RehearsalAn afternoon experiencing and practicing
CompetencyEmpathy / Concentration / Imagination
Skills DevelopedBehaving truthfully
Created ByUta Hagen

Acting Principles

  1. Acting is not pretending to do. Acting is not showing what you feel. Acting is trying to change, trying to get. Acting is doing.
  2. Nothing is something.
  3. Actors must be slaves to the truth of the moment. Actors must embrace boring, simple, quiet, stillness, nothingness if it is the truth and resist the temptation to show or perform or indicate.


Go someplace where you have to wait. Grocery store, doctor’s office, DMV but do not bring your phone just sit and wait. Pay attention to your thoughts, emotions, and behavior. How do your environment and those in it affect your behavior? What is going through your mind as you wait? Observe other people waiting. Notice how people don’t show you what they are doing, they simply do. Practice fighting the urge to show or perform to the audience caused by being aware of them and instead put all your attention on what you are doing and the task of completing it.


Acting is living truthfully. Acting is not emoting, acting is not indicating, acting is not performing, it is simply being and doing. This exercise will help reinforce the commitment to the truth of the moment so the actor will not be superficial.


Do you see an actor performing or a person living?
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