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The 9 Questions of Intentional Acting

March 04, 2015

9 Questions of Intentional Acting
By Loren Chadima, Acting Coach

Have you ever walked out of an audition thinking you nailed it, but didn’t get even get a call back? You think that you had asked all the right questions of the script, but later realized perhaps you missed some important clues.

Like a computer, if we give our mind a question our mind will produce an answer. The key for an actor is to ask the questions that elicit the most active, personal, and dynamic choice for the scene. The problem is that many actors don’t ask the right questions and the answers they get satisfy their minds, but don’t engage their experiences of being human.

The nine questions of Intentional Acting are the acting principles found in all major acting techniques: Intention or Objective, Motivation, The Event of the Scene, Stakes, Connection, Using Personal History & Substitution. With Intentional Acting, however, these principles are formed into questions that will trigger the actor to make immediate experiential choices.

The questions are also put in a specific order, designed to build on one another in a sequential order. This results in a repeatable technique that creates consistent, personal, engaging and spontaneous performances. The Intentional Acting questions can also be a highly effective and a practical tool for evaluating auditions and performances.

Here, then, are the 9 questions:
  1. What is the scene about?
  2. What is the experience of the scene?
  3. How do I relate to the experience of the scene?
  4. What do I need the other person to feel or do? (Intention)
  5. Why do I have to get my intention, right now? (Motivation)
  6. What am I listening for?
  7. What is at stake if I don’t get what I need?
  8. Who am I focusing on to get my need? Who’s the Most Important Person in the scene?
  9. How do I make my performance personal? How do use this script to benefit me?
Acting should be simple.

But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Our mind and our inner critic want us to think that we have to do more, but that’s just not true. Think about it – when you’re in the “Zone” isn’t it simple, easy? Doesn’t it feel like freedom?

With that in mind, my mission with Intentional Acting is to empower actors with the tools to create compelling, natural “Zone” performances. These tools will help the actor to be confident, creative, present and passionate which then gets the actor the job, which then fulfills their dreams.