Be compelling.

A successful acting teacher tells his actors to ‘Be compelling.’

I don’t know what that means.

In acting class I’ll have an actor get up and wait for a bus. Then, I’ll say, ‘OK, do it again, but this time be compelling.’

Usually you see a stunned look on their face and hear the other actors kind of squirm or giggle.

If she tries it, all you can see is someone awkward, lost and uncomfortable. Definitely not someone waiting for a bus which is what the scene called for.

If you’re not going to try and ‘be compelling’ then what are you going to do?   

The tried and true --
Play the situation as you would; mean what you say; like what you’re doing; let us see you; pick simple and playable actions; give dignity to the character; be professional; do your best.

Doing most of that will make you compelling.

You can’t play an idea nor an outcome; but you can do something.