Over the years, I have heard many directors, teachers, and casting directors instruct actors to ‘bring more colour’ to their performances in auditions and on screen. Though we as actors think we have some kind of understanding of what this generalised direction may mean, are we certain we’re on the right track? The most important aspect of taking direction is in being able to translate generalities into specific, doable activity.
Bringing colour may be as simple as adding range to one’s voice or including more movement, but this would seem to directly contradict the “less is more” instructions actors run into far too often. To turn this into specific action, we require a common and specific vocabulary.