Stage versus Film or Television Acting by Eric Stone

How can a theater trained actor make the adjustment necessary for playing on camera? What are the main differences between stage acting and film acting.

  • Economy of movement
  • Not be concerned at all about being seen or heard! The slightest whisper will record very loud.
  • Being 10 times more specific
  • Live moment by moment
  • Stay conversational and fluid
  • Your eyes have to tell the story. It is a center
  • Your acting is internalized
  • Your actions are precise
  • You let us see your thoughts, your subtext.
  • You reveal something of yourself at every moment
  • Subtext is all
  • Point of view has to be crystal clear
  • Circumstances have to be more specific
  • In film you play the smaller events of the scenes
  • Every moment counts in film
  • Play moments not whole scenes
  • Stay close to yourself…don’t venture into “acting land” or it’ll be brutal
  • Never go for effect of any sort (movement, voice, gesture)

Film in my book is a refined version of stage acting. I do not imply at all that theatre is a lesser art form. It draws from theatre acting as far as its principles, discipline and concepts but film is an “intimate” medium where the slightest change of mood, emotion or psychological action is felt and magnified just by virtue of the medium itself. Now I’m not suggesting that none of the above applies to theatre. It does and the subtleties of our characterizations must be seen through the eye of the medium. In theatre it’s very simple you HAVE to be seen and heard and your gestures have to be bigger and larger for that very purpose. Larger does not imply less real. There are no close-ups in theatre. It’s all long shots and played in one sitting. No CUT! Knowing your medium does play a part.

About Actors_Studio_Hollywood

Eric Stone also known as artist Philippe Benichou first studied privately in New York with Herbert Berghof, Uta Hagen, Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, William Hickey, Tony Allen, Austin Pendleton & Bob Mc Andrew from the Wynn Handman Studio. Eric is well versed in most major acting techniques and ideas of the 20th Century including the Meisner and Russian actor and director Michael Checkhov Techniques. Michael Checkov was famous playwright Anton Checkov's cousin. Eric Stone was made an Honorary member of the famed New York Actors Studio in 1981 and was accepted as a student in Uta Hagen's highly acclaimed scene study class that same year. In addition, Mr. Stone was privileged to work with Judith Unland in New York. Ms. Unland had been a private student of Michael Checkhov. "Michael Checkhov's breakthrough work in freeing the actor has greatly influenced me and still continues to amaze me." Eric Stone Eric Stone first began teaching in 1983 and has contributed to the growth and success of many actors and performers including some well known stars in the US and abroad. As his acting, directorial and coaching skills began to represent a potent body of distinctions, Eric realized it was time to make his discoveries and love of acting more public. He founded the Eric Stone Studio in 1989 in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara and began touring with weekend workshops around the country. An ongoing program was designed via classes, privates, intensive workshops and seminars. His sheer passion for artistic expression and his relentless pursuit of freeing the actor led Eric to establish a permanent actor's studio. A safe, clean, non-gaming, healthy, creative and empowering "arena" for people to hone, discover and challenge their spirits to more desirable heights of experience. This approach is focused entirely on training the individual artist not delivering a general system to a group or mass. It is the strength, success and competitive edge of this training. By aiming straight at the individual, it becomes easier to understand the actor's specific needs, talents and possible problem areas.
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