the salon:collective http://thesaloncollective.org Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:08:18 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 Can’t get sad? Get angry! http://thesaloncollective.org/cant-get-sad-get-angry/ http://thesaloncollective.org/cant-get-sad-get-angry/#respond Wed, 25 Oct 2017 17:54:44 +0000 http://thesaloncollective.org/?p=8409 The post Can’t get sad? Get angry! appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>

Can’t Get Sad? Get Angry instead!

Finding sadness hard in a scene, or your training? Then why not work for rage instead?

All emotions are linked; they don’t exist as different solar systems, as we like to think. Once you feel one emotion fully, it’s is much easier to jump between them. You’ll have experienced this before. In life you’ve laughed so hard, you found yourself crying, or perhaps the opposite. Anger is a refusal to accept that you’ve actually been hurt by something, so underneath anger you will always find sadness. The angrier you get, the more you rage against what has hurt you, the stronger (and easier to simply drop into) the sadness will become. After some time and practice you should find sadness much easier to find in your acting, and you won’t need to rage in order to get it, but it’s a simple and effective route if you are struggling.

The salon:collective offers training and professional development for actors, tailored to the needs of the industry, through its programme of acting (Meisner-based), movement and voice classes in London.

The post Can’t get sad? Get angry! appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>
http://thesaloncollective.org/cant-get-sad-get-angry/feed/ 0
How Batman can improve your acting http://thesaloncollective.org/how-batman-can-improve-your-acting/ http://thesaloncollective.org/how-batman-can-improve-your-acting/#respond Tue, 24 Oct 2017 14:54:16 +0000 http://thesaloncollective.org/?p=8404 The post How Batman can improve your acting appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>

How Batman can improve your acting (or why Actioning doesn’t work)

Actioning is a commonly taught Stanislavski principle that doesn’t work as effectively as people seem to want actors to believe. The principle is that in order to prepare a role and develop a character, the actor should pick a transitive verb – to threaten, to coax, to flirt – to assign to each line of dialogue. The actor works through the whole script making these choices. Here’s the problem: how are you going to be truthful and in the moment, if you’re constantly trying to remember what you decided to do on each line you say? And also, if you’re working with an actor who changes their ‘action’, your response may not be appropriate to that moment anymore. Last time they ‘pleaded’ with you, and you decided to ‘forgive’, but another time they ‘intimidate’ on that line: are you going to ‘forgive’ again? It doesn’t make any sense and the audience will see two mismatched actors not dealing with the reality of the situation. Some acting tutors often say that the actioning work is just a process, and it can be forgotten later on. But then that’s a waste of a rehearsal period. It’s more useful to accept that planning every moment drains the life out of the scene, and instead accumulate a bunch of ‘actions’ you think your character may use in their life, which you then use in the moment as needed. We prefer to call these ‘tactics’.
In life, you don’t plan how to get what you want. You may have an idea, but you often abort the plan because the behaviour, attitude or words that come at you are unexpected. You adapt in the moment, and change your tactics. You can pick a range of tactics you think your character may have, and wear them more as a utility belt.
Batman has his toys which he stashes in his utility belt before he gets into the Batmobile and zooms off to Gotham City. He often doesn’t know what villain or situation he about to meet. He uses what he has brought with him and sometimes (more often than not) has to improvise in the moment. So, basically, actors should be more like Batman.

The salon:collective offers training and professional development for actors, tailored to the needs of the industry, through its programme of acting (Meisner-based), movement and voice classes in London.

The post How Batman can improve your acting appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>
http://thesaloncollective.org/how-batman-can-improve-your-acting/feed/ 0
Hanging out on the beach can make you a better actor http://thesaloncollective.org/hanging-out-on-the-beach/ http://thesaloncollective.org/hanging-out-on-the-beach/#respond Sun, 15 Oct 2017 14:32:40 +0000 http://thesaloncollective.org/?p=8393 The post Hanging out on the beach can make you a better actor appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>

