As rehearsals for my new feature film, Distracted, progress, here are the seven acting questions we’ve been asking of the script. After all, if the actor does not understand the script correctly, then he cannot act it correctly – this questioning is the process for gaining that understanding.
The first three questions are general dramaturgical questions, and are concerned with the overall script, not only each individual actor’s role in it. These questions help the actor understand what is happening in the same way a viewer of the finished film might.
1. Who wants what from whom?
2. What happens if they don’t get it?
3. Why now?
The next three focus on the actor’s specific character.
4. What does the character want?
5. What does he do to get it?
6. What is that like in my experience?
The final, lucky, 7th question, concerns the actor actually acting the scene. It renders the fiction of the script concrete, and energises the actor, activating him, grounding him in truth – it gives him something to do.
7. What do you want the other actor to do as a result of what you’re saying?
Rehearsals continue apace.