The Technique of Inner Action: The Soul of a Performer's Work
This book focuses on the inner work of a performer. It takes up where Stanislavski's study of inner work left off and then expands inner action into a comprehensive discipline for developing an inner technique as precise and concrete as those use to develop external skills like voice and movement. Bill Bruehl argues that authentic emotions are expressed when performers focus on the internal aspirations of their character and on the flow of actions in the play. Mastery of inner action allows a performer to interpret a character with clarity, maximize creative potential, and insure authentic expression of emotion and spontaneity in performance.
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The skilled actor preparing Lady Macbeth does not go on stage saying, "I want to
go on stage motivated to do anger." Yes, she does have to come to know in a
rational and analytical way that her character is angry at some given moment, but
There is anger in Merrick in this beat as well as sadness, but the self-satisfaction
he accuses Treves of is not something Merrick finds in himself. In beat 2 I would
choose to scold gently out of a love mixed with anger. I can hear somebody ...
[and] we share the agitation of those who appear to be truly agitated— the anger
of those who appear to be truly angry."24 Plutarch also gives us the example of
the Roman tragedian Aesop, who got so carried away playing Atreus's anger ...