Acting

Video Tip Tuesday – Intensity

It’s Video Tip Tuesday during our month of May Madness.

The tip? Intensity does not equal yelling.

Click here to see the video.

Transcript

Hello. Welcome to our video tip series, where I’ll be sharing production tips that apply directly to our plays. Today, WE’RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT INTENSITY….. Today we’re going to talk about intensity. We have a number of issue plays that dramatize intense moments: Power Play, Look Me In The Eye, Flaky Lips. And what often happens is student actors interpret intensity this way:

DON’T YOU GET IT! DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND! DON’T YOU SEE WHAT’S HAPPENING TO ME….. you get it.

Intense moments do not always equal yelling moments.

I get it. Yelling is fun, it’s fun for actors. It’s fun to be intense and dramatic. Yelling is rarely fun for an audience. Think about it. Do you enjoy being yelled at? Imagine being yelled at for five minutes, ten minutes, half an hour. At some point your audience is going to turn off and tune you out which is the last thing you want.

So actors, directors, when you are working on those intense moments – One: be aware of your audience experience. What do you want your audience to get out of it? If you’re going to yell, what do you want your audience to take away. That’s really important, and more important than what the actor gets out of the yelling moment. Be aware of emotional pacing. That means variety. You can’t be HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE for the whole scene. You need ups and downs. Think of ways other than yelling to indicate intensity. Lastly, watch that punctuation. If the playwright didn’t put an exclamation point at the end of that sentence, they don’t want you to add one. And yes, exclamation points do indicate intensity but they don’t ALWAYS HAVE TO EQUAL VOLUME.

That’s it for Video Tips.

About the author

Craig Mason