Intention is the same as a goal, purpose, objective or action. So let’s break it down: what do you want? More specifically, what do you need from the other character(s)? Every character in every scene needs something from the other characters or the scene won’t work.
In order to make that happen, you need to be SPECIFIC.
Let’s use “to seduce” as an example of an unspecific intention. That could go a million different ways, so here is the same intention made specific: I need the other person to say, “I want you…and kiss me on the neck.” Sound like semantics? Remember that your mind is a computer and you have to give it specific details to make sure you activate the right thoughts to motivate your being. The more specific the language, the clearer the intention. The clearer the intention, the more easy it will be to put yourself in the moment of the scene.
Let’s go to back to The Wizard of Oz.
What Does Dorothy Need?
The common answer would be that Dorothy wants to see the Wizard. So let’s make this intention more specific. Ask yourself this: why does she need to get to the Wizard? To get home? That’s closer, but you’re not there yet. This intention still doesn’t require the Wizard to feel or do something.
Answer: She needs the Wizard to *feel* for her so that he’ll have to give her what she wants.
If you’re playing the role of Dorothy, you now know that you need to touch the Wizard’s heart in order to get him to send you home. Now you know you know what to do in the scene.
So, if acting is doing, what are you doing to get the other person to give you what you need? If you’re Dorothy, you’re going to bring back the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West. And when the Wizard bellows, “Go away and come back tomorrow!!!”, you’ll stick up for your friends, expose him for what he is and shame him into giving you what you (and your friends) need.
The greatest test of an intention is this: say it out loud! Do the words make clear what you need from the other person? If they do, then you’ve got it!
Know someone who could benefit from this Acting Tip? Please share!