As an actor you have to be aware of your destination all the time. In other words, in any given scene it is vital that you know where you are going and why you are going there. To cross stage left because it says so in the script or because the director told you to will lead to meaningless wandering.
Any movement you make on stage or on set, also known as “blocking,” must be motivated. We don’t randomly walk across a room to stand in a new place and talk, we don’t behave like that. Have a reason for your movement – to look out the window, to get a drink from the bar, to lock the door, to check on your sleeping child, to observe a picture. These are all examples of motivated movements – destination.
There are always specific steps to take before you get to your destination. When you come home from work what is your destination and what do you do on your way there? Maybe you get home and all you want to do is fix dinner and watch a movie – that’s your destination. Before you do that there may be a few things that interrupt your destination. You may need to hang up your keys, check your mail, take off your coat, lock the door, turn on the lights, feed your cat, turn on the heat, etc. These steps, these activities, these actions are all part of human behavior when approaching each destination.
Many times in class I will see students walk into a scene and not know what to do except say their line. They will look at me and say, “I don’t know what to do, I’m just standing here.” That’s because they have not thought about and rehearsed their destination. Where are you coming from? What things do you have with you? What do you need to do when you get to where you are going?
The director and the playwright are not always going to have these answers for you. This is your homework and cannot be taken for granted. Know your destination.
Thanks for reading. Good luck and keep going. I wish you nothing but success in your acting career.
For more information or to schedule a coaching session, please visit www.ryankitley.com.