Each actor works alone –analyzing
a part, making a
characterization, playing a role, and
so on –and yet no actor works alone.
We can divide any performance
into two parts: (1) Your action and
(2) your reaction. As we have
seen, these affect each other.
When you act as if something or
someone real, then you can react in
a genuine way. This in turn makes
your following actions more genuine.
As an actor, you must not react to what a
partner does but must also coordinate all
your activity with others. That is, you must
all work together. This requires both physical
and mental coordination. One of the major
purposes of the rehearsal is to arrange things
so that everyone is working together for the
same ends. Physical contact on stage is
usually thought of in terms of stage fights or
stage combat, involving swords or fistfights.
Basic principles to remember:
• Contact on stage should be an
illusion of contact, not the real
• As with mime, an illusion is made
to look real not so much by the
action as by the reaction
• As with mime, a good illusion of
contact works because the audience
is temporarily distracted from the
point where the action occurs.
• These illusions must be rehearsed
and rehearsed and rehearsed