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

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Chapter 8

Moment Before

While it’s important that you know what’s happening with your character throughout the scene, it is equally important to know what’s happening with your character before the scene begins. If you don’t know what led your character to the state he/she’s in when the scene starts, your job’s going to be much harder. Your character needs to be fully engaged in his/her life before the camera starts to roll or before you step on stage. You can’t start at 70 percent; you have to be charging on all cylinders, 100 percent engaged. Your emotional state may change during the scene (and it should), but like a bull ride in a rodeo, it starts in the chute before the gate opens.

The Moment Before is the preparation you do to ensure ...

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