Becoming a Better Actor: Relaxation, Intention, and Imagination

Relaxation:  allows concentration, focus and encourages your instincts, imagination and emotions to flow as an organic, alive experience.

“Intention” or “Objective”:  Focus on what you are DOING to your scene partner—pick an ACTIVE VERB.  Your “Intention” or “Objective” asks you what you want or need.   Its counterpart—“Action”—asks what you are doing to your scene partner to get it.  If you choose exciting, imaginative, colorful “Intentions”, your instincts will take over, and your inner “Action”’ to achieve those “Intentions” will also be imaginative, exciting and—yes—emotionally charged.

Use Stanislavsky’s “Magical As If” to intensify your circumstances. For example,  “As If a giant, flesh-eating rat is chasing me” instead of the town bully.  Commit to that choice, and the “chase scene” will be more terrifying and emotional to play . . . and to watch.  If your choice does not activate you—enrich the choice.  Keep exploring and committing to new, creative ideas until one fires you up—that’s rehearsal!!  Not running the lines.

Imagination:  Your creativity and artistry should always intensify your Circumstances, Intentions/Objectives or NEEDS (and your Actions to get them fulfilled) if you want to give an intense, powerful, moving, emotional performance.  If “help her” doesn’t engage you, stimulate your instincts and creativity, and choose something more exciting!!  Develop it into “save her from the devil.”  How much more intense would your actions be to support that new Intention/Objective?  Improvisation is crucial in rehearsal and preparing your auditions.  Written words can blind or distract you from deeper, underlying Intentions and Actions.  Using your own words creates relaxation, an instinctive sense of truth and opens the door for emotion.  Improvise dialogue that matches your journey through each scene and the story.  Once you have a map of the journey that is clear, deep, exciting, active and focused—then put the author’s words to use.  Then you feel more.  Then you play more.  Technique and a professional, organized approach works.  It deepens your work.

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Adam Lazarre-White Adam Lazarre-White grew up in NYC, graduated from Harvard University with Honors, started at QB for the “Crimson” and played in the Harvard Jazz Band. He is known for roles on Scandal, Heroes, Ocean’s 13, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, The Temptations, Living Single, The Parkers, and starring on The Young & The Restless. Adam’s writing and directing have become equal pursuit in recent years; and he has owned his acting school in Hollywood, ALW Acting Studios since 2000. For info on Adam's classes, acting, writing & directing visit his website at