Deadpan. It's really hard. (look)
No, but really. Today in comedy class, we experimented with deadpan techniques on comedic monologues that we performed during the previous class period. It seems so easy because it's just making every line delivery simple, spare, and pure. But I think we discovered how difficult it is to deliver a line without any inflection or emotion. It's almost ghostly the way some of us delivered our lines.
It's also about your focus, specifically your eyes. I think deadpan borrows a lot from the restoration time period with the tactic of an 'aside'. You deliver a line and then take a look to the side, with a completely serious face. The aside has to have some kind of subtext within it for it to be funny. For example, if you say "I am thrilled to be here." (look) (as if to say: Yeah. Right.) You also have to face the battle of being neutral, but also having energy. That was a big battle for most of us today. How do you have energy without giving inflection or emotion in your line delivery and without seeming wistful and ghostly?
I'm definitely interested in learning more about this technique. I can see why this is a graduate level excercise because it's essentially like reversing everything we've had installed in us for the last three years. It's going against everything you've been taught are correct techniques of acting.
Anyways, that's all I have to say for right now. I just had to speak about the new experience I had today.