Acting Directing

Video Tip: How do I Control Uncontrolled Energy?

Written by Craig Mason

Here’s a New Video Tip. Today’s topic is “How do I Control Uncontrolled Energy?” View it here.


Welcome to our Video Tip Series. This category in our series is called “How Do I Solve?” How do I solve the simple but prevalent acting issues in beginning and young actors. Today – too much energy! When everyone on stage is acting wacky! For the sake of it! Or, it’s a very emotional scene and the only way to play an emotional scene is to yell! A lot!

Energy on stage is good. You want the audience on the edge of their seats. And having low energy isn’t any good either. But over the top energy comes across as fake and can just as easily turn off an audience as draw them in.

When it comes to over the top comedic acting, take the scene in the opposite direction. Do it in slow motion, while still focusing on the wants and obstacles in the scene. Force actors to separate out each and every action. Another exercise is to bring it into the miniature. Have actors move as little as possible, act and react as little as possible. Do a scene where the only action and reaction allowed is in the face.

And as always make sure students can define and speak on what they want in a scene and why. Then explore how their actions help get what they want. If the actions don’t help, they’re out.

With yelling in a dramatic scene, it’s a pretty easy fix. Limit the number of times an actor can raise their voice. Once a page. For everything else, strive to find other outlets to show that extreme emotion. An action, an opposite interpretation, even silence. It’s amazing how many different ways there are to show anger once you think about it.

That’s it for Video Tips!

About the author

Craig Mason