“There are musicians who practice all the time but we actors are not able to do that. We don't have an instrument, except if you say we are our own instrument, and yet I always try to continue searching and working for the moment where you have to deliver.” - Michel Piccoli.
I had a meeting with a filmmaker this week who asked me to read from a script which had been handed to me during the meeting. The only chance I got to look at it was there and then, a quick scroll down the pages while the filmmaker was watching me. Then I got up to read. At the end of each reading she asked me to do it again in a different way and this went on for four or fives readings. Before the first time I read it, I simply selected an objective for myself to accomplish in the scene (or more precisely, I gave myself an action within which is embedded an objective), and upon the subsequent readings, I simply adjusted my action in order to meet the new demands made upon me by the director, and was, as a result, able to deliver the goods, much to the delight of the filmmaker, and I left the meeting stronger for being able to respond fully when under pressure. And this is why I use the objective as my first principle in acting, it provides me with a mode of thinking that is entirely under my control, and if I produce results, I know how I did it and why, it was not a fluke. There is plenty that isn't under the actor's control in his working life, so at the very least let him find a concrete technique that makes sense to him and brings his work under his control.
I would go one step further, and say the actor should employ the objective in his everyday life as well as in his work. If the objective can get you out of trouble when under imaginary circumstances, thenthe objective can get you out of trouble when the circumstances are real. When analysing a script, we identify the superobjective, and all the little objectives which need to be accomplished along the way. Well, do the same in life. We humans are complex creatures, we mustn't let our mood or the way we feel entice us away from our goals, for not only will this prevent us from accomplishing our goals, but we will only regret the time wasted once our mood has passed. By using the objective in our everyday life, we can stay on track, or if we do stray, we can get ourselves back on track quickly. Crucially, having a clear objective enables us to think correctly when under enormous pressure.
And finally of course, by applying the objective in our life, we will be exercising our acting muscle every moment of every day, therefore making it stronger, and ensuring we will be ready when the call comes.