The Difference Between Impersonation and Acting

Spacious Acting™

There is an ongoing debate among actors as to whether it is better to start with externals and move to internals, or vice versa.

It doesn’t really matter where you start, as long as you approach the internal aspect in an “organic” way.  Whatever triggers that for you is fine, if it works.

Years ago, Paul Muni and Laurence Olivier were among the best actors of their generations, and both began with externals.  “What sort of nose does my character have?”  Truthfully, they fall a bit short as actors by current standards.  Their approach seems like artifice to today’s audience.

Meryl Streep has received criticism throughout her career for paying meticulous attention to hair color, accent, etc., the implication being that it is all about externals for her.  The thing which keeps some people from feeling warm and fuzzy about her is probably more a function of the characters she…

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