January 21, 2013
An important lesson in acting and marketing
I'm cursed, I see design and marketing everywhere.
Recently I was watching a clip from the film Glengarry Glen Ross in which Alec Baldwin plays the role of a particularly abusive, unscrupulous salesman. The scene is spellbinding and it got me interested in how he played the role of such an intense character so believably.
Which led me to an episode of Inside The Actors Studio in which Alec Baldwin mentions a pivotal lesson he learned from one of his acting coaches, Mira Rostova.
Forward the show to minute 7:30 and you will hear Baldwin discuss how he learned to play such a role. In part he says, Rostova taught him how not to dominate the other actors in a scene or to attempt to make his characters seem invincible. "...That's the death of acting," he explains. "And you see that all young actors, a lot of them, they do that. They think that acting is to have a kind of intensity that is an artificial intensity and to have a kind of domination, sublimation schematic to the scene that is the death of all scene work."
It occurs to me that acting has some substantive similarities to marketing — and that the same point Baldwin can be applied to both. An artificial sense of intensity is also the death of marketing. When you attempt to infuse your message with a level of artificial intensity, it ceases to be believable. That, to me, is very wise and important insight on acting and marketing.