Thursday, August 25, 2011

Explanation of "Pause"

My last blog was a poem entitled "Pause" and the idea came out of a class that I audited recently. I thought I would share a little bit about it because it is something that I fancy.

The class I audited was an acting class taught by Kim Tobin that I hope to be taking the next time a session opens up. One of the statements she made after she had observed a monologue had to do with pausing and how important it was in acting. She observed that the actor should take some time to pause during an angry moment she had created. She said that sometimes we, as actors, are afraid to pause because we might lose the emotion we had built up, but that in a real life situation we would pause.
I thought about it as I sat there and while it is true that you would pause if you were yelling at someone, I also find it true that you might NOT want to pause sometimes and it is because, as Kim observed you do not want to lose the emotion, that momentum. You want to stay mad. Sometimes the reason you may not want to pause is that you do not want to lose your lack of emotion or the wall you have created. If you were to pause for too long then there are many things that could invade.
So, that simple statement was something I pondered for awhile. Acting has a lot of relevance to every day life. If you are a good actor you are recreating real emotion in a moment-you aren't putting on an act. I took an acting class in college and I remember people saying that it must be an easy class because all you have to do is memorize lines and say it with feeling. That comment was wrong in a couple of different ways. One, it wasn't easy (except I enjoyed every minute of it) and, two, you are recreating and listening and observing. It is about where the character came from, is going, what they love, what they hate, who they are talking to, what they are talking about, what they are REALLY talking about. It is about making strong choices before you begin and in the moment, it is about listening and observation. So much more.
We have to get past many social mores and many hangups to get to the point where we can have no wall when we are acting. We have to be able to listen and observe and react accordingly.
Shakespeare said that all the world is a stage and in some ways it is. Oscar Wilde said “The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.” I think that is an interesting statement as well.

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