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How to Choose a Scene

How to Choose a Scene

How to choose a scene for Acting Class is as important as knowing how to Act.  A great Actor in the wrong part can lead to terrible Acting.  If you want to be a great Actor, you want to learn the doing of the task of selecting work that you can identify with. 

Knowing how to choose a scene that matches to your Activated Emotions is key.

Some, Key Quotes in this Acting Article:
Using familiar topics is key in knowing how to choose a scene for your acting.
Learning Emotional Activation secrets in acting is part of Emotional Preparation.

Copyright 2019, 2022 Simon Blake
BEING Before DOING is key in acting!
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If you are willing to look for materials that fit, you and your personality and discard scenes that don’t resonate with you than you are ready to look for a scene.  If you are trying to fit yourself into everything that you pick up and read than you are not ready to find good materials. 

Finding good materials takes more time reading than it does actually finding materials to work with.  The key to finding scene materials for beginner acting class rests on your patience to read a lot of scene and really scour through materials.  

QUICK: There is an Interactive PDF of 110 Classes worth of Activities (over 1100!).

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Learn How to Choose the Right Scene

Identifying what is a ‘right’ scene and learning how to choose a scene for acting class is vital.  If you do not identify with it than it is not right for you.  Going through the process of becoming familiar with the scene can be done in many ways.  Reading or listening to the scripted content are both valid.  

To be able to choose a scene for acting class you need to be willing to understand that just because a scene is a good scene that doesn’t mean that you should be the one to do it.  There are many classic scenes in films or in theatrical scripts which are iconic.  But if you are not fitting of being able to step in the shoes of that experience than the scene is wrong for you. 

Learning Emotional Activation secrets in acting is part of Emotional Preparation. This directly relates to how to choose the right scene.

Just because the scene is the approximate age range and sex does not mean that it is right for you.  There needs to be a catch that captures your interest in the material.  Maybe it spurs a memory or is a topic of intrigue.  The main thing is that you want to have your attention on it.  

The desire to do a scene is best if it comes out from something that is internal interest rather than any desire to prove that you are capable of doing something.  

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How to Choose a Scene
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Are the Topics Familiar to You

If the topics are familiar to you or not could be a good thing or could be a hinderance.  If you are not in some sort of paralysis of memory due to how familiar a topic is to you or a nightmare that you have lived, or you may be ready to relive a similar circumstance.  Select material that you have an idea about or are able to have an idea about. 

If you are in a paralysis of memory based on a topic you need to be ready to be able to be fluid with that memory.  Do not try to live out an exact same experience as you once have already lived it.  Even if you set up a circumstance similar to life be wise enough to allow a real time occurrence to still happen.  

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Using familiar topics is key in knowing how to choose a scene for your acting.

When you identify with a scene for acting class you need to really be sure that you are familiar with the topics of the scene.  Don’t think that just by learning the lines and dialogue that is in the scene that doing so makes you ready to actually have the experience.  Get familiar with the topics of the script and be sure that you know the definitions of things mentioned so you know what it is that you are talking about when you have dialogue.  

Have you been in a similar circumstance as the Scene

First check with yourself if you are familiar to being in a similar circumstance of the scene.  Are there parts of the scene that you feel you have been in before?  Asking yourself what you remember or identify with about what you remember will give you a roadmap of how to tackle preparing for doing the scene.  

If you are not familiar with the circumstances, you cannot live truthfully with reality.  You don’t show up and are in a funeral home without understanding something about death, dying and what the building is for that you are in. 

If the circumstances of the scene are about an affair and you don’t even know what an affair means you will struggle to have any reality in your scene.  You must know the topics and have some relationship similar to the circumstances.  

Do you have a Point of View about Your Scene

Ideally, you want to be so familiar with your scene that you are able to have formed a point of view about it from your own perspective.  Gaining that point of view takes some work to achieve.  It takes studying the topics of the scene and deciding how you feel about each one of them. 

If you have a point of view, are you able to see that point of view through the entirety of the whole scene?  Does your point of view change midway through the scene?  Are you able to see the point of view one way and then change to see the point of view another way? 

If you are able to have a point of view than you are in some way justified to have your opinion, even if your opinion if wrong you feel justified in it.  

Do you relate to the content of the scene. 

The question of Do you relate to the content of the scene is better asked How do you relate to the content of the scene.  Are you able to clearly comprehend the scene?  If someone is asking you a question or challenging your point of view, are you able to see their point of view even if you do not share in it. 

As long as the point of view is not beyond your own comprehension than you should be able to continue to do work towards identifying relations with it.  

Can you find the Conflict or the Dynamic Part in the Scene

There is both the conflict of the circumstances and the conflict of your own internal struggle.  

Are you actually able to see both separate conflicts individually?  

The Art of Acting is about being.  You must be able to submerge yourself into the reality of the conflict and live within it.  This means that you are able to see what conflict there is and that you are willing to live within the conflict even when it is completely uncomfortable. 

Can you achieve the depth of the Scene. 

Are you willing to achieve the depth of the scene?  Are you willing to consider the challenges that your partner presents in a scene?  Are you willing to consider other perspectives, other than your own? 

Are you able to realize the reality of the scene?  Being able means that you have done enough work to consider all the elements of the topic.  If every time that your partner brings up in the scene how they were almost strangled to death by their mother and just escaped death and all you do is laugh perhaps you are not ready or able to realize the scene with them.  

You need to be ready to receive what your acting partner presents to you and allow yourself to have an internal response to it.  Listen to it like it is for the first time and find out through listening what your response is to it.  

If you are constantly distracted or not listening with intent to your partner than you are not ready to handle the depth of the scene.    

How to Choose a Scene
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How to Use Emotional Preparation

The reality of answers to this topic of Emotional Preparation Technique deserves a lot more attention than this short answer.  You Emotionally Prepare for a scene by activating your own emotions just prior to the work of doing your scene.  

There are many surprising and interesting ways to achieve Emotional Preparation.  Anything that gets you into an appropriately fitting emotional state that fits with the scene and adds to its undercurrent improves the life of the scene.  

Ultimately the simpler yet deeply personal you can achieve your Emotional Preparation the simpler and deep your scene will be achieved.  However, you are activated prior to the scene will flow into and affect the scenes undercurrent. 

Often times Emotional Preparation is a self-stimulation of remembering a past memory and awakening yourself to that life experience.  The next step is without changing your demeanor bringing that emotionally awakened state into your scene work.  It is important to keep your focus and attention on the other actor rather than yourself in order for the Emotional Preparation to really take flight.  The Emotional Life can become either an undercurrent or active thing within the scene. 

If you are unable to be able to select an Emotional Preparation towards a scene the scene is likely not right for you.  Consider finding materials that you can explore multiple different Emotional Preparations. 

How to Choose your own Scene is also about being certain about who you are or the side of you that you are wanting to explore.

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How To Choose A Scene

Copyright 2019, Simon Blake

About Simon Blake

Simon Blake has studied over 30,000 – 40,000 acting exercises and studied over 8-10++ thousand acting students work in acting. Studying their Emotional Preparation to their Spoon River Work. Studying every area of Meisner training work with well over 30 Teachers including himself.

“Learning Emotional Preparation for Musicians, Artists, Creator and Actors is incredible.  Applying Activated Emotion prior to doing is key!”

Simon Blake runs and operates the website EmotionalPreparation.com which teaches Actors how to add Emotion to their acting.   Using improved acting techniques for Actors and Music.

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