Understanding the Actor’s Objectives

By Darryl Green

  • An Acting Coach Speaks:

    Understanding the Actor’s Objective

    Why you should always make your objective strong and personal

    (Arranged by AM Staff)

    (Photo: Tacina Lee/Unsplash)

    Most actors know what an objective is. It is what one character wants from another character.

    For example:

    “I want her to like me.”

    “I want him to kiss me.”

    To me, however, the commonly understood definition is not complete. The word “objective”, in fact, has become a fuzzy word for many actors because of an incomplete definition.

    In my workshops I see actors not making the objective strong and personal enough to be really effective.

    This is because many actors fail to define their objective as an ardent, fiery, burning, passionate desire to achieve a particular end.

    The missing question is, what is really wanted? Further, why does someone want the stated objective?

    The answer to both is: Because attaining the objective will do something for the person. For example, an actor wants to get a role because landing that role will satisfy something personal for the actor; it may give him or her a feeling of pride, validation, or even money.

    Define your character’s objective as an ardent, fiery, burning, passionate desire to achieve a particular end

    Therefore, the conclusion to a completely worded objective is: Receiving the personal rewards that come after reaching the goal. Those rewards are personal because they satisfy the need that made the personal goal the objective in the first place.

    In the above example, if he kisses her, she will feel that she is desirable. That is the reward that motivates going after the objective because it is personal. People do things to be happy, satisfy a need or to comply with a hidden agenda.

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