What Is An Objective In Acting?

what is an objective in acting

The Objective is what a character wants in a scene. 

The first most important thing to think about when preparing a role is the character’s objectives, also often called intentions.

Diving deep into what an objective is

Your objective is what you want to achieve at any given scene.

Often, a beginning actor makes the mistake of walking into a scene without determining an objective or selecting a weak objective.

Stepping into an acting role requires a level of self-awareness and emotional intelligence which is not always easy to find in the modern world.

That’s why acting is one of the most difficult jobs out there.

Actors need to be self-aware, emotionally intelligent, and have a strong sense of self.

In a world that is largely focused on social media and instant gratification, these skills are becoming increasingly rare.

Needs Theme

Explore any popular play or movie genre and you’ll find common “needs” themes.

  • Romance novels often discuss and highlight society’s needs.
  • In common thrillers and other war-themed narratives, security is often a central focus.
  • Detective stories serve many cognitive functions for listeners.
  • Competitive sports and books that deal with high-stakes competition rely on the need for Ultimate Fulfillment.
  • Inspirational stories often focus on the benefits of achieving the highest level of needs.

What is a good actor’s motto?

“No day without a line”

” Practice, Practice, Practice”

and with our vast resources here at Mighty Actor, you’ll have a hard time staying out of the movies! ?

How can you pinpoint an actors Objective in a Movie

  1. Open the Movie
  2. Rewatch some particularly appealing scenes, such as when the protagonist finally achieves a goal or a character’s death.
  3. Make the person who is the most active in the scene your focus.
  4. Ask yourself:
  • What does he/she want?
  • Is this scene interesting to me because the protagonist wants what he or she wants?… This way you will be pinpointing the actor’s objective in that role. 

Types of Objectives in Acting

The Objective, as applied to the performance of an actor, is one of their most important tools because it provides a starting point in the analysis stage for any given scene.

It’s not easy being a movie star. ?

Actors have to be able to portray a wide range of emotions and scenes with just their body and voice.

The objective is one of the many tools that actors use to help them do this.

It tells the actor what they should be trying to accomplish in a given scene, which can help them figure out the best way to go about it.

There are 3 types of objectives; Super Objective, Play and main Objective, and Scene Objective.

1. The Super Objective 

This is what the character wants for his/her life. 

A character’s Super Objective, or what they want out of life, forms much of a character’s identity.

Also, a super-objective is a very useful way to think about the dramatic creations that are happening in real life.

How to identify the Super Objective for your character:

  • The Main Objective should be clear and should drive the story forward. Scene Objectives are more specific objectives that help push the story forward. These need to be determined first! Then,
  • Make note of any personal wishes you have. 
  • Use your dreams and life goals to help you think about the overarching themes or main and scene objectives of your story.
  • And finally, compose a Super Objective Statement that clearly tells you what your end result is.

The Super Objective influences your character’s personality and reputation and the ability to make big decisions.

2. The Main Objective 

The Main Objective, also known as the “through-line for the character” is an important goal a character has, which is what they work towards throughout the play or movie.

The character’s primary need will vary depending on the qualities and circumstances of the character in the story.

The Main objective brings the character from one destination to the next. 

Each person’s needs vary greatly depending on their thoughts and beliefs about their given circumstances. 

The basis for these beliefs and needs is what causes the dramatic conflict in the story.

Make sure that your main objective is built around a specific, critical need.

Also ensure that this need is met with strong scene objectives and supportive behaviors that work together to create action, passion, and urgency.

3. The Scene Objective

Scene objectives might support or conflict with the character’s super objectives.

The Scene Objective is still motivated by the needs of the Super Objective and Main Objective; however, Your main objective may require you to solve one problem before moving on to the next.

If the parameters of your situation change, it’s important that you take care of any emergencies before continuing.

Examples of Main and Scene Objectives for characters in plays and movies

1. To win the battle with honor. __________Need17 Best Acting Schools and Colleges in Los Angeles

2. To do whatever it takes to get him to call me. __________Need 

What motivates Objectives?

In order to create a compelling, interesting scene, stakes should always be present. Without something important on the line, the emotions of the actors won’t be worth observing.

This can be stated as the reason why all drama and comedy are based on conflict.

There are many misconceptions about what drives actors to act.

But the truth is that every person has their own set of motivations that lead them to acting.

Some people are driven by the desire for the fame and fortune that comes with being a movie star, while others might have more altruistic motivations.

It’s important for an actor to know what motivates them so they can find their true North Star which helps them craft their career path.

When you stay focused on the end goal you will think of creative strategies to reach that milestone.

You will push through any challenge and never give up until you eventually come out on top.

Clarity in Objectives 

Do not state your objective as “I want love”, but rather be specific. For example: “I need you to love me”.

To determine your character’s objective start by asking: “If I were this character, what would I want from the other person?”.

You should always have a clear objective for each scene, as this will remain the same throughout.

Clear, active objectives are necessary for creating a fully dimensional and fervently driven character.

Objective statements are always written in the first person, to reflect the character’s point of view.

Your acting skills will always be enriched when you effectively take the risks that surrender your desire to be great and instead play the characters’ desire to win their goal.


The first most important thing to think about when preparing a role is the character’s objectives, also often called intentions.

The Objective, as applied to the performance of an actor, is one of their most important tools because it provides a starting point in the analysis stage for any given scene.

By knowing all that we’ve discussed, you’ll find yourself achieving more, knowing the different types of objectives, importance, and motivating factors in objectives, and you’ll find clarity in your Acting/Performance Arts career.

Leave a comment with your opinion or any questions you may have below…

Scroll to Top