Friday, February 26, 2010

Another Handy Metaphor for Acting - Or is it Footy?

It occurred to me last night as I was driving home from a performance of MURDER ON THE NILE (final weekend! Dynamite! A Must-See!) that to be an actor is very much like being a leg muscle.

The script is an entire leg, lovingly crafted by the playwright to be the best leg it can be. But the other leg is composed of actors, each one an individual muscle. They pay close attention to what the other muscles are doing, compensating for an overstretch here, twisting a little to keep the balance there. Ultimately, what you're looking for is a smooth graceful leg movement, and between your leg and that script, you're trying to get the play where it needs to go as beautifully as possible.

Ideally when you audition you're hoping to get something showy like a calf muscle or a thigh - prominent and meaty and easy to see. But maybe you're a soleus instead. That doesn't mean you aren't important, because the whole show stumbles if you don't do your job.

And of course unlike with a real leg muscle, you can actually steal the show even if you're a peroneus brevis. Just don't get all twitchy. It makes the whole leg look bad dude.

1 comment:

  1. Following your metaphor, maybe a high-strung, tempermental but essential actor could be the Achilles Tendon. Not flashy, but cut them and forget it, show's over. I mean, if action films are a guide to life at all, you can take a bullet in a calf and still finish the scene.