“OFF MY FEET” SCENE STUDY TECHNIQUE
“Off my feet” refers to the time an actor spends working on the scene before s/he actually “gets up” to rehearse it. More work is done on theme, understanding, plot, and readings of the work.
• Read the play several times.
• Read the scene several times also.
• What is the overall theme of the play? What human struggle is being inquired into. Does the author take a position him/herself on the subject matter of the play/script at hand? Where were you left when you finished reading the play?
• Make notes as to facts of the play: what is given by author, other characters and myself about your character?
• Make notes on the place, physical objectives, idea for score & objects.
• Overall objective of character-his/her struggle as a human being. Be as sensitive, compassionate and inventive as you know how.
• Circumstances given/how does it affect me?
• Objective in scene/goal/intentions.
• Conscious/unconscious desires.
• Beats and respective smaller objectives.
• Character/how is she/he different than me…and why?
• Notes on bio, point of view, center, need and psychological gesture, physical condition.
• Notes on atmosphere/conditions and how it affects your behavior.
• Where am I going/where do I come from?
• Entrance planning.
Note: The actor should aim at developing his or her own technique based on life experience, acting training, and personal intuition. All aspects of the above scene study technique will be explored in depth. It is required that you familiarize yourself with all the scene study vocabulary and distinctions in technique class. I highly recommended that you read Uta Hagen’s excellent book: RESPECT FOR ACTING. In addition to having been trained by Miss Hagen personally in New York City, I happen to believe that this is the best, most comprehensive reference book on the craft of acting.