This week we are looking at Uta Hagen exercises. Uta Hagen was a Tony Award winning actor and a beloved teacher at New York’s Herbert Berghof Studio. She has written many best-selling books which outline her popular technique emphasizing realism and truth above all else; “substitution” (or “transference”) encourages actors to substitute their own experiences and emotional recollections for the given circumstances of a scene.

Acting Challenge

Choose a script with any role you would like to play and answer Uta Hagen’s 9 questions for character preparation. Share your preparation and a self tape of you playing the role in the tribe group. You can ask someone to read in for the other roles, or just leave a gap if there is no-one available.

1.  WHO AM I?
(All the details about your character including name, age, address, relatives, likes,
dislikes, hobbies, career, description of physical traits, opinions, beliefs, religion,
education, origins, enemies, loved ones, sociological influences, etc.)

2.  WHAT TIME IS IT?
(Century, season, year, day, minute, significance of time)

3.  WHERE AM I?
(Country, city, neighbourhood, home, room, area of room)

4.  WHAT SURROUNDS ME?
(Animate and inanimate objects-complete details of environment)

5.  WHAT ARE THE GIVEN CIRCUMSTANCES?
(Past, present, future and all of the events)

6.  WHAT IS MY RELATIONSHIP?
(Relation to total events, other characters, and to things)

7.  WHAT DO I WANT?
(Character’s need.  The immediate and main objective)

8.  WHAT IS IN MY WAY?
(The obstacles which prevent character from getting his/her need)

9.  WHAT DO I DO TO GET WHAT I WANT?
(The action: physical and verbal, also-action verbs)

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LESSON AUDIO

Business challenge

How reliable are you? As an actor we may have to suddenly drop all of our plans to go for a casting or if we get a role. How adaptable and changeable are you? How can you be more reliable?