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An Actor's Intention

Updated: Feb 11, 2018

#ActorAction, #ActorIntention, #ActorObjective—in the world of the theater, the amount of work required of an actor by these three words can mean the difference between the actor's failure and success.

Action is what an actor, playing a character, does or says to achieve an objective.

Objective is what the character wants, or what the character's goal is.

Intention, perhaps the most important job an actor has, is the meaning of the line or what's going on in the actor's mind—the #subtext.

Intention is the why of the character you are playing as #actor, and it is discovered in the lines and actions of a given character. From knowing what you want (the objective), you make it personal: the intention. This gives you the emotional need. It's not enough to just want something; you must have it at all costs. It's the subtext, or the driving force. It is real and urgent. Your objective is spurred on by your intention.

Actions are the instinctual behaviors you engage in, in an effort to achieve your objectives. But here's what's interesting: Your actions have the power to change the meaning and intention of your objective. So be careful. Actions are mini-objectives, which you use to get what you want. They support the scene objective both verbally and behaviorally.

How To Make it Real

Figure out what you want (objective), make it personal (intention), and go after it (action).

British actor and icon #JohnHurt's recitation of jabberwocky is a beautiful example of pure intention.

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