Acting : What do actors want and dialogue by Kyle LIttle

Kyle LIttle

What do actors want and dialogue

Hey actors, sort of weird questions, but as a general, what do y'all like in scripts(from an "actors" view) and do you guys like long dialogue scenes? Do you hate them? Do you prefer physicality in acting?

As a wannabe writer/director, I'm curious what constitutes an "actors screenplay"

Karen "Kay" Ross

Fantastic question! I love dialogue where there is a clear/unique approach, but what the characters saying is indirect (i.e. gives room for subtext) - just like our minds fill in the gaps between still frames to create motion, so too do our minds fill in the meaning between what is being said and what is being done. Definitely don't include the menutia of physicality, we can determine that with our directors during blocking. I feel like I want to use an example, but I haven't one. Let me see what I can find!

Kyle LIttle

Beautiful reply!

Kyle LIttle

Sam l Jackson said once "always be thinking of something, while delivering actions, because the audience can see it" something like that(I butchered it, but what you said about filling in the mental gaps reminds me of that. Do you think actors read a little to much these days instead of trying to "think" as the character perhaps?

Steve James

Emotion before action. Watching a character come to a decision can be just as electrifying as a car chase!

Beatrice Wong

personally for me, from experience, I prefer scripts with lots of stage directions so I get a sense of where the scene is heading or how to play a certain emotion/ character. I don't mind long dialogues and I like dialogues where the characters can really connect with each other.

I also find it helpful to get what the character is about as this helps me to get an idea of how to play the character.

Sara Dee

Oh Kyle, I've been so inspired by your question I wrote 2000 words on how actors read screenplays and how sometimes they get 'tripped up' by bad stage directions. I put It In The Screenwriting Lounge here.

I called it "ACTOR FRIENDLY SCREENPLAYS : We Don't Thump Tables, We Get Angry". I don't know if I should post the whole lot here for you as well. Let me know if you can't find it and I will.

I've mentored a few writers, offering my opinion as an actor reading their work as they progressed, and they've gone on to be commissioned writers so my opinion has reaped favourable results. I've saved the document on my desktop too so I have it to hand. Great exploration into the annoyances I hear actors talk of and agree with too.Thanks for the inspiration to put it all down, at last. Again, let me know if you don't find the article on the Screenwriters Lounge.

Karen "Kay" Ross

Sara Dee You can copy and paste the link to the post in the comments. Do you know where to find the link?

Kyle LIttle

Sara see, what a beautiful reply!! Thank you so much for the help and the fact you wrote the article inspires me, I figure that's the reason a platform like this exist, I found it on your lounge post :) and hell yes I'll be reading, and your insights are dead on, I mean why wouldn't you want a screenplay actors love and I'm starting to believe it my be one of the most important fractions of a script, after all it's you lovely actors that are going puppet the characters and shape everything they do, you're really the main instrument, and if a writer didn't care for these things, I think it would run against the technique of going to acting classes to inform your writing. So yeah very cool, I think too, that I might, much rather actors to love my script before producers and executives, at least I know then it's emotionally tangible, which is the whole point of cinema, to pull people emotionally and lastly I thing even from a business perspective, if a high level actor loves your script, could be a foot in right there, anywho I'm off to read the shit out of your wonderful post! I'm sure I'll learn a bunch! Thank you!!!!

Sara Dee

Thank you Kyle. Your question inspired me and gave me free reign to say what was important. I agree, a good actor liking your script would indeed be a fabulous attachment to have and may indeed open the flood gates to further interest and finance. I'll keep plugging away with my career and if I get to a high enough 'attracts-bums-on-seat' stage to complement your work, send me a script xx

Sara Dee

Thank you Karen, I've edited the post to incorporate the link. Really appreciate your support there.

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