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The Science and Art of Acting for the Camera by John Howard Swain

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Chapter 1

Things Every Actor Should Know

THE THOUGHT PROCESS

There are probably as many definitions as to what acting is as there are actors. This is mine:

acting is the result of a thought process that ignites an emotion that provokes a behavior.

Everything discussed in this book is designed to enhance that thought process. What starts out as a thought in the actor’s mind then ignites the actor’s emotional center: the heart. Once the heart is engaged, it produces a series of behaviors that help define the character.

The original thought that results as the character’s behavior comes from the actor’s personal pool of information. But because the audience sees and hears the effect that information has on the situation the character is in, ...

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