The Five Questions / by Merlin Huff

The five questions are part of an acting technique derived from the practices of Konstantin Stanislavski, Uta Hagen, Harold Clurman, Cheryl Crawford, Lee Strasberg, and Stella Adler. It has seen many variations over time, but the philosophy remains the same. By answering each of these five questions for your character in your scene in your play, you will have a much stronger idea of who you are and what you want. This is to be used as a tool in finding your role. Answering these questions is not meant to be binding or inflexible. As you work, some answers that you originally found may very well change! Allow answering these questions to be a starting point that helps you begin to work. Check back in with your questions throughout your rehearsal process and make adjustments as necessary.

Over the next few weeks we will be making posts on Instagram (@huffstudios) for each of the 5 Questions. Follow along there or here for a brief overview of this useful acting tool!

Here's the first of the 5: Who Am I?

With the first question, you should answer: who am I? This entails your character's likes and dislikes and point of view. This is all about building subjective point of view for your character -- who is a living breathing person in the play/movie/show. So find things in the script that suggest what they like or dislike. For example: Nora in a Doll's House loves macaroons, and Walter White in Breaking Bad loves his family. On the other hand Nora dislikes condescension and Walter White dislikes insubordination. Make a list for both and find as many things as you can!! When you rehearse these become things you can bump up against. They help create both need and conflict -- great things in a scene.