The Acting Process 3 - Playing Objectives and Blocking In

The Acting Process

(The Order of Study From Text to Performance)



What does the character want and how do they go about getting it? Playing objectives are usually covered by a single word: PITY, FLATTERY, GUILT, BLACKMAIL, HONOUR etc.

Note that the playing objective evokes a feeling from the OTHER CHARACTER not the one you are playing.


A girl asks her dad to buy her a new bag. At first he refuses “too expensive” - but she persuades him - “All my mates have designer bags! I’m the odd one out. They laugh at me behind my back and I can’t concentrate on my work! I feel so miserable all the time! Is that what you want? To make me unhappy?”

What the girl WANTS is a new bag. The PLAYING OBJECTIVE she uses is GUILT. She tries to make her dad feel guilty because she is unhappy.


* MOVE ONLY FOR A REASON: to answer a door, look out of a window etc OR as the RESULT OF AN EMOTION, driven by text.

* Don’t be afraid of staying still. In life we don’t move around much when we’re talking, so why do it in a scene? Acting should look real, not staged.

* Develop the instinct to place yourself higher on the set when you raise your voice and lower when you speak more intimately. It would be an error to shout whilst only a few feet away from an examiner/audition panel and then speak softly whilst standing at the back of the stage!

Once you have studied the text and blocked in, you can look at the relationships between the characters and THE WORLD SURROUNDING THEM:

* ALL FOUR WALLS of the set.

* The FLOOR.

* LIGHT and HEAT sources WITHIN the proscenium.





and then… having followed the process, you can start to apply techniques to bring your character to life!