Winning is enjoyed in the present and chased after into the future. The enjoyment and the pursuit are both necessary components of a great acting performance.
Most of our day is spent with tiny moments of winning or losing. I made it to yoga class in time – win! I wasn’t able to hold my handstand for a minute – loose. In both instances, I was enjoying the process and trying to achieve my win. In the former I was successful, the latter – not so much. Even little moments, like smiling at someone, becomes a desire to get them to smile back – win!
Remember people do what they want to do in life. For the most part, we’re all doing the best we can. Please don’t judge or feel sorry for your characters. By all means have compassion, but not pity. We are who we want to be, and do what we want to do. Knowing this, an integral part of every great performance is to have gusto. Allow your character to relish their situations and actions. It’s what makes a performance memorable.