While we may talk a lot about our actions (what we’re actively doing) in scenes, the choice that adds the most ‘flavor and spice’ to any event is the obstacles. Obstacles, for our purposes, are the challenges that are keeping us from attaining what we want.
In our day to day life, we spend an inordinate amount of time (and wasting far too much energy) on our obstacles: financial, romantic, health or familial.
“If acting were easy, everyone would do it”, is an oft repeated phrase. Part of what draws us to our life’s endeavors are the challenges that are presented. Think of how boring life would be if you arrived in LA, immediately were given gig after gig, never having to struggle – you’d probably invent issues so that there was something to feel challenged by (Oy, so many lines to learn and not enough down time!).
Even our ‘nerves’ in the audition are a challenge that we wish we didn’t have, but without this adrenaline coursing through our being, we may not have the capacity to go as deeply or reach for the stars. Tension is like salt, the perfect amount brings out the flavor of the dish – too much and it’s all that you can taste. Obstacles, married to the intention, create the dynamic tension in any performance.
As you go through your day, notice and embrace your obstacles, as opportunities to reach higher and dig deeper. This is the way the we expand ourselves and build our actor’s tool belt.