The thing.

Always be going to the thing.

A joke can be a useful lesson to you as an actor because it always goes to a punch line. That’s the thing. 

In scenes the character is always going to one thing. You can call it the objective or what you need. If there is a transition then that thing changes. Be clear what the thing is. You can’t play until you’re clear on what you’re doing.

It’s usually something singular and simple.

In the movies business we often think a thing is something, but that doesn’t mean it is what it is. You should find out what the thing is; not what you think it is.

If a producer says he’d really like you to be in the movie that doesn’t mean you are. They often say things like that because they can. Signing a contract means you are in the movie. 

Develop your ability to define things and analyze things. 

Not knowing what a thing is leads to confusion.