The right word makes all the difference
Words! Words! Words! Anyone who knows me knows the dictionary plays an important role in my life. I learned very early on in my life the power of words. Say the wrong word at the wrong time and you can lose a friend, a potential romantic partner, even a family member. Say the right word at the right time and you can gain a new friend, a romantic partner, or heal a family squabble.
Do we really know and appreciate the definition of the words we use daily?
Words are our business as actors. It is our job to know what we are saying, specifically because all words are the result of the actions we take as our characters let us explore communication, using verbs to establish a means of communication.
To Talk to Someone
To “talk” in acting means to talk about matters of little consequence. The weather, the color of a wall, etc. This is why we never use the verb “to talk” in acting except maybe to describe a brief moment. Talking characters do not make interesting characters nor do they make interesting theatre.
Now we are on to something. It is always interesting as an audience to watch an actor truly reminisce. The action of reminiscing is one of complete commitment to the objective. The actor must return to the moment with all sensory recalls working. The actor must have created vividly the character’s remembrance of the physical environment in which the event took place. The actor must be able to see the objects and people in the remembered event. The actor must be able to experience the weather, the smells and sounds of the particular event. To reminisce is to relive. If the actors have done their work, the audience should feel as if they too have been transported to the character’s memory.
If chitchatting exists in a scene, it is most likely being used as background noise for the more important scene which is happening at the same time. Chitchatting is usually people talking over one another. The dialogue is usually unimportant to the overall action of the scene.
To converse is usually a preamble to something more important. Idle conversation in any scene usually leads to something of value or it wouldn’t be there.
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