Hey! Long time, no see! I missed a week of school with my fly-in programs at both Pomona and Williams (which were both amazing!), and have been working to get caught up on my work. Let’s get to it!
I have spent this past week finishing Uta Hagen’s Respect for Acting, along with a book review and a presentation to the Acting Workshop class (presentation on 10/25). The book is split into three parts: “The Actor”, “The Object Exercises”, and “The Play and the Role”. Within each part are about ten chapters, of which there are 31 in total. I won’t post my book review here, for I would like to do something that I wasn’t able to do in my review, namely: give my opinion!
It’s hard to choose a distinct “favorite part” because each chapter was just as helpful as the last. I must say, however, that I really liked the specificity of Hagen’s examples in “The Actor”, in which she distinguished between the presentational actor and the representational actor. She makes it clear that she prefers the former. The presentational actor attempts to experience the life of the character, revealing human qualities through an understanding of him/her/their self. The representational actor, on the other hand, attempts to imitate or illustrate a character’s behavior. Touching on what was previously stated regarding the difficulty in choosing a “favorite part”, I felt much personal growth in my method of acting, however, some parts, specifically the chapters in “The Object Exercises” were not as helpful because they had already been introduced to me by T. Will (little did I know that he was borrowing from Hagen). Finally, “The Play and the Role” explains objectives and superobjectives (something else I had learned already from T. Will), which is the character decision that provides the “Why?” for every action and reaction. If you are at all interested in acting, I really recommend reading the book because, in the words of T. Will, it creates a strong foundation upon which an actor can build his/her/their acting ability.
Overall, I’m very happy with what I have learned from the book and plan to incorporate these new techniques into my acting. Hopefully, it will eventually become a subconscious action, creating the circumstance for my character in each scene, being aware of my character’s objective and superobjective, being able to answer “Why?” at any point in my acting. That is now a long-term goal of mine.
For my next blog, which I plan to post on Friday, I will be further analyzing my monologue of Molly Sweeney as well as posting an off-script version of my presentation. On a different note, Big Love premieres on Thursday to the boarding population! I feel like the show has really come together, and these final rehearsals will put the icing on the cake.
This past week, I read a blog about a banjo player from North Carolina who may be writing the next Hamilton! It’s by–you guessed it–Katherine Brooks and is really worth the read!
Anyway, thanks for reading this entry! I hope you enjoyed!
Tray Hammond ’18