As a Theatre Directing student I spend a lot of time with actors. Witnessing actors attempting to master their craft and improve upon their acting is a regular occurrence for me. But what if the desire to “act” actually clouds the actor’s judgement? What if the best thing an actor could do was to forget about “acting” all together?

On Sunday 30th November I had the pleasure of shadowing theatre and film director Angus Wilkinson on the second day of his weekend long workshop “Acting techniques for Film.”

Angus started the session with the “letter” exercise, were each actor had to repeat a sequence of eight movements (look up, walk to letter, pick up letter, sit down, read letter, stand up, put letter down, walk away) whilst avoiding any sort of “acting”.

I was intrigued and nervous.

With Angus’ encouragement I participated with the rest of the group and quickly realised how difficult it was not to layer any “acting” on top of the task.