The principles of acting come from all the things you do in life.

          subject outline     magic you see     principle

        The modern way to act is to learn all of the principles of acting, then forget that you know them.

        Your choice of material can be unusual and startling, but then you go at the acting obeying all the best principles of acting.

        It all comes from principles, that is the MAGIC you see in acting.

Check-list of principles (not a recipe):

  1. First principle: be audible.
  2. 80% feeling, 20% technique and devices.
  3. Acting can not be absorbed, you have to do it.
  4. Acting is a dream.
  5. Acting is the work of the imagination.
  6. Actor can't pretend things, it has to be emotional experience.
  7. Actor should never make yourself comfortable crossing your legs etc.
  8. All good acting must look like it was never rehearsed at all.
  9. All work has to be hidden. Act with your whole person.
  10. Art of acting is to move the audience not the actor.
  11. Bigger emotions must be more relaxed.
  12. Bully look for coward.
  13. Bury all the work, conceal work.
  14. Can't have people play outside own imaging.
  15. Can't play effect the scene has to have on audience.
  16. Can't think the story, can't think dialogue.
  17. Character can be out of control, actor has to be in control.
  18. Choice best emotion of scene.
  19. Clarity is most important, less acting. Make the character understood and attractive.
  20. Coiled snake is more frightening than one sprung.
  21. Constantly tease audience, what is coming next it's all foreplay, when you get to the f***ing it's over.
  22. Conversation is not a scene.
  23. Do it for the one man who knows.
  24. Doing what to whom?
  25. Don't act dangerous.
  26. Don't be awed by playwright.
  27. Don't be over swayed by emotion.
  28. Don't be too structure, find a way to bury wheel.
  29. Don't cry to get audience to cry.
  30. Don't do complete horror.
  31. Don't do the opposite to humanity.
  32. Don't do the same things over from other parts, every project is new.
  33. Don't do things twice, (if she knells before him once) second time isn't dramatic.
  34. Don't do two things at once.
  35. Don't duplicate, do what caused it.
  36. Don't ever put hands in pocket only to pull gun or play with yourself (sic).
  37. Don't go on a trip of dialogue for past events. Don't play words for value. Stay with objective at present times.
  38. Don't go straight down bowling alley.
  39. Don't have more fun than audience.
  40. Don't listen to director in character.
  41. Don't lock onto other actor's eyeballs.
  42. Don't make a heart breaking speech in a heartbreaking manner.
  43. Don't play line to line.
  44. Don't play surface of play.
  45. Don't play the lines on the page.
  46. Don't put sugar and top of chocolate cake.
  47. Don't reveal everything at once.
  48. Don't shout away in scene.
  49. Don't smile: don't look like you are having more fun than the audience.
  50. Don't try to save the scene.
  51. Don't turn playwrights word into breath. Fill a palace room with voice.
  52. Don't walk over the diamond fields.
  53. Emotion propels.
  54. Emotions (feelings) are separate from thoughts (objective).
  55. Emotions not thoughts.
  56. Everyone has a territory even the dead.
  57. For acting purposes: talk out to someone, not inward because it disappears for the audience. Always talking to someone or something. Talk to yourself in the room.
  58. Foreplay, hold the final act.
  59. Good art is never muddled always focused.
  60. How to be a dangerous person.
  61. Human beings are mysterious, many levels, don't oversimplify things.
  62. If you can't go back to the principle, you can't go back to reality.
  63. If you present reality as reality, it doesn't entertain.
  64. In comedy people can do things together, but not in drama.
  65. In drama don't do things in unison. In comedy you can.
  66. It's got to be completely creditable, otherwise it can't work. It's not possible. What is the story?
  67. Job of actor is to be the character.
  68. Keep hands out of pocket.
  69. Know how to play the game to win.
  70. Learn in movies when to be still.
  71. Learn the principles; then they have to become subliminal in your acting.
  72. Leave talent alone.
  73. Let me tell you something, unless you have magical things or very dramatical things to say don't just sit down, because when you sit down the audience sits down.
  74. Like I said to the Indian, die faster.
  75. Make the emotion big enough to act with.
  76. Must command audience.
  77. Must know principles.
  78. Mystery like comedy has derailment.
  79. My work is story telling. The horror is that there is no horror. A thing should reveal itself slowly.
  80. Never act with a finger.
  81. Never allow it to be over, until it's over.
  82. Never get involved with props for master and close-ups.
  83. Never look for the chair, find it with a leg, then sit.
  84. Never make a comment on your character.
  85. Never play a role in high wispy voice or child like for anything. Only for dumb blonds on game shows.
  86. No muscle tension in an emotion.
  87. No punctuation in speech. No commas, no periods. It is idea to idea. Stop anywhere, but not at a period.
