Thursday, March 10, 2016

POV -- Jeff Salazar on Acting (Live the Victory)

You won't want to miss the latest installment in our POV series. This week, our acting student Jeff Salazar returns with his ideas on authenticity in the creative process.

Live the Victory
By Jeff Salazar

So often we are confronted with the aspect of the “self."  Our minds start running and voices begin to question our everyday actions.  This is even more true for the actor, for standing in front of your peers/audience can be nerve-racking and potentially disturbing (depending on the person).  Yet as these ideas of the self occur and begin to destroy the creative process, something to keep in mind how to tell the story truthfully.

It is easy to forget that acting is a form of storytelling, one of the more crucial parts in fact.  As the face of the story it is our job to embody the character and tell the story as if we were experiencing it for the first time. Never forget this fact, and always keep it at the forefront of your mind.

Live the Victory
“You cannot live a victory that you have not experience yet. Play the circumstances as if it were the first time without knowing the results."  These were the words used by one of our teachers here at Seattle Film Institute during our Text Analysis class with world-renowned director Hal Ryder (  What this statement means is that one must experience your objectives within a scene as if it were the first time happening.  As actors, we must look passed the scripted words and outcomes that we know happen within the dialogue and portray an emotion that is true to the word.  Living in the moment is key to accomplish this, and being true to your self, the character’s self and how they see themselves.

Forget the Self
Standing up in front of an audience is a courageous act that should be applauded and respected.  However, doing this also requires a sense of humility from the actor.  Many actors that I have come across in my experience believe that by being an actor means that the audience wants to see them act.  This cannot be further from the truth.  As actors we must forget the identity of the “self” that we bring into the room prior to a performance.  Through doing this we allow our bodies and minds to unlock and perform to the true identity of the character, rather than worry about our personal image. 

Develop Your Ideas with Great Finesse
In the creative process many ideas are tossed in and out of the “drawing table”.  A great idea is not developed in one take, nor is it usually the first thing that comes about.  Great ideas are harnessed through the creative process that allows failure and success to coexist.  Allow yourself to present an idea to the director and never take it as a “defeat” if the idea is rejected or re-worked. This is an essential part of content development, yet it is the most over-looked.

By keeping these focus points in mind, you will be able to embody the character as intended from the playwright/screenwriter.  

Remember: people want to see characters living, not somebody acting.

Until next week...

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