Beginner Acting Exercises – Stage Acting Essay
Stage 1 – Eyes Closed Leader Exercise
Half the class stands on one side of room with pointy finger outward and eyes closed. The rest of the class comes across room and touches tip of finger and leads eyes closed person around the room. If leader moves too fast the tips are separated. It is the leader’s job to keep finger tips together.
This exercise can be thought of as truck driving with a trailer behind it.
“The Triangle Game” – Group Movement Improvizational Activity
(Professor calls out numbers)
#0 walk around the space without looking at anyone.
#1 walk around space while keeping one person in your line of sight.
#2 Walk around space with two people in your line of sight, or walk between the two people.
#3 try to stay an equidistant from your two people that are in your line of sight. (This goes on until stasis occurs)
Tell your students: “Today we are going to play the casting procedure”
Split the class into even number of groups of about 4. One group is to be a casting crew, (casting directors) and the other is to be candidates for leading roles in the film. After first casting they change roles.
Show the casting group their objectives:
1. “You are a casting crew for a new horror film, you have to find a person to play role of innocent victim of a monster. Think of tasks you are going to give your candidates to perform to check their acting abilities.”
2. “You are a casting crew for a new gangster film, you have to find a person to play role of a ruthless gangster. Think of tasks you are going to give your candidates to perform to check their acting abilities.”
The group of applicants receive one of the following information:
1. “You are a candidate for a leading role in a new horror film. It might be the turning point of your life. You really want to get that role.”
2. “You are a candidate for a leading role in a new gangster film. It might be the turning point of your life. You really want to get that role.”
The emotions game – Give your students handouts with emotions (see bottom of this page) and make sure they understand all terms. Then one student has to pick one emotion and mime it. Others try to guess the emotion. This activity goes until all students tried it.
Show students a short extract from a professional film. Tell them to pay attention to acting. Then give them a scripted fragment and ask to play the same roles (You have to take part in distributing roles if necessary). One person shoots everything (possibly in the similar fashion as in the original film) so that everyone can watch it later and analyse. (Just use linear in-camera editing)
Students analyse their acting.
Similar to the previous one.
Show students fragment of a professional script and tell them to enact it. Again someone (not the same person) shoots the action.
Students watch the effect
Show them the original performance in the professional film to compare.
Groundwork for students’ film
Tel your students to read through the script and suggest locations for scenes. Once the locations are established on paper it is good to visit them if possible and check their applicability.