A tangent: teaching acting. If I were setting up an acting curriculum, I would have students spend the first semester watching the following video and trying to reproduce it themselves. Watch:
I'd have students pay particular attention to the older brother -- how he clearly went from laughing to surprise at how much it hurt to the realization that it was hurting A LOT - and then back to neutral again when his attention is drawn to the TV! It seems to me that this is the foundation of all great acting: portraying clearly on one's face and in one's body the changing thoughts and emotions of a character. Then I would have students spend time paying attention to the baby -- the pure joy that goes across his face.
Sounds easy, right? I mean, how much time would this take for students to accomplish? Well, watch some attempts, and compare them to the original:
It's not easy. But it is crucial to acting. If you watch one of the first scenes of The Godfather, you will see what I mean. When a petitioner whispers a request into Marlon Brando's ear, you can watch every word he says appear on Brando's face. Just like the kid in the YouTube video. To me, this is the essence of acting, whether tragedy or comedy. Work on this first, before you start getting scenes from plays to work on -- just focus on thinking thoughts and expressing them clearly and with commitment. Once you have experienced that, then you might start doing scenes.