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  • 3 Tips for Making Sense of ‘Make It Your Own’

    I hear teachers say it all the time: “Just make it your own.” However, when I ask a client what that really means, more often then not they can’t tell me. 
    1. Don’t act word for word. I can hear a collective gasp out there, but it’s true! Please actors listen to me: Anyone that is teaching that you need to be word for word is saying what may have worked well over a decade ago but certainly not now. (There are of course, a few exceptions—Aaron Sorkin: Yeah, you better be word for word; Disney: It has been my experience that they are sticklers; and most half-hour programs since it’s about timing, and a few others.)
    I have been shocked at how many actors still have the notion that they need to be memorized and know the words verbatim. 
    Yesterday I was in the grocery store struggling with a baby watermelon when I looked up to see two huge arms coming towards me. It was the charismatic actor I mentioned in my first Backstage article. There he was coming in for a bear hug and beaming at me. “It only took a few sessions for you to remind me to stop playing what is on the page and to bring what I want to the role not what I think they want.”  He now throws out

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