WHEN DID TECHNIQUE GET SUCH A BAD RAP?
We have heard it before, “Oh, she is a technical actor. No feeling.”
One of America's most respected film actors, Robert DeNiro said,“You just have to do it.” And of course, as Noel Coward famously once quipped,"Just say your lines and don't trip over the furniture."
Huh? I say!
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines technique as “a method of accomplishing a desired aim.”
If the guiding principle of an actor is to get the task done, the actor must sharpen his tools for the procedure. Speaking is physical. Edith Skinner used to say that you shouldn't need a microphone to fill a space.”Use words like a series of weights and counterweights.” Now however, with little or no emphasis on speech and voice technique in modern day American theatrical training, actors can largely not be heard or understood. Everything is kept small. Unfortunately, this is due to a desire “not to offend...anyone.” What used to be called “acting technique,” is now being offered as an “approach.” Speech technique is not an approach, it is the foundation by which all else is possible.
In the words of Pablo Picasso, “The more technique you have, the less you have to worry about it. The more technique there is, the less there is.”
NEXT: ORACY IS DEAD