An introduction with Zema Yared
reveals a normal dorm room set when it illuminates. Backstage, Julian raps on the door. When opening it, his scene partner finds him in a stance that looked amusing, interesting, and charming on the other actors. Julian, though, is all stress and outlined options. Julian makes a show of slurring his words as he awkwardly enters the platform, because all drunk people fall over and mumble, right? He makes an extra effort to demonstrate to me that he completed his assignment. He is actually squeezing his hands in an effort to fake anger. He could just as well be performing in silence. He hasn’t listened to anything she’s given him at all, despite occasionally turning to face his scene partner. With strict focus and no thought or connection to the situation, he is giving carefully prepared, manufactured line readings. And a small part of me dies. Julian is not the ordinary actor who lives for himself. A ham, Julian is not. Julian is modest, committed, and sincere. When he is in the classroom, he is consistently totally engaged and listens both with his head and his heart. He goes above and above to show kindness and assistance. He is as eager to encourage a fellow student as he is to assist in moving a cumbersome set piece or solving a sound issue. However, Julian is a poor actor right now on stage, and my heart aches for him.
I give him honest criticism in the most sympathetic way I can, and he is appalled. The issue is that he put so much effort into his preparation and has such a strong desire for success that he is unable to comprehend why he is failing. Acting has no inherent right. A wide variety of descriptive adjectives can be used to describe acting, including precise, knowledgeable, emotionally resonant, transcendent, moving, and evocative.