Do you have an interest in acting? Have you dreamed of becoming a successful actor or actress?
If yes, then today, from this book for you, whose name is Switch on – Switch Off Acting Method, there are many answers to be found. Knowing the techniques given in the book, any person interested in acting and wants to make working his career can make your way more accessible.
This book is written by Virendra Rathore, a well-known voice artist, writer, director, singer, and film producer. He has connected with the silver screen and OTT platform for two decades.
Currently, he is a mentor in all the arts & techniques of filmmaking and has also been honoured with the award of Best Mentor. Today, he also runs a YouTube channel, Join Films, with over 1.9 million subscribers.
The basic mantra of acting is “Know yourself,” which means “Know thy self,” to get this basic mantra, Virendra Rathore ji’s book “Switch on – Switch of Acting Method” is a very good one for learning acting. He has tried explaining the mantra of learning to act and quickly.
The role of Switch On Switch Off is an excellent example of the acting of actor Charlie Chaplin in history. Charlie’s mother worked on the stage; one day, when she fell ill, she sent her son to Charlie because he remembered all the play’s dialogues.
It was a comedy play in which Charlie made the public laugh. Before the show starts, Charlie Chaplin learns that his mother has died. Think of how Charlie would have switched on to dummies in the Time of Grief by switching off the comedies !!! Charlie played this character so much that from here, Charlie became the great actor Charlie Chaplin.
Switch on Switch off acting means you go into emotion in a second and immediately get out of it. It sounds challenging to listen to and do, but if it is practised correctly, then it is very easy. And this is the way the Switch on Switch off method is described in the book. A good performance is the result of an adequately practised practice.
Whoever does 100% of the practice of acting exercise will get 100% results. But, just like if someone sets the radio frequency to 99.1, which means below 100%, the result will not get clean and sound; similarly, by doing some hard work, the 99.5 of the higher frequency setting will not get the result.
So, in this article, we will summarise the book “Switch On Switch Off” and offer a review to help you determine whether or not it is worth reading.
Why read the summary here?
I had this dream of becoming an actor and that led me to act in certain plays in school. Today, I owe my audio and video skills to that acting sessions.
This book has been close to my heart as it deals with everything about acting.
Having a penchant for acting, I have read this book and used certain methods of dialogue delivery in my videos at my YouTube channel – Readers Books Club.
So, the summary you re reading has been used by me personally and hence, you would be getting the best practical advices only in this summary, which is not the case in other blogs/sites.
To explain this book easily, we have told them in 8 parts. And in the end, you will get some such details by which you can bring your Bollywood career on the fast track. So let us understand them in detail.
Part 1: From inside to outside
In acting, it is essential to know that what is being seen by the people outside – your expression, body language, and how you say it- comes from within you. So as an actor, you must pay attention to your inner things, like, your thoughts and feelings – It is essential to understand, know and wake up what you want to reveal.
The actors often need to catch up on the dialogue; they cannot get the emotion from the camera and must remember the lines if the emotion comes. If you do not feel that feeling from inside, it will neither look in the eyes nor be seen on your face nor will your voice or body language. So, it always seems to be an attempt rather than that character.
On the other hand, if you adopt the Switch-on Switch-off Acting technique, you will feel it internally, whether it is a feeling of anger, happiness, or sadness. So it will start appearing in your body language.
Part 2: We are born actors
We are born actors. An actor must first create a successful actor’s mindset, and he needs to believe that he is a born actor. When a newborn child is born, neither he knows any language, does he see any communication language, nor is he judging the relationship. Despite this, he is expressing his emotion. Expressing emotions is the first principle.
When the child starts growing up, he looks around him, the people in his family, and realizes that these people all walk, some speak, some do, and he observes. He lies in his swing in bed, keeps his most minor action, and reacts to it. So what is it doing now? This kid is working on the second principle of acting “observation”.
This child, who is now observing tens of thousands of people, now starts walking on his bed, lying on his bed, trying to get up and speak the words. This child has now come to the third principle.
The author always uses this in his acting class as third principle “Observation – Copy – Performance”, which is the basic mantra of acting – observe, copy, perform.
We all used to act so easily in childhood, so why can’t we do it today? The answer is that when this child grew up a little and acted the same way, the child gets mocked, scolded, and slapped, “What are you doing” and “Are you crazy?” So have grown up, do not act like a child”.
The middle child does not understand what has happened, and he gets the answer to the question that now he has grown up, and older people do not do so just as this intelligence awakens – “Oh! I have grown up. “Just that day, the artist” died “. As age progresses, one hesitates to ask, “What would someone say?” Or people will make fun of him. I must escape from this.
Part 3: Rules for Actors
Rule 1: Accept circumstances and person!