  88. One of the cardinal rules is you stay with one emotion and one objective until something occurs to change it. You don't drift off because of the dialogue. You only change because of new information or a new event.
  89. People disoriented do things disoriented.
  90. Play a psychopath. Insanity: very practical, pick two or three emotions for a period of time, change irrationally.
  91. Play someone insane: Two emotions that has no use in scene. No logic in switching emotions. Audience will assume you're insane. All times unpredictable. Principle of playing insane.
  92. Principle of movement: by itself must tell the story. Who is aggressor? Passionate?
  93. Principle of movies: behavior in story telling.
  94. Principles of painting, also go for acting, use a big brush, let it dribble.
  95. Speak with your body before you speak.
  96. Staging from principles.
  97. Step off diving board, talent will take over.
  98. Story telling, don't take up time with things that don't matter, art of compression.
  99. Telling a story: first you have story by itself in interesting people have to be able to relate.
  100. The audience is suppose to have fun. And we will have fun only if you are more miserable than we are. That is the whole principle of theater.
  101. The content: you must hold something back.
  102. The fundamentals of acting is to not flounder around, but look at the resources of principles. Principles never change. It's not, "I have a great idea".
  103. The horror is there is no horror.
  104. The must scene: where villain is punished.
  105. There are no new stories.
  106. There is also the principle that actors when they play criminals, always try to get arrested.
  107. The strongest man in the world.
  108. Threat - don't suggest evil - start out ordinary.
  109. To have a worthy antagonist.
  110. To know where you are in your journey of telling a story.
  111. Trick: Clinical insanity is how far a person is from sanity. Two emotions.
  112. Use the principle you learned to work with. Those are the tools. Most people learn them but don't apply them.
  113. Villain don't play a villain.
  114. What people want is based on their pride, when choosing an objective.
  115. What the character knows.
  116. What the character wants is always a selfish motive.
  117. What you act is getting over the difficulty.
  118. When you do things like feeling emotion and thinking objective you don't even have to think about doing it. It all becomes subliminal in your acting. Don't be conscious of all the principles of acting once you learn them. Trust your body, your body can do many things for you. Your body remembers.
  119. When in doubt do nothing.
  120. When the behavior is correct, even a deaf audience will understand it.
  121. Where ever possible use sense memory.
  122. You can't eliminate human pride.
  123. You can't play a dangerous person. It can't be done.
  124. Your choice of material can be unusual and startling, but then you go at the acting obeying all the best principles of acting.
  125. You learn the words and forget that you know them.
  1. Choice emotion for drama then go it higher for comedy.
  2. Comedy scene: (Husband) is comic, (wife) is straight man.
  3. Continuous track.
  4. Don't do shtick, do character. (Look for his dignity).
  5. Don't freeze a character to ride a laugh.
  6. Don't go for all laughs, only ones that are important; creditability. Don't try to make it as funny as possible.
  7. Don't sacrifice characters for laughs.
  8. Funny not who throws pie, but funny where pie lands.
  9. George Abbott. All dialogue must be understood in comedy.
  10. Get them to have a relationship. "One makes the pancakes, the other eats them".
  11. Give up a laugh to be credible.
  12. Heighten the words. Simple principle.
  13. If you have to choice between funny or real, choice real.
  14. If you're on the right basic joke you'll accomplish a lot.
  15. In comedy people have to suffer. In farce they really have to suffer.
  16. Joke lands. Two people have to connect. One makes pan cakes, the other eats it.
  17. Laurel and Hardy: driving force gets it done, one has to be driving force, other guy leads into difficulty.
  18. Looking for opposites.
  19. Never sacrifice character for a laugh.
  20. Play comedy one straight man and one funny man.
  21. Principle in comedy: People really have to suffer. Farce: They really have to suffer.
  22. Principle of opposites is the whole basis of comedy.
  23. Principles are what make it funny.
  24. Principles of opposites: the absurdity of things, like the (ice cream and Nicole and Goldman joke.)
  25. Riding the laugh.
  26. Sense of Ridicules. If you can't go back to the principle you can't go back to reality. Strange bedfellows. Human dilemma. Black comedy based on despair. Funny is not enough.
  27. They don't laugh accidentally, they laugh when you want them to laugh. That's the whole principle.
  28. Think off the wall, go outside the nine dots.
  29. Understand the material to make choices.
  30. We will laugh only if person doesn't get hurt.
  31. What are the principles of comedy. Understand the concept. Find the humor, find what is funny.
  32. When a funny interferes with creditability, throw it out.
  33. You can speak softly, if you use resonate.
  34. Your choice of material can be unusual and startling, but then you go at the acting obeying all the best principles of acting.

"In the end, it can't look like acting."