Hanging out on the beach can make you a better actor

Picture this. You’re on a sun lounger, with a book in your hands. The distant sound of a motorboat humming out at sea, the gentle lapping of the waves hitting the shore; sometimes it’s a tiny clap of a wave but occasionally a stronger flush of foam breaks loudly on the sand. Sometimes the current turns and the waves get larger and stronger, energetic with violence, louder to the ear and the spray hits you in the face. And other times, it’s a milder lap, like a dog yawning mid-snooze.
This is how your feelings work. Often actors feel they have missed the moment, the impulse. The emotion hits and you failed to ride the wave. The moment has gone, and it will never come back. Don’t give up hope, another one will come along. Emotion is like waves, and as inevitable as it is that a wave reaches the shore, your feelings work the same way. Wait. Have faith. Another one will be making its way to you. It won’t be the same one as before, since all waves are different too. The moment has passed, now onto the new one.
And remember, size isn’t everything. The gentlest lapping of a wave on the sand can be as evocative as a large swell of foam on a rock. Basically, don’t panic, be patient.

The salon:collective offers training and professional development for actors, tailored to the needs of the industry, through its programme of acting (Meisner-based), movement and voice classes in London.

The post Hanging out on the beach can make you a better actor appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>
http://thesaloncollective.org/hanging-out-on-the-beach/feed/ 0
Perfection is being messy http://thesaloncollective.org/perfection-is-being-messy/ http://thesaloncollective.org/perfection-is-being-messy/#respond Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:02:16 +0000 http://thesaloncollective.org/?p=8309 The post Perfection is being messy appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>

Perfection is being messy

Wanting to be perfect as an actor, to nail the character, and play the scene well, is our aim. A perfect scene, though, requires you to actually embrace your lack of perfection. Failing to be perfect is human. Do you actually believe that people can attain perfection? And if they did, would that make good theatre or TV? Would a writer spend their time writing perfect people, living perfect lives perfectly? So, before you wrap yourself up in an obsession with wanting to play your part perfectly, remember that no one will identify with a perfect character. Even Superman has his flaws. If he didn’t, would we be so engaged in him as a character? An audience wants to see flaws and failings, as much as they want to see beauty and soul. Think about this when you start to screw things up in a scene, stumble on your words, fumble a prop, forget your cue. We all stumble on words, drop things and find ourselves at a loss for something to say. If you can embrace these moments and make a moment that the character is also going through, you’ll most likely hear that your “mistake” was one of the moments the friend in the audience, or the reviewer, liked the most, because it reminded them that the artifice in front of them was actually real. They were seeing a flawed human being, and therefore a truthful one.

The salon:collective offers training and professional development for actors, tailored to the needs of the industry, through its programme of acting (Meisner-based), movement and voice classes in London.

The post Perfection is being messy appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>
http://thesaloncollective.org/perfection-is-being-messy/feed/ 0
Don’t kill the emotion by playing it http://thesaloncollective.org/dont-kill-emotion-playing/ http://thesaloncollective.org/dont-kill-emotion-playing/#respond Mon, 11 Sep 2017 13:08:03 +0000 http://thesaloncollective.org/?p=8298 The post Don’t kill the emotion by playing it appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>

How not to kill the emotion by playing it

Actors are petrified of the stage direction: ‘S/he falls into floods of tears’. The outcome has been prescribed by the writer, and the actor is thrown immediately into doubt: ‘Will I be able to have that emotion on cue?’ It is hard to get out of the endgaming mindset, since as actors we know how the scene ends – but the character doesn’t know. We’re also told to react in a certain way, or move on a certain line, by our directors. So, somehow we need to find a position similar to that of the character, who doesn’t know what they’re doing until they do it, and sometimes even then they’re not quite sure why they responded that way.

In life, we don’t know how a moment is going to turn out. We certainly don’t know that we’ll fall into floods of tears when our partner says, ‘It’s over’. And we often find ourselves doing something in the moment and are not quite sure why we’re doing it. Meisner would edit all stage directions out of his text, except for practical ones like ‘he picks up the telephone’, or ‘he leaves the room’. He identified that more interesting responses could come out of this way of working; that being told how to do something or feel about something at a specific point in the text is not helpful. In fact, if you are able to kid yourself into not anticipating a result, but working off your scene partner and the situation, you may just find that the moment will hit you. Worrying about an emotion and trying to make it happen, will put you in your head, and remove you from the circumstances of the scene. And as a parting thought, surely if you’re feeling sad in the moment that is enough, the physical floods of tears are actually cosmetic, and not necessary.

The salon:collective offers training and professional development for actors, tailored to the needs of the industry, through its programme of acting (Meisner-based), movement and voice classes in London.

