Class Quips- Peter Jensen Discusses “Pushing” in Performance

As actors, why do we push, or play the results? The other day in scene study a student working on Amanda in The Glass Menagerie was pushing to achieve what she rightfully saw as Amanda’s desperate nature. After talking about it she went back and did the scene again just letting it happen, not forcing, and instead focusing on her son. Now the relationship and connection resonated for everyone in class to see and feel, including her.

In our discussion after the second time through she rightfully felt the stakes were a little low, and we discussed what to add in next to achieve what was needed. But pushing for it clearly wasn’t the answer, and once stripped of that one could see more clearly what was there and what wasn’t.  The pushing had  got in the way and had kept her further from the truth and the clarity needed to decide on what to work on next.

-PJ

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