The Universal Imagination

The Universal Imagination

The Universal Imagination

By Peter Frisch on Aug 22, 2018 at 10:30 PM in Acting Tidbits

Recently, an actor-friend said to me “You have to use yourself in your work, what else do you have?” Seems logical enough, doesn’t it? But what “self” was he talking about? The defended, habitual self that limits choices, ideas, even perception? Or the searching, curious self that can explore new ways of thinking, feeling, speaking and moving through the creative use of the imagination and the power to believe? As he is a proponent of Method approaches including “Emotional Recall” and “Substitution,” I suspect he meant the former.

But how can we create character when we constantly employ our own limited experience, searching through our baggage to repeat the familiar, our personal cliches? How dare we diminish the writer’s vision by shrinking it to fit in the small box of our own life events! It is only the universal imagination that that enables actors to soar and transform. Learn how to harness that very human gift and there will be no limit to your invention, no end to your joy in the acting process.

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"Most acting classes offer scene study and critique, but it is much more unusual to run into someone who is willing and able to guide the actor through several scenes from a feature-length script, with cameras, in order to create the experience of developing a character in a real film. This difference has clearly made a difference — at least if the performances I observed at Maravilla are any indications. The talent on display was noticeable, but even more impressive was the discipline, as well as the strong sense of an entire cast and crew working as a team. Come to think of it, the best analogy would be to an actual film set, which is, I suppose, the point."
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