Here are some TV DRAMA/FILM Scenes to use for practice.
Prior to trying to analyze the scene or take it to a coach for tweaking, it’s important to practice the scene 50 or MORE times. That way, a young actor can make the words their own and connect with the material prior to trying to analyze the material.
The words will tell you what to say and how to say it. So it’s important to practice the words over and over. In fact, there is a very effective acting technique that you can study for three years or more called the Meisner Technique that is very much based on using repetition to connect with the character and the material.
- What is the nature of the material. Is it TV Sitcom, TV Drama, Feature Film, TV Dramedy (Single camera show like “MODERN FAMILY” or “THE MIDDLE”), or is it TV Procedural Drama, etc.? Or is it a YOUTH COMEDY to air on Nickelodeon or Disney? Each genre has it’s own style. Make a choice if it’s not obvious. This material is TV DRAMA/FILM.
- Who are you? Who is your character. What are your unique characteristics, and what is your unique story? Establish WHO YOU ARE! Many time scenes are accompanied with character descriptions. Find the YOU within that description or go a different way if you like. Just make a strong character choice.
- What is the environment? What is the time of year? Are you inside or outside? What is the time of day? What is the atmosphere? Are you in a stadium full of fans, or in the library? Are you in a classroom, or in a home, ESTABLISH THE WHERE.
- Who else in in the scene? And what is your RELATIONSHIP?
- What happened immediately prior to when this scene begins? Also known as the ANTECEDENT. What is the MOMENT BEFORE?
- What is your emotional state as you begin the scene? Are you angry at the other person? Are you irritated with them? Do you love them, do you care about them, do you want to be like them? What is your BEGINNING EMOTION?
- What do you want in this scene? What do you need? What is your intention?
- Establish the WHY of your situation. Why do you WANT what you want? Why do you NEED what you need? Why are you here? Why should we watch?
- What are your obstacles? What keeps you from getting what you want and need? What is causing the conflict in the scene?
- Where are the DISCOVERIES in the scene that causes your character to have an emotional arc? What does your character learn during the scene and how do they change? How do you approach the changes? How does your demeanor change? Do you change what you want and need at this point?
- What is your secret? What is it that the audience knows that the other characters in the scene don’t know. Or maybe the audience doesn’t know, but you have a secret from the others in the scene. What is happening behind the scenes that affects your performance?
- Where is the LOVE? Even if you hate someone, you have to have just one moment where you care about them a little. Remember the conflict has to be three dimensional, so play the love just a little, or a lot, depending on the scene.
- Most importantly, WHAT IS THE SCENE ABOUT? Make a simple choice about what your scene is about. If you don’t know what it’s about, then it’s hard to perform it.
Here are some scenes to choose from. Try to find a new scene per week and “make it your own!”
Dramatic Scenes for KIDS, 12 and under:
DRAMATIC SCENES FOR PRE-TEENS/TEENS:
Enjoy the practice, ACTING IS A BLAST!
All the best,