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  • Finding the 3 Acts in a Part

    I was teaching my comedy class at Kalmenson & Kalmenson when I discovered one of my students was very adept at improvisation. I asked what her background was. She said she was a writer and an acrobat.
    An acrobat?
    Yes. She was studying aerial acrobatics, à la Cirque du Soleil. I asked what that was like. She said it was a rush to perform 40 feet off the ground. (I let that comment pass as part of the foolishness of youth.) I asked her how you learn something like that. She said her teacher told her that the critical moments in any acrobatic move were the transitions from various planes, from the horizontal (on the ground) to the vertical (going into the air) and to the horizontal once again when you reach your final position above the arena. She said the essence of acrobatics is the transition between horizontal to vertical. Doing it in a seamless way. Doing it in a beautiful way.
    Her remarkable passion explained one of the primary tools of script analysis: Find the transitions.
    There is a tendency to get lost in a script, in a role, in a single speech. The words become the forest that keeps us from seeing the trees.
    On a macro scale, look for the moments that change the direction of your character. On a micro

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