State of the Heart
INT. ACTING CLASS ROOM - EVENING
Suzie and Iris are sitting together at their acting class, with ELEANOR (39), the tutor, and eight or so other students. Suzie gets up and is standing opposite FREDDY (20), a young man with long hair. They are close to each other and taking it in turns to make animal noises, increasing in volume.
Woof! Woof! Ruff! Ruff!
Suzie then slaps Freddy hard across the face.
ELEANOR Good, good! How did that feel for you Suzie?
ELEANOR How about you Freddy, how did it feel?
Freddy is rubbing his cheek which has come up red.
All the group except Freddy laugh.
Ok, so we've learned that in order to act, react and interact we must, on some fundamental level be talking the same language and that this language does not have to be a spoken language. All dramatic tension comes from our ability or inability to do this. The meaning of the intention in acting is carried within our body language, and it is this which is universal. Thank you Freddy and Suzie. Nice slap Suzie, good action.
Thank you Eleanor. Suzie returns to her seat next to Iris.
Ok, now we're warmed up, hopefully as warm as Freddy's face, let's tackle our scenes. Remember, forget the dialogue as it's written for now, I just want
you to get across the point of the scene. Find the beats and communicate them. This is about crucial moments linked together to make us feel our way through the essence of the narrative.
Iris is whispering to Suzie.
I've only learned the dialogue, I thought we were just supposed to learn the dialogue!
Oh, Iris! Don't use the dialogue. We'll just have to wing it, follow me, improvise.
Just make it up as you go along...
ELEANOR Suzie, Iris. Step up, I believe you've chosen a scene from the Alfred Hitchcock film "Vertigo". Take the stage, this should be interesting....
They stand up and walk to the stage. Iris pulls up a chair and climbs up onto it, standing above Suzie.
OK, in your own time.
Iris coughs, the group is quiet, Suzie pauses before speaking.
What's wrong with you?
I'm scared and I want to get down.
The group laugh and Suzie and Iris see the funny side of it too.
Stop right there. Fantastic! I loved it! Ok who's next?