The most important thing in acting is to accept, agree. Unfortunately, consent is unavailable to most ordinary people, but you should have full consent as an actor.
This is very important because, if there is no consent, you will not be able to agree with any character, and because of this, you will not be able to adopt it ultimately.
Second – The critical thing is, in acceptance and adoption, i.e., you may not agree with him in the character he plays, in his thinking, in his religion, in his faith, in his belief, in your personal life. But for an actor to play the character entirely, you must accept all his things; only then will your acting be complete.
You will have to accept 100%; if you do not accept 100%, then you will not believe in the role, to act, then you will feel very uncomfortable and false.
Nowhere in society does one person get the thought of another person, but if you want to become a successful actor, then it is essential that you have acceptance of all people. An actor must be a very good person; without this, he can never become a fantastic actor.
Rule 2: Be a good listener
You have to be a good listener. It is extraordinary what an actor would benefit from listening to, but the basis of acting performance is good listening and acceptance. In everyday life, at home, in the family, and among friends, we all see that no person is willing to listen. All want to keep their point and say their word and get their opinions done.
First, hearing about that character in full detail from writers, directors, or casting directors is very important. Most new actors make mistakes, especially in the auditions; they need to hear more detail about the character played there.
The better the listener, the better his understanding of the character and upbringing will be. In this way, your performance will be very smooth, so it will be straightforward for you to act.
Part 4: Acting preparation
1. Monologue – Read the dialogue loud
Most actors make a mistake here: once they get a monologue or dialogue, they start memorizing. This type of recall is also called flat reading or cold reading. Which is performed in theatres, but both the theatre and the visual medium are separate mediums.
First, read in a loud voice with a monologue or dialogue. Remember, avoid falling into the mind because reading in mind does not make the mistake of speaking the words, does not fumble, and the pronunciation of the phrase is not wrong, so it is important to read aloud twice in the normal style.
Find out the following after reading a monologue or dialogue.
- Who’s speaking? [Character]
- Who is speaking to whom? [Opposite Character]
- Where is speaking? (Location / Location)
- Why is he speaking? (Reason)
- How is he speaking? (Emotion)
1. Do emotional marking
This is a very effective technique. Switch on the Switch of the acting method. You have to do the emotional marking of the dialogue you play. You have to understand the emotion of every line spoken in your dialog and also write it.
The expression changes every 1-2 lines of every dialogue. We change the emotion in every line in the dialogues spoken in common life. This is why the dialogue is the same, but because of the different emotions expressed in it, your style of expressing every line of that same dialogue will change the loudness and fluctuation of your voice.
2. Pause Marking or Comma Marking
Now we have come to step three of performance. We all have a limited capacity for our breath. Somebody’s breath stays for a long time.
Comma or pause marking is important because if we do not do it initially, we will take different positions every time we perform, and our control will not be on our breath. There will be a mess in speaking, which also fades in acting, it is said.
You should do the pose marketing according to yourself, mark where your breath stopped, and find the pose right.
3. Mark the main word – highlight the word
In this way, you have to mark the most important words of every dialogue and give special attention to them while speaking. It means to highlight. Just by filling it so much, your acting will rise above normal and look better.
All stars and superstars make known and unknown use of this technique. The Sholay film is one of the biggest hits in Indian cinema today. This is such a unique film in which all the characters, even if he came into a scene or spoke a dialogue, still managed to give up their identity.
Today Amjad Khan’s payment to Gabbar Singh has proved to be the stone of the mill. His spoken dialogue “KITNE ADMI THE” settled in the hearts of the people. This technique is small, but its effect on performance is very large. Just be careful not to rush. Speaking by remembering dialogue is not the only act.
4. How to recall dialogue instantly!
In the fifth order, it is time to remember the dialog. This method is also very magical. The most important and important rule of this method is not to memorize but to understand and perform emotions.
Remember what you were first forced to remember. Ka Kha Ga, ABCD, and Table of Mathematics, but to date, we have yet to remember the Table of Mathematics completely. Why? Because when we missed the table, it did not have emotions, performance was not fun, so even today, it is not fully remembered. Hence, we need to understand the emotion; then, we will remember everything.
Follow this method to remember; you will remember all your dialogues very soon and will remember them for a long time. In the same way, we remember the songs of the film; we never remember them. Because there are emotions – emotions, you get connected, and that is why they are remembered for years.
5. Get into the character
Whenever you have heard or read about acting from anyone, the most emphasis is on adopting the character you play. Get into that character, forget yourself, but this is the first time anyone has told you how. And for this reason, actors are very confused about how to do this. The simplest solution to this is the next technique – Get into the character (play your character).
Special care is to be taken while practicing this method, you do not have to repeat your dialogue, but rather you have to grumble about your perspective on that event. And he has to say it by speaking, not in his mind.
