Once you’ve identified the key elements in your scene, it’s time to zero in on what your scene is about.
To describe what the scene is about, you have to think like an outsider and not see things from your character’s point of view. This may sound counterintuitive, but if you’re only viewing the scene through your character’s lens, you can’t see the whole story and you’re going to miss the details that make your performance authentic . For instance: remember the scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy asks the Wizard to help her and her friends? What is this scene about?
A common answer: This scene is about a lost girl asking for help for her and her friends.
Yes. That is what the scene is about. It’s also stated from an outside perspective, but the conflict hasn’t been indentified yet. Conflict happens when two people want opposing or different things, and it’s what makes the scene interesting to watch. Where’s the conflict in the description of this scene? There isn’t one. Be more specific: look for the conflict or problem. The more specific you are, the better the scene will be.
So, try again:
Answer: This is a scene about a girl and her friends who are lost and want help from the Wizard, but he doesn’t want to help them. That’s because he’s not a Wizard and he can’t really help them at all. Now the scene has conflict.
When you say this statement to yourself, you can see the characters, where they are, what their problem is, and what they’re going to do about it. That’s how you know what the scene’s about!
Know someone who could benefit from this Acting Tip? Please Share!!