully hope, the director will tell you everything during rehearsals. 
You are the wrong buddy!
Unless it is a feature film with a good director who believes in shaping up even new artists,
the chances are (especially in TV serials) that neither there will be rehearsals before a shoot nor he/she has the time nor probably he/she knows various options for a role.
However, he/she may welcome if you can give that option by showing him different shades of a character.

What's the solution?

  1. Use your sense memory of own experiences in the past or your "observations" of a similar character you have seen. For example, if your character is a "sales man" and If you have seen more than one salesman then you can create different profiles-physical and mental in detail.
  2. Now, suppose your character is a "lover" and you have never fallen in love nor you have observed closely how a lover behaves. In this situation your memory bank is vacant. You just can't think!
  3. So, what to do?
  4. In such a situation your mental health should be in a top gear. For an exceptional performance,
  5. you need to click your brain into higher gear by focusing on new ideas, images, and underlying meaning. Must be able to create and move into an imaginary character instantly or rather than just on the sound of a word, in this example, "lover"

Using The Power Of Imagination To Create And Transform Into  Character 

There are certain things that all great actors share: talent, dedication, and courage, to name a few. Another thing I have found that many great actors who I’ve known over the years share is a rich and vibrant imagination.
Using your imagination is a wonderful, creative exercise. It is essential for you as an artist to recognize and cultivate the part of the brain that sees beyond the obvious and is able to create whole other worlds. Like any other muscle, you need to work it out so it stays alive and strong.
The easiest way to do so is to combine imagination with observation.
You must set a time aside to visit public places and observe different types of people, animals, other things and let your imagination run wild. Create stories on people and then be a part of it. Transform yourself into that created person.   

Let the ideas flow

  • Make a circle with the profile of a character, say "Lover"
  • Jot down any thoughts, feeling, and associations you can think of about that character
  • Then record these thoughts by circling them and connecting with the character "Lover"
  • Now what you have created is the different attitudes exhibited by a character who is a "lover"
    Chart for creating a character
    Chart for creating a character
  • You have a basis now to create a character in different types exhibiting various attitudes
  • Here I must point out that you have to prepare your character in all the attributes e.g. an arrogant person will have an arrogant voice, stiff neck and walk and so on

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Good Luck!

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