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Gear Changes in your acting

Air Date: 2/17/2022

Gear Changes in your acting


When you drive a stick shift car (do we still have those?), there is a sequence that has to be completed when you go from 1st gear to second. Push the clutch down, shift the stick, release the clutch, and add gas simultaneously. There is a similar process that is often overlooked when you are acting. Let’s talk about the gear changes you can use when playing a part. Weather it’s for an audition for film and tv or stage, gear changes can really drive the character…see what I did just there? Find out more on this episode of Casting Actors Cast!

Definition of gear changes

1. A change in how a new thought can be delivered by the character

2. Emotional, physical, mental shift in any given moment

3. A method by which the actor can raise the stakes in a scene

Ways to change gears

1. Vocal Pitch

2. Energy Pace

3. Emotional Pause

How to use gear changes

1. Analyze the punctuation for signs of new thoughts

2. Apply one or more of the ways to see if it makes sense

3. Investigate if the gear changes feel right for the circumstance

The gear changes you incorporate into a scene, whether it’s for TV, Film or Stage, must make sense for the character and for the scene’s overall structure. Sometimes using these methods when working on a script can help you understanding on how a character should be played. More often than not, the right change of gears in any scene can provide spontaneous interesting insights into the behavior of the character you are playing. Allowing an external structure like gear changes into the work allows for more creative choices and provides much needed confidence

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