Acting Spontaneous

Why should actors strive for spontaneity? In theatre, Spontaneity is the act of making things on stage seem as if they are happening for the first time. Spontanerity helps to suspend the audience's disbelief. Most audiences have seen plays that feature an actor stumbling through his lines which puts the audience in a heightened state of anxiety. At othert times, the actor might know his lines well, but the audience sees a performances so dull that the script cannot be lifted off the page. The act of spontaneity seduces the audience into thinking that what is happening on stage is happening in real time. Once an audience accepts the stage, the lights, the necessary conventions of acting, they are willing to go along for the ride. A dull and lifeless performance by one actor will throw the audience out of believing in the show. A minefield of missed lines by another actor, while exciting, will have the audience feeling anxious and embarrassed for the poor actor.

Often times with young actors, they want to keep things fresh so they under-rehearse. This means the actor hasn't planned out the trajectory of their piece very well, and as a consequence, it sounds fuzzy and unclear. Other actors will see the value of rehearsal and reptition and they just run the lines over and over again so that it becomes by rote without a scrap of spontaneity. The performance appears dull and lifeless.

Under rehearsing. When an actor under rehearses, there can be a certain excitement for an audience as they watch the train veer uncontrollably down the tracks, as they wait for the crash. Usually an audience will feel some sympathy for the poor actor caught like a deer in the headlights. An audience might think the actor is very brave or courageous. The audience might feel compassion or they might just feel I am glad its not me up there making an idiot of myself. An all too typical comment from under-rehearsed actors is; 'don't worry, I will know it by opening night.' The uncertainty of the performance wrecks all spontaneity because the audience is only too well aware that this poor sap is only an actor and obviously not one that cares about his or her craft too much. It is painful to an audience to watch an actor fumble their lines. The spontaneity of the character is replaced by the uncertainty of the actor.

What about over rehearsing? When you are a studious actor and practice your lines again and again, you run the risk of having your character appear to know what's coming next, to know what he or she is going to say next. It is easy to bore an audience when it seems only like acting, when it seems as if the character is not experiencing everything on stage for the first time.

How to appear spontaneous. Plot out your part so that you know where the discovery bits are, where something new is about to occur to the character. You need to rehearse it enough until it is second nature while plotting the character's course through the play. Whatever you do, don't play the emotional end of the play at the beginning. Even though the actor knows what is going to happen, what he or she is going to say next, the character can't. Map out the changes in the characters emotions and thoughts. You want to take the audience on this journey with you, and so many times that just doesn't happen. The audience has paid their money to be taken on a journey out of their daily lives. It is your responsibility as an actor to take them on that journey. Dull acting happens when you; the actor, let the character you are playing know what is going to happen next. Your character must be as innocent about what is going to happen next as the audience or even more so. Mapping out moments of spontaneity and rehearsing them until you have them just right, will make you a more exciting actor.



Phone: 613-384-8433
email us RSS button Facebook Icon Twitter Icon

Current Events, Classes & Tickets
Acting Classes
Events Calendar
Audition Notices
Summer Camp
March Break Camp

About Us
Anne Marie
Our Philosophy
Past Productions
Our Blog
Kingston Theatre
How to find Acting Classes
Sears Drama Festival
Privacy Policy
Site Map

Teen Monologues
Free Monologues
Contemporary Monologues
Classical Monologues
Modern Monologues
Shakespeare Monologues
About Monologues
Little Kids

One Act Plays for Teens
Beauty and the Beast
Little Red Riding Hood
Puss in Boots
Sleeping Beauty
Snowdrops for Katya

Free Scripts
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Romeo and Juliet
The Importance of Being Earnest

Writing Tips
Writing Contest Winners
Scene Changes
Offstage Characters
Audition Help
Auditions, Monologues
Audition Notices
About Auditions
10 Audition Tips
Head Shots
Musical Theatre
How to Find an Agent
How to get on Disney

Theatre Art & Craft
For Actors
Advice: Fischer
Career Choice
Self Esteem
Acting Tips for Young Actors
More Acting Tips for Young Actors
How to Start
Rehearsing Out Loud
10 Audition Tips
Head Shots
Musical Theatre
For Production Team
About Contracts and Copyright

Picture Galleries
CATS Rehearsal
Cinderella (2009)
Til the Boys Come Home
Hannah Smith
Sweeney Todd
Justin Robertson
Sleeping Beauty

Bottle Tree Productions

Promote Your Page Too

*Copyright notice*
All contents of this site are copyright of Bottle Tree Productions, Anne Marie Mortensen, and Charles Robertson, except where acknowledgment is given otherwise. You may not reproduce the content of this site without express written permission from one of us. You may link back to the site. YOu may link to an appropriate page but not directly to a download. You may not use images without written permission. You may not offer monologues or other downloads available on this site as if they were your own. You may use monologues for audition and learning purposes only, as PRINTED material.