Get to the end of the line – We’ve all heard the note before, but it still separates the amateurs from the pros. Good performances have drive, their intention is clear and specific. Performers who lack this will drop off at the end of their lines, and audiences miss what they’re saying and more importantly, why they’re saying it.
It is usually a sign of uncertainty – and sure, sometimes we have to play uncertainty, but we don’t usually show it. Even for an anxious character, they will get their point across by hitting their thoughts on the other person, even if they are unsure about them.
Wading off the ends of sentences or thoughts is weak, lifeless and not interesting. It’s when audience members start flipping through the playbill and dreaming of being at home watching TV.
The audience will follow you as long as you don’t lose sight of your actions and objectives
Take in what has been said to you, let it affect you and then respond. But do it all quickly. Turning up the pace can instantly turn a slug-fest into a fiery piece of theatre. This usually happens towards the end of the rehearsal process, when the intentions and thoughts are clear, you may hear your director politely shout at you – ‘pacey pacey darlings!’, it’s time to heat it up.
The audience will follow you as long as you don’t lose sight of your actions and objectives. Pauses should come naturally, they must be earned. If you pause too much in a speech you will lose your audience. A pause can hold more value than words, so don’t over indulge. To be more direct: hitting your keywords and moving through the text will give your performance energy, vitality and motivation.