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  • 9 Quick Ways to Break Down a Scene

    OK, actors. It’s the middle of pilot season, and auditions are coming in all the time—10 pages the night before, five pages hours before (complete with two monologues), and sometimes you get the scene at the audition itself (yikes!). You obsessively try to memorize the lines so that you are ready for when you walk in the room, but put very little thought into the scene itself. Everyone at the audition is reading the same words over and over, but it’s up you, the actor, to have the skills to break down the scene—to interpret and express the words in an original and interesting way, and to find the wonderful, spontaneous moments between the lines. It’s about understanding what’s happening in the scene, peeling away the layers of this character, understanding the behavior, the thoughts, and having a strong point of view in the scene. What is the right way to do this? How do you feel grounded and connected when you are sitting in a chair in a sterile room with a camera on you and people staring at you? How do you activate your imagination so that the circumstances are vivid and real? 
    You have to know what you are saying and why you are saying it. If you are only thinking about the lines,

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