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Four Resources Available to Actors – Part 3: IMAGINATION

I’d like to preface this installation with a quote by Albert Einstein before I elaborate on the lesson.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

I know that knowledge is power and it is certainly an important part of any research any actor may need or use. But our imagination can literally take us anywhere, into the mind and soul of another’s psyche. It leads us to our dreams. Not to mention its vastly mysterious function.

The greatest gift we have ever been given is the gift of imagination. Within the magical inner realm is the capacity to create anything at all. Simply imagine it and it can be so. Thus this lesson on using your vast imagination to create the life of another living being in our work.

I am sure I tell actors every week to use their imagination in their scene work. That’s why actors are paid large sums of money, to use their vivid imaginations to conjure up delightful histories and back stories for their characters. We use a technique in my curriculum called the “as if” or “magic if”. What if I were this person? What would I do? Where would I be? How could I bring to life the desires and goals of this individual?

Where parts 1 and 2 of this four part series cover and explore using one’s own life in the work, this lesson is purely imagined. The actors in my recent Master Talent Teacher videos, Joey and Nicole, have been given a scene with characters that have physical abilities and disabilities very different from their own. Therefore, in addition to being on task for their research and finding the truth about these characters through observation, who are both mentally challenged and hard of hearing, I have asked them to imagine what their interactions would be like “as if” they had these conditions. They have demonstrated beautifully the life of the characters by allowing themselves to slip into their own imagination and let it take over.

Without your imagination, the process of creativity is halted. You have this enormous power within you. It is virtually an unlimited power and it has been given to you as your birthright. So let’s put this gift to work every time we work. It is crucial or you to know how compelling it can be.

Remember, everything originates from something akin to your imagination. You cannot touch, taste, hear, see or smell without it. Imagination has no boundaries. These fanciful imaginings always percolate within you. You get to use it in any way your choose. Once the actor surrenders to his or her imagination, you have reinforced the life of the character you are playing. Simply let go and the nonexistent character on the page unfolds with ease and grace in your performances and comes to life under your healthy commitment to it through your imagination.

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