Comparing the Actors and the Writers Processes of Starting

During that first read of a new play, you, the actor, (hopefully) have no preconceived ideas of what your character will be about or how you will go about creating him. It's a very vulnerable, open time in an actor's creative process. It's a time of taking in, reading the script, digesting the information, and then preparing to respond creatively to what you've read.

After that initial reading of the play, you have feelings and ideas about the character you are about to take on. Creative juices are flowing; the imagination is at work. Starting with some initial impulses, you begin thinking about how you will create your new character.

At the beginning of a new monologue or monologue play, you, the writer, are opening a door for yourself. From the very first lines you write, you are taking yourself somewhere, although you may not be quite sure where yet. The more spontaneous you can allow yourself to be, the more personal and original your work will be.

The outline that you've created can serve as a sort of skeletal script, giving you a sense of direction as to where you might want to go on this journey. The more you can surprise yourself, especially here at the beginning, the more exciting the ride will be, both for you and for the audience.

Both actors and writers begin at a similar point: a place of vulnerability, openness, potential. Anything can happen; the sky's the limit!

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