“Your talent is in your choice.” -Stella Adler
There are many different acting techniques out there. I chose to study the Stella Adler technique for my own personal reasons. Her technique is imagination based as opposed to Lee Strasberg’s technique which delves more into the actor’s own personal history.
My technique teacher told us always to work step by step and to work deep and specifically. He said that if we work step by step and specifically, than we would become actors. Most techniques that I know of involve the usual set of questions
Who am I?
Where am I?
What am doing? What am I fighting for? What’s my objective?
Why am I doing this? What’s my motivation?
If I’m going to play a killer I’ve got to ask myself, “what’s my motivation?” If it’s not strong enough, the intensity is not there. But if I’ve got a compelling motive, then I can kill. I had to make a similar choice back when I was attending Cal Poly Pomona and majoring in Economics. My vision was to create a business, but my motive was lousy. Sure, I could have strong-willed my way through but after a lot of thought I found I wasn’t even doing it for myself. It wasn’t strong enough to propel me through the hard times and all the stress and challenges I would surely face.
Sure these seem like simple questions, but they’re really hard to answer. In each answer lies your talent. Each answer is what will compel you to act.
It helps to really know yourself. Know what moves you as a person. If you answer these questions in any old way you may not be doing justice to the script or character.
These questions seem so simple, yet, we can’t forget to take into account, how many people never answer these questions in real life? These questions, and others provide the technique by which some actors build their craft. Yet, these same questions go unanswered in life. Is it any wonder so many actors find it hard to make compelling choices?
Choices are prevalent in life. They make or break us, as in acting. Do you ask yourself the tough, necessary questions that form the foundation of life? Did you or someone else answer them?
Let’s make it a habit to make our own choices and make them our best choices. In our choices lie our talent.