Entrances and Dropped Lines

The way an actor says a line is important. Actors who enter a scene loud and high will have nowhere else to go. Great scene build instead of falling.

If, however, an actor is dropping the ends of their lines, this can wear down the audience. Downward inflections can be corrected by visualizing ellipsis in place of printed punctuations.

Film Direction Notes Essential Elements of the StageGuiding the Actor

To properly guide an actor, let him or her know the part should be played in a different way by telling him what the character feels or how the character acts, not what the actor is doing wrong.

Did your actor freeze on stage? Encouragement, rather than scolding, is the best tool for correction. If the actor decides that you are to blame and publicly abuses use, stay calm and break the rehearsal for a few minutes to let tensions calm down. You do not need to express your anger in the same way. It can make you look foolish.

Happy Accidents and Great Moments

Some of the best moments in a performance cannot be planned. If a mistake occurs and it seems to work, keep it in. It may also be wise to not correct a mistake that works well so you don’t risk never getting that same moment back.

Variations cannot always be repeated. If you have good actors who know how to portray real characters, there will always be variations between performances. This is where the director needs to step back and not micromanage everyone’s performance.

Holding the Audience

Long scene changes can make for an uncomfortable audience. If your change takes more than half a minute, bring the house lights up to half. It will be a short, pleasant distraction.


Criticism can be difficult to take, but is a necessary part of the industry. Maintain a level head for you and your actors in the face of sharp criticism.