Doings? What are you going to Do?

April 13th, 2011

Okay, you guys, what I hear a lot in class is when my students say, “I knew you were going to call me on that. I was just standing there.” Well, they were right. They did get called on it!

When in life do we ‘just stand there’ and do nothing? Something is usually going on. Something is always spinning in that mind of ours. We are texting, playing video games, cooking, folding clothes, in front of a computer, or Ipads or something.

Like right now, I’m typing this very article fast (doing), because I know that Mia Moore (one of my students, but she donates her time to do the eblasts for the studio) is going to contact me soon if I don’t get this to her pretty soon! I’m sweating, but determined to get this to you.

This particular doing (typing) and situation is creating great URGENCY for me.:-) If someone were filming me right now, it would be a lot more interesting that watching me just talk and stand in one place.  Do you get it?

Use the ‘doings’ in your work to tell the story. Doings also make you appear and feel more human, and also help you to relax.  Let see what the online dictionary says about Doings.  It says, “Activities that go on everyday.”  Mmnnn … I like that. 

I want you to study yourself for a week and write down some of the ‘doings (activities)’ that you do.  An example might be eating, preparation of your food, brushing or combing your hair, tying your shoestrings, knitting (Yes, I know some 20 year olds who knit!), getting dressed and so forth.

I need to mention an example of a young lady named Kimberly Floyd, an outstanding and gifted actor who put up a scene in class called ‘The Dark At The Top of The Stairs’ by William Inge. She had the ‘doing’ of snapping peas. She was a bit upset with her husband in the scene who was portrayed by Bertram Mayweather.  The scene from the piece was so intense I was on the edge of my seat. I watched her delicate hands snap the peas in a way that was memorable. It was memorable to me and so many others because she told a story before our eyes with the snapping of the peas.  She snapped them like she was filled with disgust when the character or her husband came home (he, the character, did some pretty bad things), although she wasn’t even speaking at that moment. 

Why is it, 10 years later I’m still thinking about this.   It’s because her work (as well as Bertram’s – he had other doings that we would need to discuss at another time perhaps) was brilliant  and she used her doings to move the story along and allowed us to see her as a human being who has feelings. She connected with the humanity in the character. Everything she did had a reason. I honestly don’t think the scene would have had the same impact without the different doings that she and both her partner had throughout the scene.

 So, go for it … create … use those ‘Doings’ in your work as an actor!

 To Brilliance!


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