Inside the Actor’s Studio (of Constraints)

We know constraints are vital to producing powerful work. We’ve discussed this from the world of gamification. Basketball isn’t fun if there’s no out of bounds and you reset the score when you want. 

I even think constraints are the hidden driver behind Navy SEAL Commander Jocko Willink’s now famous maxim discipline equals freedom. Afterall, doesn’t the freedom he’s referring to emerge from the decidedly structured other parts of life? 

In a recent interview, creative genius Tom Hanks supported this hypothesis when recounting working with a notoriously particular director. Hanks mentioned this director would have every scene planned out, angles measured, and even precise distances between the camera lens and the actors. 

The control was overbearing. 

Hanks recounted one instance where the direct told him he was off his “mark,” which made the lens distance imperfect for the short. They learned he was putting his weight in his left leg instead of his right. Under such intense critique, Hanks assumed that working in such conditions might be stifling. Surprisingly, he found the opposite to be true. 

He went on and on about how the constraints of a moment like that had him acting with his shoulders, the muscle in his face, and a handful of other unexpected ways. Again, the director’s discipline in some areas created remarkable new freedom for Hanks to act creatively. 

Time and time again the power of constraints shows itself to us if we’re paying attention. Don’t you think it’s time to use some for yourself?

The post Inside the Actor’s Studio (of Constraints) appeared first on DEUCE Gym.

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