The Actor and Director Relationship:
Hi guys and welcome to the Acting Classes In Perth blog. In this session “The Actor and Director Relationship”.
The relationship between an actor and director is a very important one. A bad relationship can result in a bad show or production. Both the actor and the director need to maintain a good working relationship. In a perfect world every actor would get on well with every director they work with, unfortunately some people just get along better together and others seem not to. The important thing to remember is that you will be spending a great deal of time together, so a little patience and compassion can make the whole process much more enjoyable.
There are lots of different types of directors. I’m sure you’ve heard of directors being described as puppet masters controlling their puppets (their actors). Although that might have been true a while ago, nowadays is it generally more of collaboration. You will still find directors who like to tell you exactly what to do but many like you to bring ideas to the table and then they will sort through what works and what doesn’t. A director’s job is to steer the production or film to where they want it to be. They will already have an idea of the characters they want and the type of people they want to play these characters. Some directors will want you to act the character the way they have imagined them whilst others are happy for you to create your own. When you are rehearsing with a director try to understand the way they work so that you can work well with them. As you get more experience you will learn what type of a director you prefer. You may find you like the structure of someone who tells you exactly what they want from you or perhaps you prefer the freedom of a director who lets you experiment and then gives you a few directions now and then. Even if you don’t like the way a director is directing it’s important to remember that they have the final say; so stay polite and professional and focus on the fact that you can learn something from everyone.
Often when a director is giving you feedback they will only tell you the bad notes. This doesn’t mean you are not doing anything right; directors have a lot on their mind and a lot to do so they might not have time to tell you everything they love about your performance. If you are really worried about how you are going and whether the director is happy with you, just talk to them when they have a free moment. In a good director and actor relationship the director will be able to get the most out of their actor and the actor will feel secure enough to push past their comfort zone. In this relationship there is room for disagreement and conflict. The relationship should be professional; there should be mutual understanding and respect for one another. It is in this type of relationship that you will enjoy working. Anne Bogart, a famous theatre director said, “You cannot create results. You can only create conditions in which something might happen.” By cultivating a good actor-director relationship you are creating the opportunity for something spectacular to happen, and hopefully it will.
I hope that helps. Until next time, stay safe and as always – happy acting.