Before jumping in, there are a few really important things that need to be established.
Hello and welcome to season 1 episode 1 of the BLS acting tutorial. I am your host, Braden Lynch. My aim is to give you more tools for understanding material, connecting to material, and handling performance situations. And why should you take what I have to say seriously? Start with the fact that I’m a working actor in LA and I’ve been a coach here since 2006, then listen to this video and maybe a couple more free ones and decide for yourself.
Also, let me go ahead and address two arguments that I commonly hear from people who don’t want to learn this stuff. Arguments that I hope were quelled in you by the promo video if they were there to begin with. 1. “I don’t need technique, I just use my instinct. I read the material and I feel so much.” That’s wonderful, it really is, but you’ve got two problems. 1 it’s not enough: think about it like this: you feel something reading about a character losing a loved one, great. if you actually watch someone lose a loved one, you’ll feel more. and if you lose a loved one, you’re gonna feel far more than that. 2 the instinct feeling won’t last. By the time you memorize, and you must memorize if you want a serious career, that instinct will have been spent. The second argument I commonly hear is “Technique gets me in my head.” Yeah, it will, for a time. Ask any musician, any juggler, any yogi. When learning a new skill, you’re gonna be in your head for a bit, and then eventually you won’t. It takes time to be great.
And now, before we jump in, there are a few really important things that I want to cover so that we can be on the same page. Number one, Number two, the myth of inborn talent, the X factor. The idea that some people just have it and some don’t. Wherever you think you are on that spectrum of talent, don’t fall for this idea. Acting, like everything else in the world, is a learnable skill. Now I may be preaching to the choir here since you’re watching an acting tutorial in the first place, but I still want to lock this in because the myth exists in all of our heads, society has put it there, and it can have a huge effect on how much work you put in to move forward. The truth is that the people who work hard and smart always end up becoming greater than the ones who take their talent for granted. I see it all the time.
Second, this work requires a balance between intellect and emotion, there are some actors who love the emotional but avoid the intellectual, their scenes are deep and emotive but usually wrong, and provably so, some other actors love the intellectual but not the emotional, their performances tend to be in the right direction but empty and/or fake. Gotta have both. And the emotion needs to be real. Sometimes it’s painful, most great performances are.
Third. the construction of this technique is really simple which, I think, is what makes accessible to absolutely everyone, while the execution of it can be delightfully intricate, which is what I get excited about. For this entire first season, I’m going to keep things as simple as I can, we’ll get into the intricate stuff in later seasons.
Fourth, this technique is based on human psychology, there’s nothing vague or inexplicable or overtly artsy about it, there’s no “feel the moment” type stuff that no one I’ve ever spoken to has been able to explain satisfactorily, everything is definable and very understandable, because it comes from how everyone single one of us behaves in real life on a daily basis. And you will understand it, it just might take a while for you to be able to apply it well, but once you can, you will blow your old self out of the water along with anyone else who doesn’t have a real or complete technique.
Lastly, I want to make sure you understand what it means to be an actor. There is the deeper, “moving audiences” “connecting people to their empathy” “making people laugh” “art” piece of it, that should, I think, be the deeper ideal, but more immediate is the fact that your job quite literally is to help a writer tell a story by fitting yourself into a specific slot. Every role is asking for something specific, you can’t just do whatever you want, you have to figure out what they want and then be artful inside that space.
So now on to episode 2 where we’re gonna talk about what I consider to be the basics and P.S. what I consider to be the basics is usually far more than what most people consider to be the basics, so even if you think you know the basics, don’t skip it. I’ll see you there.