How to Enter a Scene – Three Entrances Exercise – Uta Hagen

Today I’m gonna take a look at
an exercise that acting teacher Uta Hagen gave to her students. It’s called the
“three entrances” exercise and it’s very helpful for getting your character
grounded and getting you as an actor grounded before you make any entrance
onto stage. We’ll talk more about that after the bump. Hi, diddly ho! I am Doug Fahl, your
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Uta Hagen was a prolific acting teacher. She’s written a couple books and one of
them is called “Respect for Acting”. I highly recommend this book if you
haven’t read it. It’s a prolific acting book that every actor should read. I have
a link down in the description below if you don’t want to have to go searching
for it yourself. In this book Uta Hagen runs through a series of exercises to
help ground the actor in their role and one of these exercises is called the
“three entrances”. Basically, it allows you to define very specifically what your
character is doing before they come on stage. Actors often have that nervous
energy before they make an entrance and they’re thinking about their lines and
what they’re gonna do and that’s kind of the wrong approach to take whenever
you’re giving…whenever you’re walking on stage. Because when you walk on stage, you’re just entering. You’re just doing a stage direction and you’re going right
into your first line without any sort of clear objective. Uta asks her students
to answer three questions about any entrance they do. So number one is “where
did I come from?” What was I doing before? Number two “What am I doing right now as
I enter the room?” And number three… “What is the first objective I need to
accomplish when I go in there?” Why am i going into the room? If you just have
those three questions answered, it will change your approach to any entrance and
it will give you a very specific thing to play. So let’s say you have a scene.
You’re entering into a kitchen. Let’s answer those three questions. Number one:
Where have they been? They just got up. They didn’t get a good night’s sleep.
They’re really really tired and they are late for work. Number two: They’re coming
through the door, they stub their toe. Three: They are going straight for the
coffee because they got to wake themselves up and that’s just their fuel
for the day. All right now let’s say the character
has been up. They had a good night’s sleep. They just came from the bathroom
where they brushed their teeth. As they’re entering the room, they are tasting the
toothpaste on the roof of their mouth and enjoying the mint flavor and their
first objective when they go there is to find the newspaper. Where is my paper? Your character just got home from a
laborious day at work. They’re very stressed and they’re really glad to be
home. As they’re going through the door they’re thinking about a client that
they had to make a difficult phone call to and their first objective when
they come into the room is to sit down. Oh, God! I’m sitting. I’m sitting Each of those entrances had a
different energy, a different intensity. Now, obviously, you want to choose the
answers to these questions that kind of fit the direction of the show and if you
have lines involved you’re gonna want to be able to deliver those the way
you intend to. Your character goes offstage ain one scene and comes on in the
next. What did they do right before they came on? What were they thinking or doing
on their way in and what was their reason for going into the room? If it’s
going in to say something to somebody suddenly, that’s great! If it’s going in
with the intention that no one’s gonna be in the room and then there’s suddenly
a character there, that’s something totally different. So play around with
answering those three questions and you’ll find that your entrances are more
meaningful…more expressive, and that you can easily change the mood of your
performance by changing the answers to those questions. Remember you can pick up
a copy of the Uta Hagen book down below. And if you’re wanting to spend
some money to we have Augmented Actor t-shirts. They are available at the
Augmented Actor site on the merch tab. And I’d love to see everyone in town and
across the world wearing them, so please go check them out. As always, there’s
videos around you galore. Remember to subscribe, like, share and comment on this
video. Do all those things and you’re helping me out. I hope to see you here
next time. Love your face. Bye!

1 Comment

  1. What's your most memorable entrance into a scene?

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