For 7 years I have been trying to understand what makes a great scene, what makes a great performance and essentially what makes a great actor.
What is an actor? Well, the dictionary definition of an actor is this:
A: one who acts in a play, movie, television show, etc.
B: one who behaves as if acting a part
So, we’re clear on what you are, right? Good!
Now, my research is not whimsical or born out of any self indulgent self righteousness, it is born out of a desire to make actors better, for me to be better able to direct actors and to get the best out of them. It has taken 7 years to fully develop this technique.
I have delivered classes in LA, London & Manchester; I would talk about INTENTION to actors and they couldn’t quite grasp what I meant, all of them, 100% of them. I needed to be able to create a process, a technique that enabled actors to understand what I was trying get them to do and essentially BE. I introduced it in my Manchester classes in November 2018 and the results were immediate and pretty fantastic, actors were transformed.
I too often have seen actors be degraded, humiliated and invalidated by imbeciles who have failed in their own craft and want to see others fail. Actors are a beacon of light, they bring truth to the World, they are artist’s and I believe the artist will change the World.
Now, I will make a bold statement – This new technique that I have developed and proved works on countless occasions will be denounced, degraded and will be dragged through the mud….. “HOW DARE HE SIMPLIFY THINGS FOR AN ACTOR TO HELP THEM FLY”.
This is my INTENTION for you, to help you fly.
Give no opinion until you have experienced for yourself that IT WORKS!
Actors often get too hung up on the words on the page, the script, the scene, and are all to eager to get the lines delivered. The words are secondary, THE INTENTION IS PARAMOUNT. Granted the words on the page enable us to understand in language what is actually going on, the INTENTION is what you feel. Tell someone you love them and really mean it, you feel it, right? Tell someone you hate them and really mean it, you feel it, right? Words are being communicated, its the INTENTION you feel, its the INTENTION that makes you feel loved or hated, right? Think about a time some one has told you they love you, how did it make you feel?
The Inspire technique has an element of repeating an INTENTION but is by no means similar to Sanford Meisner’s Technique. It differs completely.
EVERY Actor, 100% who have experienced and applied The Inspire Technique have had their ability and performances transformed (their own admission). That’s a pretty impressive statistic right?
BELOW 8 CASE STUDIES – ACTORS WHO HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH THE INSPIRE TECHNIQUE SINCE NOVEMBER 2018:
I know for a fact it’s down to the Intention.
For me a scene without intention is acting but without a real connection to the scene and the actor(s) you’re working with, and from experience the viewer doesn’t really feel a an emotional connection to the scene or the characters.
The key to it is establishing a strong, simple intention for your character. As I’ve seen, the language we use to create a powerful intention is key.
The technique is simple but so effective and for an actor it’s a such an empowering way to not just act out the scene but become the scene and get totally immersed in it.
This has been demonstrated every time I’ve performed in a scene with an intention and watched other scenes. The difference it makes is undeniable. Having the same scene but having a different intention changes the performance and emotion every time and it’s backed up by the audience reaction.
To have a strong intention is to be able to embody a character and be totally involved in the emotion. We say a film or series is amazing when we the audience feel the emotion of the characters and feel part of the scene and for me as an actor I genuinely believe that with the right intention you can’t fail to make that connection with the audience.
Also the great thing about establishing a strong intention is that you aren’t taken away from the scene, trying to remember the lines, you become the emotion of the piece so the dialogue just seems to naturally flow.
I think that if this technique was used at an early stage in actors development, by drama teachers at school, it would inspire so many young actors with real potential, who maybe aren’t sure about drama school, that actually they can act with real passion and go confidently to any audition and give a memorable and emotional performance.
I honestly feel this new technique is extremely useful. As an actor I usually use actions and objectives, but having a full intention to focus on feels stronger and like I have a firmer ‘want’ for the character.
I also feel the extra moments between the text just come instinctively and when I have the intention I am more creative with those choices between the text but without having to plan or think about it.
It makes the character feel more alive away from the script. The repetition definitely establishes the connection with the scene partner so the intention is there right from the start rather than having to find it at the beginning of the scene.
Your intention is the core of what is going on with that character. It can be how they feel at that moment – I am devastated, I am in love with you, I’m sorry. Or it can be what they want the other person to do – don’t touch me, admit you’re lying.
Or some other ‘truth’ of the situation they’re in – I cheated on you first, you lied to me. Whatever the intention is, make the language you use reflect the strongest version of that feeling or intent. Try to keep it simple.
Having the intention clear in your mind before the scene starts gives you purpose and shows the intention before anyone has said a line because it affects your body language and demeanour. It gives the scene a purpose and brings it to life.
It stops you from overthinking what ‘should’ happen on each line and frees you up to focus on the other person and just let the scene happen. From watching other people use the technique it seems to produce a much more natural and meaningful performance and a much more interesting scene.
For me what I learnt is how important the intention actually is! As long as you have a powerful intention – that is short and straight to the point (without any over complications) and how even the use of language- so how an intention is worded- the dramatic effect that it can have is incredible!
It gave me a better understanding of using a strong intention to direct/focus the mind – you inhabit that intention with your whole being – it makes the scene more powerful.
Working on a potentially awkward/uncomfortable scene. Having a living ‘INTENTION’ to think about and in favour become alive. It cuts out the bull shit in your head: your judgemental self feeding you negativity, that’s not useful. Also, the nonsense you may have ‘discovered’ which will not better the scene, in any way because at the end of the day, knowing and thinking of what you had for breakfast that morning or what your favourite colour is, isn’t how human beings function.
Having a strong intention gives you the permission to go the extreme, to execute what the scene needs to have an emotional impact on the audience, and tell the story which is what an actors job is!
Side note: it’s also really interesting to observe actors using their intention to manipulate the words on the page.
You are a genius Michael!!
This technique strips the acting method right back and keeps things pure and simple; one intention. In the past, I have over complicated my thought process but the simple instruction of just having one intention brings clarity and truth to a character portrayal. It was a pleasure to watch the performances on Tues, there was a complete transformation from all the actors involved, in some cases, even before the dialogue began. And what was also fascinating was this intention can completely change an audiences empathy/sympathy with a character as well as bringing about a power shift in the relationships between characters
Once The Inspire Technique is applied magic happens! All “acting” fades away, you simply become the character. When an intention is applied to a script the words become insignificant, you Instantly evolve into a believable character and emotion is revealed in its purest form. The Inspire Technique gives the gift of truth to a performance.
THE INSPIRE TECHNIQUE is the creation of MICHAEL KEOGH. Any replication/duplication of this technique outside of THE INSPIRE ACTORS STUDIO UK classes or workshops at an un-authorised location will result in legal action being taken against individuals, companies or entities who attempt to use or promote the technique as their own. A copyright process is currently underway to safeguard the intellectual property.