top of page
Book From Tape Gear Guide.jpg

Free Gear Guide!

This 10-Page PDF is loaded with cameras, mics, tripods, lighting kits, backgrounds, mounts, and apps to help you level up your self-tape game on any budget!

Instant Download

Your Download is Ready!

  • Writer's pictureClare Lopez

Translating Notes on Size into Measuring Connection On-Camera

Shift from measuring size -----> FULLNESS

Getting a note of 'Too big' or 'Too small': both are just symptoms of the same thing; a lack of grounded connection to impulse and your need of your scene partner.

This is why I’ve moved away from giving notes about “size” and shifted towards helping actors tap into their fullness. Performances — depending on the framing and given circumstances - might need to be “big” or “small” but neither in or of themselves are inherently problematic when the actor is connected and filling the frame with their authentic thoughts, spontaneity, and impulse.

When an actor performs in Theatre spaces...

If they are good at what they do, they naturally pitch their performance to the space they are in.

It’s why a masterful actor can perform in a 4,000 seat proscenium house as easily as a 50 seat black box theatre. This skill is the exact same one we use on-camera to adjust our framing, proximity, and given circumstances on a film set. What reads, what plays, what is visible to the audience in a theatrical space are the same questions we ask and learn when adjusting our work on set for our wide shots vs our medium closes ups vs close ups.

The note is actually addressing hollow vs full.

When we see “large” performances with a lot of movement or a huge gestural world, that in and of itself isn’t a problem. But what we react to is when we see those “large” choices not grounded or connected to any real need. We, as actors, get the feedback “you are too BIG” when in reality — if we found those same choices in response to a real need, high stakes, and grounded connection to our scene partner — we would never get that feedback of “too big.”

The same applies to the “too small” feedback. If we watch a performance where it’s so subtle it doesn’t look like you are doing anything but it’s not connected to any real thought - to a specific connection to a scene partner — or with any real point of view or need, than we think “ah it’s too small!”

But the truth is that same subtlety of trusting the work and playing the scene but FILLING it with connection to your scene partner — to a real and immediate need, and allowing those thoughts to arrive on impulse — we would never say THAT performance is "too small."

Because if we are doing our jobs right, we are always full. We are always filling the frame with our need — our connection - and our spontaneity. And when we do that, nothing we ever do will ever be too “small” or “big." So the next time you get that feedback, try reframing it into a conversation about your fullness and connection. Because if you can root and ground into that... the big vs small is a non-issue.


#Audition #Technique #Risk #RaiseTheStakes #On-camera #TranslatingTheatreOncamera #ActingTechnique #SelfTape #Feedback

Clare Lopez is an Actress and Director of Education and Outreach at Book From Tape Acting Studios in Orlando, FL. She is deeply passionate about supporting fellow actors in their craft, and loves using storytelling to educate, elevate, and empower others. Email Clare


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page