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Donnie Darko, Acting Teacher

Uta Hagen says “The reason for movement is destination”. I’ve never seen a better visualization of this idea than this clip from Donnie Darko. Keep your eyes on the ectoplasm that comes out of Donnie’s father, then his sister, then Donnie himself. Take it away, Jake (the first 80 seconds are the relevant portion):

The video actually goes a step further than Uta Hagen does, by visually suggesting, with the ectoplasm, a connection between Donnie’s core (I would have placed the origin of the stream of ectoplasm a bit lower, around the belly, the film has it coming out of the solar plexus) and the place outside himself where he is headed next. The core is the seat of the “underlying objective” or driving need which is the source of the actor’s vitality. And in the moment that an actor who is in touch with that vitality identifies a point in space to which he NEEDS to move, his presence expands visibly, the space between him and his destination appears to “filled” with this vitality. It’s what the Chinese were talking about with “Chi”. Ok, I’m going to stop there, before I start to sound whacky.

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2018-02-26T21:51:56+00:00