Objective (Character’s Objective) – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Acting Glossary Terms

I. What is an Objective in Acting?

In acting, an objective refers to the character’s goal or intention in a scene or throughout the entire play. It is what the character wants to achieve or accomplish, and it is what drives their actions and decisions. The objective is essential for actors to understand because it helps them bring depth and authenticity to their performance. Without a clear objective, a character may come across as flat or uninteresting to the audience.

II. How Do Actors Determine Their Character’s Objective?

Actors determine their character’s objective by analyzing the script and the character’s motivations, desires, and relationships with other characters. They ask themselves questions such as: What does my character want in this scene? What is motivating my character to act this way? What obstacles are preventing my character from achieving their goal? By delving into these questions, actors can uncover their character’s objective and bring it to life in their performance.

III. Why is Understanding the Character’s Objective Important for an Actor?

Understanding the character’s objective is crucial for an actor because it gives them a clear direction and purpose in their performance. It helps them make specific choices about how their character will behave, speak, and interact with others. By knowing their character’s objective, actors can create a more nuanced and believable portrayal that resonates with the audience. Additionally, understanding the character’s objective allows actors to connect emotionally with their character and fully immerse themselves in the role.

IV. How Does the Character’s Objective Drive the Plot?

The character’s objective is closely tied to the plot of the play or scene. It is what propels the action forward and creates conflict and tension. As the character pursues their objective, they encounter obstacles and challenges that they must overcome. These obstacles drive the plot and create dramatic tension that keeps the audience engaged. The character’s objective ultimately shapes the outcome of the story and influences the other characters and events in the play.

V. How Can Actors Convey Their Character’s Objective to the Audience?

Actors can convey their character’s objective to the audience through their physicality, vocal inflections, and emotional expressions. They can use body language, gestures, and facial expressions to communicate their character’s desires and intentions. Additionally, actors can use their voice to convey the urgency, passion, or determination behind their character’s objective. By fully embodying their character’s objective, actors can make it clear to the audience what their character wants and why it is important to them.

VI. What Are Some Common Mistakes Actors Make When Portraying Their Character’s Objective?

One common mistake actors make when portraying their character’s objective is being too obvious or on-the-nose. Instead of subtly conveying their character’s desires, they may telegraph their intentions too clearly, which can come across as unnatural or forced. Another mistake is not fully committing to their character’s objective, resulting in a lackluster or unconvincing performance. Actors must fully immerse themselves in their character’s objective and make bold choices to bring it to life on stage. Additionally, some actors may focus too much on their own objectives and not enough on how their character’s objective fits into the larger story or the relationships with other characters. It is essential for actors to strike a balance between their character’s personal goals and the overall objectives of the play to create a cohesive and compelling performance.