the inspiration blog

acting and reacting (3 of 4): the theater analogy

Posted on: March 11, 2011

As we’ve seen, both acting and reacting have their upsides and downsides. Now, obviously we’re taking “acting” away from its theater meaning… or are we?

Acting on Stage – and in Life

An actor, in a traditional play, has a script she has learned, rehearses, and then performs on stage. We too, have learned scripts we’re playing out, often without realizing we’re doing so.

In improv, however, the improv actor’s job is to react to the current moment. Now, a lot of “bad” improv is out there – where the improviser is trying to be funny (e.g., create a funny character) rather than truly listen and respond, which makes it feel inauthentic. Similarly, if you are not appropriately responding to the current moment, you might appear a bit fake too.

Next: integrating the two.


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