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What is discussion?

It’s what human beings do to both make things and develop thinking. 

There are two basic kinds of discussion. One: to make a plan to do something. Two: to move the thinking forward on a particular question.

One is practical and the other is ideological.

The first kind of discussion should produce a plan for action. For instance, if you need to build a fence than the discussion will focus on finding solutions for the particular problems that arise while building that fence. These discussions have concrete goals. 

These are the discussions you have with directors while trying to solve problems that arise while shooting a scene. Those discussions have an immediate aim and that is to solve the problem in front of you so you can shoot the scene.

The other form of discussion doesn’t lead to a concrete plan but rather develops thinking on questions. When you discuss acting questions with your peers or acting coach that is the discussion of ideas. Even if there is a particular topic being discussed the aim isn’t necessarily to come up with the answer.

What you do come up with is more light having been shed on the idea in question. These discussions of ideas carry on the age-old human tradition of sharing and developing thinking. 

If you begin a discussion and your mind is confused, the resulting discussion often clears the confusion and creates order in your mind. You feel better afterwards. 

In both instances of discussion there is no argument. 

Arguing and discussing are different. In a discussion no one is trying to win, because there is no competition. The subject under discussion takes precedence over the individual’s narrow or petty aim. 

A director barking at you from video village is not a discussion. You complaining in the actor’s bar isn’t discussion. A casting director telling you to do it faster isn’t discussion. You demanding something self-serving isn’t discussion.

When you discuss with others using your mind and the gift of language you will always give rise to something of note – something new..

The best actors all know how to discuss. 

The practice of proper discussion – whether solving a problem or developing an idea – will help your brain develop and serve you to be a better actor.