I’ve been talking in class all week about Motivation. It’s one of those concepts actors can get totally hyped about, but I like to keep it simple.
For me, motivation is as simple as asking WHY? Why does a character do something and what do they want?
I really am a nerd, I like to start with a quote from Sir Isaac Newton, one of the world’s great Smarty Pants.
“An object at rest tends to stay at rest and
an object in motion tends to stay in motion
with the same speed and in the same direction
unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”
In simple terms* Newton is telling us that NOTHING moves without a reason. We scratch, sneeze, fall asleep and fall in love for reasons.
As an acting teacher, I know it’s one of the most important things I have to teach (maybe even the most important); as a person, I know it’s one of the most important things I have to learn. Everything I do, I do for a reason whether I’m aware of the reason or not. When I dig into myself, I can always find out why, even if I don’t like what I find. Once I know something, I can change it.
More importantly, if I want to change anything in my life, I know I need to create or discover a big enough “Why?” With a strong enough reason (Motivation) the “How?” becomes clear. If there’s something in your life you need to change, dig around for a strong enough why. The rest will be a LOT easier.
* Did I mention that I liked to keep things.