Wednesday, September 12, 2012
The Typewriter Monologue
In the monologue, he's ranting against a literary agent who refused to promote his book to publication. His loud raving becomes the content of a letter the writer is typewriting to his agent.
The actor didn't find a typewriter for the scene, so he just pretended to have one simply typing the air.
I'm grateful for the many mistakes he made during his performance because I learned an important lesson.
From the beginning it was clear he didn't know how to type.
He typed on the typewriter the way he would type on a laptop, which just can't be. If you ever used a typewriter, you know very well that you have to crush down on those keys if you want to see some ink on the paper. So, the movement should have been much slower, heavier, with each of the ten fingers beating down on the the proper keys. If he had focused on that the way a real writer does, his lines would have come out just naturally, and he would have been too preoccupied with what is known as behavior to instead pull useless faces for the entire duration of his monologue because he had nothing better to do. Typing was the most important thing he was doing, but he turned it into a frill, an imprecise acting whim.
This is not a criticism but a critique and, hopefully, it comes out as a constructive observation rather than an arrogant remark.
The acting student's mistakes gave me the confirmation of how important finding the proper behavior for the character is; then, it made me understand how crucial it is to perform it as correctly and precisely as possible. Only through behavior can truthfulness be achieved. Only through a fastidious search for precision can perfection be obtained.
Who still prefers to type on a typewriter rather than a keyboard?
Apart from me, that is.