Perfection is being messy

Perfection is being messy

Wanting to be perfect as an actor, to nail the character, and play the scene well, is our aim. A perfect scene, though, requires you to actually embrace your lack of perfection. Failing to be perfect is human. Do you actually believe that people can attain perfection? And if they did, would that make good theatre or TV? Would a writer spend their time writing perfect people, living perfect lives perfectly? So, before you wrap yourself up in an obsession with wanting to play your part perfectly, remember that no one will identify with a perfect character. Even Superman has his flaws. If he didn’t, would we be so engaged in him as a character? An audience wants to see flaws and failings, as much as they want to see beauty and soul. Think about this when you start to screw things up in a scene, stumble on your words, fumble a prop, forget your cue. We all stumble on words, drop things and find ourselves at a loss for something to say. If you can embrace these moments and make a moment that the character is also going through, you’ll most likely hear that your “mistake” was one of the moments the friend in the audience, or the reviewer, liked the most, because it reminded them that the artifice in front of them was actually real. They were seeing a flawed human being, and therefore a truthful one.

The salon:collective offers training and professional development for actors, tailored to the needs of the industry, through its programme of acting (Meisner-based), movement and voice classes in London.

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