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© Jeffrey Marcus, 2015 | Site implemented by HEAVE
16th of September

Playing the Paradox


The best acting, like life itself, contains paradoxes, or opposites. Look to nature – inhale/exhale, tide in/tide out, day/night, loud/soft, creation/destruction: for every action, there must be an opposite and equal reaction. As most great actors have always known -using opposites infuses our work with surprise and nuance. Even in loving someone, there may be hate for them (because they now have the ability to hurt us). If you observe people in loving relationships, there is usually a little anger/frustration/cruelty popping in from time to time. In a scene where you want someone’s love, if you find a way to infuse the opposite – you will be hitting every note in the scale. Playing a brave character, look for where there may be fear; when playing with cruelty, look for the compassion. Make sure when you choose your action, to notice places in the scene, or story, where you can play the opposite. It allows for the character to be not just in pursuit of his objective, but also in “process” of making decisions about his goals.

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27th of June

Jeffrey Marcus interview with Corey Parker


I am re-printing an interview that I did with the estimable actor and coach, Corey Parker, with whom I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with at the beginnings of our careers at the Public Theater in NYC.

Corey’s blog is Corey Parker for the Actor

Corey: When did you know that you wanted to be an actor?

Jeffrey: I can’t remember not knowing that I wanted to be an actor, but I do know that where I come from – there was no theater. Even my high school had no theater department. There was a gym teacher, and anything that was remotely artistic was frowned upon. So I was a closeted actor. I remember going up to my room, closing the door, and acting out things. I decided to leave High School early and to do so, I had to go to summer school at Exeter. I auditioned for the play there, which was Spoon River Anthology, the first play I ever auditioned for. There were scores of other kids auditioning, and there were12 or 15 spots. I promised myself that if I got in this play, acting would be my life’s journey. I auditioned and I got a role, and from then on my focus was unwavering.
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