“Harrumphing”, “Sighing”, “Rolling eyes”, “Gulping”, “Jaw Clenching”, “Looking away dramatically”…?

In the process of performance one must create the character’s psychological/physical realities. “Harrumphing”, “Sighing”, “Rolling eyes”, “Gulping”, “Jaw Clenching”, “Looking away dramatically” are NOT REALITIES! They aren’t even acting! They are fake, artificial, mannered posing. That’s modeling with words! Those are result compromises made by the director trying to get the shot as quickly as possible as they work with untrained actors. It’s a lose/lose proposition. And it’s an ever descending spiral into vulgar pandering.

And that’s what we have today splashed across every one of the 600 channels on TV every night. Obvious, gauche, coarse, crude, graceless, boorish, cheap, tacky presentations masquerading as entertainment.

Acting is the revelation of a human experience. It is truth in behavior. It is a recognition of our richness as unique creatures in time and place. It is a celebration of all that we are and a call to what we could be.

I have been training actors in the Hagen Process for almost two decades. Each and every class we start with the investigation into truthful human behavior, and we end with the investigation into truthful human behavior. That is the alpha and omega of our work. There is no ‘acting’ without behavior.

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