Acting Advice

Before, During and After: A Character Journey


Hi, I’m your host, Ruggero Dalla Santa, and today we’re looking at how a scene is sometimes about a change in the relationship between the characters.

In the last video we looked at how, sometimes, a scene is about a shift in the status between the characters. But relationships are not just about the status, sometimes they’re just about the interaction and how we relate to one another. So sometimes the point of a scene is exactly that, is to show how there’s a break or a change in a relationship.

This can sometimes be very obvious in the text and it can be the main thing that the scene is about, but it can also be something small, something that you can even just add on top of the text to make it seem more interesting for a minor character, for example.

So ask yourself: is this a scene where two characters connect for the first time?

Is it maybe the beginning of a friendship or even something more?

Or is it the opposite? Is it a scene where a lifelong friendship dies or when a character sees his father for the first time as an enemy?

The possibilities are endless, of course. But there is always a certain dynamic in this type of scene that we need to keep in mind: there is always a before, a during, and an after. So before this change in the dynamics; during – so why does that change happen and what brings it about – and then after – what is the aftermath? What is the immediate reaction that the characters have to this change in their relationship? Are both characters aware of this change or is it just one?

The important thing here is don’t just assume that saying the words will do the job for you. You need to take the audience on that emotional journey, they need to really feel what the characters are feeling, they need to really go through that journey with them so that they understand that there has been a change in this relationship.

Have you ever acted in a scene where the relationship between the characters was supposed to change but didn’t quite work? How did you deal with it?

Thank you very much for watching. If you enjoyed this video, please share it with your friends and let me know if you have any topic you’d like me to talk about.

I’ll see you next time.