OFF stage, the story looks a lot different than it is told ON stage!
This is one lesson that I did not learn in the many years of being on school theaters back home, where acting was practiced, but never professionaly taught.
But in my "New Play Development" class this year, where dramaturgs, directors, writers and actors work collaboratively at various plays, I have come to value the moments taken off stage, exchanging seats with the directors as they hop on and re-act an awkward part.
I learned that more than any form of art, acting in theater SHOULD NOT be true to life. If you want to speak to someone, hell no you shouldn't just talk to them. That limits the power range. Talk to the crowd. The crowd readily assumes that you are talking to the person with you on stage. Of course this is not the dominant case, but this is one of the "power distribution" rules that I could not understand untill I tried the on and off spots.
Feelings do not start from the heart. They actually starts with the stomach. If you breath well, you enunicate well. Most of the actors I found to be moving and effective, were ones that are well spoken. Loud, but not high pitced. They breathed the words, not spoke them!
BLOCKING! Well, IF in real life you do what your guts tell you, this is not life. You do what you have agreed to do earlier, or the director gets really grumpy! Did we not say theater acting is not true to life? Even if right stage looks a lot similar to left stage, even if the audience will continue to sit up front, and even if you have no goal at the time of delivering your lines -touching someone or something: DO NOT CHANGE THE BLOCKING.
GROUNDING! The floor is you, you are the floor. Humans are the only skipping creature. Do not skip. Ground your feet to the stage. Become the soft clay that God initiated from the earth. If you are grounded, let all else go loose and free, for non shall then be lost.
Many things can be said through the eye of a first-timer! However, the most calling thought that I had today is about leaders in the world at large. Most leaders are born leaders, and work on that level all their lives: in school, in sports, in work, in communities, in political levels, etc. How often do they get the chance to take the OFF STAGE seat? How often do they step off the play they are carrying on to see what the people are experiencing and seeing?
Is it ever correct that leaders step on a stage to address, while people sit off stage to listen. If our long term agreement has been this, you act, we watch, why is it that when we exit the theater, ride our cars, and lock ourselves in our little homes..the play does not end?