Using the Lines

Using the Lines

Using the Lines, Acting, Fear of Acting, Voice And SpeechBear one thing in mind – for every line of text, there is a Subtext. If your character is supposed to says, “It’s raining,” the subtext or underlying meaning can be:

  1. The plants will grow very well
  2. Going outdoors won’t be possible
  3. Walking in the rain is such fun
  4. The barbecue will have to move indoors

Strictly speaking, no actor should speak a line before discovering the reason for saying it. The subtext or the underlying meaning will influence what words in the dialogue you lay stress on. The subtext will also influence the way your body moves. You must deliver your lines without ever taking your mind off the subtext.

The subtext at times can be compared to an undercurrent because it can even be in opposition to the words. You must have experienced this type of subtext in your own life too. An often-cited instance is when you ask someone how he is and he replies with a ‘fine.’ However, do you really know just how fine he actually is? Many a times the subtext doesn’t even agree with the words making it more interesting that way.

How do you know the person who said they were doing okay, is in fact not okay at all?
You can tell by the unconscious changes in their body, voice, and mental process that relate to how they are really feeling. This person may say one thing with his mouth but his body movements, vocal tone, etc. that tell a different truth is the subtext here.

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