It’s a dangerous trap, and one that I’ve fallen into many times. Rather than focusing on what can be done with the material at hand, we get distracted by wondering why we’re not playing a different role, or worrying that the role we accepted is somehow beneath us. Neither of which is helpful.
Spending time in this head-space pulls us away from making interesting choices in whatever role we’re playing. It’s self-destructive, and it’s unnecessary. There’s the old story about the actor playing a fruit vendor who was given one line, a throwaway in the background, of “Apples! Apples! Oranges! Oranges!” When it came time to shoot, he started his line, “Apples! Apples” then took a bite of an apple, spit it out in disgust, and finished his line, “Oranges! Oranges!” Brilliant.
Stanislavski famously quipped that “There are no small parts, only small actors.” You may or may not agree with that. But one thing is for certain: spending time thinking about what you’re not doing is far less productive than thinking about what you are doing. And that goes beyond just acting, of course…
|Edoardo Ballerini is an actor and a writer. He has appeared in over forty films and television series, including Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos and the indie hit Dinner Rush. He was last seen on Theater Row in New York in “Honey Brown Eyes.”|