ABWAG: Acting A Better Way With Actors Globally, submitted by me. Tiny Ron is a seven foot tall actor who has appeared in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and a number of other tv shows and films. He created ABWAG to try and help other actors perfect their craft, which is a pretty cool thing to do. The rub is that nearly every other word on his website is a clickable link which takes you to a list of acting rules and tips that somehow relate to that word. "Scene", for example, has 561 entries. That's not counting the Top Ten Things In Acting A Scene you're met with before you even get to those 561 entries, followed by an inexplicable appearance of 105 more tips under the heading "Comedy".
You might be saying that's not really a bad thing, that writing so many entries for all those seemingly random words might be borderline obsessive, but maybe he just has a lot of time on his giant hands. Well, did I mention that half the tips don't make any sense at all and seem to repeat themselves? Take a look at these guidelines for "problem of scene" that deal with yelling.
1. Acting today, now. Not 40 years ago, you could shout.
2. Always look for "personal reasons" for families: brother and brother, sister and mother, etc. etc. Don't just quarrel and shout.
3 Audience is moved by the emotion of actor. Nothing to do with volume. Loud in theater tries to make it dramatic.
4. Audience to be moved and frightened, you can't do that with yelling. Yelling . Yelling always makes you ineffectual.
5. Can't shout all the time.
6. Do not do what you do best, like: yelling.
7. Don't get loud. Affective without being vocal.
8. Don't shout and work on audience tolerance.
9. Don't shout away in scene.
10. Don't start shouting - find other ways.
11. Don't yell it has no validity.
12. Don't yell, but use command.
13. Don't yell, it irritates audience after awhile.
14. Final cop out is to yell, never yell nobody wants to hear that.
15. Don't yell, but use command
(continued up to #29, plus two additional entries under "Comedy")
I'm starring in my local theatre's adaptation of Schindler's List, as a stand-in for one of the German Sheperds in case he gets sick and is unable to fulfill his thespianic duties. Should I basically just be yelling the whole time, or... ?
Yes, it's the perfect form for surviving a car crash. But it's also the perfect form for so much more, like surviving the trauma of reading any news headline in 2016.
It's just a little confusing, is all.
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