I’m quoting below from Edward Murch’s book IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE. I’m not going to add much, if anything, to Murch, but I’m including it as one of my Tips & Thoughts because of the specific and singular nature of his point.
A blink isn’t much.
Yet, Murch takes this act and elaborates up and out from it. See here how he correlates the blink to acting.
So, if an actor is successful at projecting himself into the emotions and thoughts of a character, his blinks will naturally and spontaneously occur at the point that the character’s blinks would have occurred in real life.
One of the things about unsuccessful acting is that the actor’s blinks seem to come at the “wrong” times. Although you may not notice this consciously, the rhythm of the actor’s blinks don’t match the rhythm of thoughts you would expect from the character he is playing.
To my mind, it highlights the importance of seeing how parts make up the thing. How, as an actor, you need to find the bits making up the whole. This pulling out, identifying and elaborating on parts is a hallmark of being a professional.
We want to appreciate how in acting, art, culture, nature and life there is an endless myriad of tiny and miniscule aspects to all things and events and your identifying and naming them is a wonderful life-time pursuit. It is the making of order of what seems at first an overwhelming mountain.
We grow by steps; not by trying to run up the whole mountain every day. Rather, those steps get us nearer to the top of the mountain. Flatlands, rolling hills, forests, foothills, slope, face, and on and up.
The great Haida artist Bill Reid does the same thing as you see from this excerpt from Doris Shadbolt’s book BILL REID.
He (Reid) tells a story of a recent trip to Paris during which he undertook a fellow-Canadian’s first introduction to the Louvre. Somehow under his guidance they managed to bypass most of the standard masterpieces, but found themselves spending hours in a room containing a box, the work of the famed Russian virtuoso Faberge, that boasted a miraculously crafted hinge which for them outshone all the other attractions. When asked what they had experienced at the Louvre, their response was, “We saw a hinge.”
Everything is in the detail.