Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Beware the sudden shout!

In recent weeks I've seen a number of showcases of people who have been taking acting courses.  Some of the performances have been good, some not so good, but I have noticed a feature common to some of the not so good ones: the sudden shout of anger.  Beware the sudden shout!

As a way of portraying anger it simply doesn't work.  It always seems artificial and stagey and that is because it isn't true to life.  When people are angered it takes time for the feeling to develop:anger feeds on itself.  In real life the first feeling is often surprise "I'm amazed that you could be so offensive ..." or threat "If you do that once more ..."  And it's only a little after that that shouting and a red face kick in.  Even that is not the only way to express anger, some people are very quiet and pale and that can seem more dangerous.  So if the script indicates anger, think very carefully about how your character expresses it.  Beware the sudden shout!