Acting Tips for Rehearsals – Technical Adjustments

So there you are – several weeks or months into the rehearsal process. You have memorized your lines, cultivated your character and carefully outlined the physical actions of your character throughout each scene. While you may have a feeling of accomplishment at meeting these goals, you still have one giant hurdle to cross before you’ve truly met your obligations as a film or stage actor – the technical rehearsals.

Technical rehearsals occur when the set has been built, all props are ready and the technical team begins to focus on the minute details of a scene. For stage actors, this may be the lighting and microphone placement, while for film actors this may be the camera placement and lighting grid.

As an actor of any discipline, you must maintain a high sense of flexibility within your performance for technical adjustments as every production will require adjusting your performance.

Altering Movement Motivations

There are countless times that I’ve had to adjust my physical actions based on the technical requirements of a production. While I may have spent weeks in rehearsals and memorized my movements and created motivation behind these movements, when it comes for tech rehearsal, these movements can (and likely will) be altered.

For example, you’ve rehearsed a scene where your character walks over to the bar to fix a drink because his conversation with his friend is becoming quite intense and the friction between the two characters is at its tipping point. However, during tech rehearsals the crew says that you must now take a completely alternate route to the bar. While this may sound like a small adjustment, it can be detrimental to the motivation of your movements.

When you encounter a situation like this, you must immediately alter the internal emotional desires that sparked your character’s movements. Using the example above: instead of making a direct line to the bar to fix a drink at the emotional peak of the scene, your character decides to slowly walk around the furniture in order to separate himself from the growing intensity between his friends. Now, this extra movement has full emotional backing, and actually adds a new dimension to the tension between you and your friend.

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