Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Intent to Live, by Larry Moss


Anyone and everyone interested in Theatre as an Actor, Director or Producer MUST OWN THIS BOOK!

I was playing the role of Irma Kronkite in William Hinge's PICNIC at the Palace Theatre in London, Ontario when the director (Don Fleckser) recommended that each of us as cast members find a copy of this book, rent it, read it buy it WHATEVER...just get your hands on this book!  So I did :)

Larry Moss delves a bit into his own life experiences and the steps he's taken to get where he is today.  If you do not know who Larry Moss is - PLEASE view his interview on Youtube in which he talks about his book, "the Intent to Live"

In this book, Moss describes building a character from "the ground up", superobjective and objective (getting what you want), Obstacles & Intention (how you get what you want), Stakes (what is it worth to you), Inner Imagery "the Life Within", Finding your Triggers (Emotions on Demand), Defining and Redefining your character, back story and biography of your character and SO MUCH MORE!

What I have enjoyed most about this book was the lessons Moss teaches between the lines.  In chapter 5, Moss discusses a monologue in Maxwell Anderson's Winterset and describes it as a "vivid and disturbing monologue".  The monologue is actually given in the book however, Moss recommends that any reference used or touched upon to express an opinion, thought or lesson which the reader is unfamiliar with, should (for their own benefit) research it!  There are so many references in this book and his lessons are powerful.  Without researching the actual pieces he quotes, the reader will only get half of the lesson to be learned.

By reading "the Intent to Live", I have become more knowledgeable about playwrights whom I did not know existed, I've learned various approaches to creating characters and working with a script, I've learned how to respect the playwright by using the given facts in a script to create exceptional characters without losing the intentions of the writer, and I now understand that acting is NOT just about being funny and making people laugh and being entertaining - it's about bringing someone else to life and making people feel and care.

"Acting represents all that human beings experience, and if you want it to be 'nice', you will never be a serious communicator of the human experience...You can't stay clean and tidy and be an actor."

Thank-you Larry Moss for the wake-up call.

Now, I'm ready to work!