The situation that is mentioned in the dialogue about that event, that person, when you do this with conscious awareness and awareness, then the emotion of that event will start dominating you and your performance. There will be progress. Whenever you go to an audition, then after your preparation, practice the same until you reach your mark in front of the camera in the audition room.
Part 5: The principles of brain recall
It is very important to understand the human mind in order to remember it in a better and better way. There are three basic principles to remember anything in the human mind:
- Relationship or Attachment – Association
- Imagination – Imagination
- Psychic Philosophy – Visualisation
Association means what kind of relationship you have with character. How much you are able to understand character. How much you are able to relate with character. How much you are able to associate with character. For example, if a word in a language that you do not recognize is spoken in front of you, there is no reaction between you and your brain because you are not able to make a connection with it.
So it becomes very important that if you want to remember what you want to remember for a long time, you have an emotional bond with character. This is very important. You should have an emotional relationship with each spoken character and character’s spoken dialogues.
Imagination – Imagination is also such a tool in our brain that if we use it properly and better, then we can bring magical change in our performance.
Visualization – Visualization – is completely different from Imagination, but sometimes we start to consider it to be the same. In Imagination, you have to imagine what can happen and how you will be related to it. Whereas in visual visualization, you have to visualize your character as if someone is looking at the second one—the only and only payoff of those lines.
To visualize, that is, to watch it while speaking the dialog. Visualize the same characters in front of and around you in the same locations that you’ve been given. While imaging will sometimes come across a lot of things that aren’t directly related to them, the two practices are different and a little related.
Part 6: Observation Technique
Observation is actually a very common activity that we have been doing since childhood. Till now, you will not be able to observe the body language of everyone in acting, and their way of speaking is observant. Have to do it. But there is a very important thing that has never been talked about, and that is facial expressions.
Most people have a problem that they are not able to observe and observe anyone, then they can not perform as they do. Never make the mistake that you are trying to find a strange or different personality. Whatever you see, bring the whole expression of his face to your face, bring his style of speech in you, bring his body language in you.
Part 7: Regular exercise of acting
Actor Must Read – Why?
You will be surprised to know that a common man finishes all his life in 50 to 100 words. Strange! Look at the thinking, how many words are used in your family – friend or friend, or anyone, what they talk about. Most of the words are repeated – like where are you going, why did you take so long, when will you reach – have eaten food – study, etc., etc.
The number of words whose work is going on, he is using just as many words.
For this reason, as soon as he thinks of becoming an actor and reaches Mumbai without preparation, he gets nervous, cannot speak, and fumbles as soon as new words arrive in the auditions. You have to read to increase your vocabulary and understanding.
By the way, you can read anything, novels, literature, and books of drama, anything that will increase both your information and vocabulary. But if you start reading short stories along with it, then you will get benefits soon. Today, no one has much time, so it is easier, and you will be able to do it in less time.
Story Telling Exercise
You can take any story and read it as if you are telling the story. If you read the short story, then you will be able to do it easily every day. It is to be kept in mind that not to be read directly, to be read in storytelling form. Whatever is in the “parenthesis” has to be performed as a dialog because it is the dialogue spoken by that character, and the rest of the lines have to be read in detail.
One of the most important tools of an actor is his voice, and his throw is most important in his voice and camera acting. The voice and its proper use is one such instrument of the actor, due to which that actor becomes better than the rest of the actors. If you look at all the male-female actors in the film industry, then successful and popular is the one whose voice is recognized.
Meaning whether he appears on the screen or on the radio, people immediately recognize him by their voice. There is a special thing in the voice of the person; all that is needed is to cut it to make it better. Amitabh Bachchan’s heavy and loud voice caused his rejections in starting, but today his voice is exemplified. Every sound can be greatly sculpted.
Part 8: Points to keep in mind in camera acting
Knowledge of camera position: The camera is your viewer in camera or visual acting, so it is important for you to take care of camera position and other things.
- Know where the camera (or cameras) are?
- Know what the camera is capturing?
- Know where the other actors and props are located according to the camera.
- How to see – where to put Look?
Thank you, friends; I hope you liked the summary. We have been able to tell you only a few techniques of this book. Through this book, you can understand the rest of the details in detail.
Switch On – Switch Off Acting Method Book Review
Switch On – Switch Off Acting Method is a book made for anyone who wants to learn the traits of this acting industry.
The book in very simple words mentions the techniques and methods that provides effectiveness in ay sort of acting.
However, being very restricted to the acting industry, the common man may not find it very meaningful.
Overall, it is a book that will help the budding aspirants in this acting field.
Our summaries are also available on all Podcast platforms, named “Kitabein” which recently won India’s best educational podcast award. The link is just down below: