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The Eric Morris process, which has been modified and improved by Kathy Laughlin, is a process of acting that is basically broken down by Eric Morris into three major categories, "the Business, the Instrument, and the Craft." 

 

The following is a brief overview of the Instrument portion of the process.  Although Eric Morris lists the process as Business, Instrument, and Craft, Kathy has changed the order to: the Instrument, the Craft, and the Business.  Here is the first in the series.

THE BUSINESS

Just what it implies:  Pictures, resumes, agents, casting directors, business contacts, etc. The bridge between the workshop and the sound stage. The first thing you need to know about the business, is that it is the last thing you need to know.

If you are not a trained, professional actor, then you should not pursue the business side of the business.

Once you become a professionally trained actor, then, and only then, should you venture into the business.

THE INSTRUMENT

You, your body, your intellect, your emotions and your voice. Your instrument must be tuned (like a guitar or any fine instrument, piano, violin, french horn or any other fine instrument) and ready to play.  To prepare your instrument, you must first relax, sensitize, and do a personal inventory to determine your "being state".  After determining your "being state" (where you are physically, emotionally and intellectually) you can do some additional instrumental exercises to get you where you are and help you to find out where the character needs to be to fulfill the obligations of the scene.
 

You begin by asking yourself "How do I feel?" Fill in the blank with your moment-to-moment impulses.

THE CRAFT

Exercises and techniques that help you create realities. A process that you can use to affect yourself the way the character in the material is affected. A process to help tune your instrument and keep it tuned.

Craft falls into three areas:  Obligations, Choices and Choice Approaches.

Obligations, Choices and Choice Approaches are pure craft.

 

Obligation: The obligation in a scene (and there are many - Eric defined 7 - Kathy has increased that number to 10) is that which you want to feel or reach. It is the emotional life of the character. These are the elements that the playwright has stated as the realities of the material. You use your five senses (Touch or Tactile, Smell or Olfactory, Taste or Gustatory, Sight or Visual, Sound or Auditory) to make the obligations real and personal to you. (Some advanced actors use a 6th sense which will be discussed in more advanced lessons.)

 

Choice: An object that the actor chooses that will stimulate the experience and fulfill the obligations. Person, Place or Thing - Includes: odors, sounds, music, weather, etc.

 

Choice Approach:  The tool that the actor uses to create the choice.  Tools used to create the proper response or make the actors response real.

 

Please keep in mind that this brief summary will mean nothing without reading the books, involving yourself in Kathy’s or Eric's workshop, and physically, sensorially, and spiritually doing the exercises.

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