“Do you know anything about the Quakers? The Quaker religion? I went to this Quaker wedding once, and it was fantastic. What they do is, the couple comes in and they kneel down in front of the whole congregation and they just stare at each other and nobody says a word unless they feel that God moves them to speak or say something. And then after an hour or so of just staring at each other, they’re married.” — Jesse (played by Ethan Hawke) to Celine (played by Julie Delpy) in the film Before Sunrise

“An ounce of behavior is worth a pound of words.” -Sanford Meisner

Actors and directors (for rehearsal)…

After the scene ends, resist the temptation to fill the empty silence by talking or commenting on it. Especially if you have nothing meaningful or impactful to say.

Be like the Quakers. Wait for it. And if nothing comes, trust yourself to just do the scene again.

More often than not, the actors just need reps. Like an athlete, they’re warming up. So the best thing the director can do (or actors working privately in scene study) is just go again. And again. And again.

Eventually through sheer repetition, you might just find the magic.

P.S. – Speaking of repetition.

One thought on “Repetition

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