The post Don’t kill the emotion by playing it appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>
http://thesaloncollective.org/dont-kill-emotion-playing/feed/ 0
Where does emotion come from? http://thesaloncollective.org/where-does-emotion-come-from/ http://thesaloncollective.org/where-does-emotion-come-from/#respond Wed, 30 Aug 2017 12:59:28 +0000 http://thesaloncollective.org/?p=8293 The post Where does emotion come from? appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>

Where does emotion come from?

Emotion is not a means to an end, it’s part of cause and effect. To prepare anger, you can’t think about anger as a thing that exists by itself. It is not a state to create, but a state to find yourself in. So rather than thinking about being angry, start with finding something that means a lot to you. For example, if you have a dog that you love a lot, you can have any kind of emotional feeling based around the dog. Imagine someone kicking him in the park, and you’ll feel angry. Imagine having to put him down, and you’ll instantly feel a lump in your throat. Imagine him seeing your partner after a month’s absence, and you’ll feel a warm glow inside. Emotion comes from our connection to those people and those things that are important to us in our lives. Spend time connecting to the love and excitement you have for your family, friends, or your aspirations for your career, and then add the idea of things going wrong with them, or being let down, or achieving something amazing, like that casting for the next Scorsese movie, or your partner getting that dream job in San Francisco.

The salon:collective offers training and professional development for actors, tailored to the needs of the industry, through its programme of acting (Meisner-based), movement and voice classes in London.

The post Where does emotion come from? appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>
http://thesaloncollective.org/where-does-emotion-come-from/feed/ 0
B&Q, colour charts and the three core emotions http://thesaloncollective.org/three-core-emotions/ http://thesaloncollective.org/three-core-emotions/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 13:15:32 +0000 http://thesaloncollective.org/?p=8272 The post B&Q, colour charts and the three core emotions appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>

Meet the three core emotions

In the paint section of B&Q there are hundreds upon hundreds of colours on wall charts with fancy names: African Earth, Bombay Sunset, Phoenix  dream, Fresh Tomato. All of these basically mean ‘red’. There are only three main primary colours: red, blue and yellow. When these are mixed we get green, orange, and purple. When these secondary colours are mixed, we get thousands of variations. Emotions work in a similar way. The primary emotions are mad, sad and glad. Mix these together and you might get more complex feelings such as frustration, disdain, astonishment, and shame. Frustration can be a mixture of mad and sad. Add an adjective to frustration – bewildered frustration, and you may have to add a bit of glad to the mix. Keep your work as simple as a fine artist mixing colours, or a musician with basic scales, or a baker making a cake, and allow it to be as simple as mad, sad and glad. Complexity comes from simplicity. Is fear also an emotion, you may ask? Yes, but it is an emotion about the future, not the moment. We don’t need to train anxiety and fear into our work. We are full of anxiety and fear already and it often sabotages, rather than supports, our work as actors.

The salon:collective offers training and professional development for actors, tailored to the needs of the industry, through its programme of acting (Meisner-based), movement and voice classes in London.

The post B&Q, colour charts and the three core emotions appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>
http://thesaloncollective.org/three-core-emotions/feed/ 0
How to find the emotion http://thesaloncollective.org/how-to-find-the-emotion/ http://thesaloncollective.org/how-to-find-the-emotion/#respond Mon, 14 Aug 2017 12:36:31 +0000 http://thesaloncollective.org/?p=8187 The post How to find the emotion appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>

How to find the emotion as an actor

Emotion is a terrible Achilles heel for the actor. Feeling under pressure to produce an emotion is often the very reason why that emotion fails to happen. When an actor reads the stage direction, ‘She falls to the floor and weeps uncontrollably’, panic sets in. Rather than concentrate on finding the journey to a state that would help that sadness occur, the actor often tries to prepare the destination. A goal-orientated attitude to emotional preparation is only encouraging anxiety, adrenalin, forced feelings and self-doubt. In life we don’t prepare to cry before something happens to make us cry. When (or if!) your partner confesses to an affair, you might well be having a nice time listening to some music, or watching a movie. The moment happens to you, and that is where the emotion comes from. A vital part of the Meisner Technique is identifying which moment to emotionally prepare. Developing a faith in your ability to feel strong emotion (after all, you are human), will remove the fear when you are asked by a director to reach a specific emotion in a scene.

The salon:collective offers training and professional development for actors, tailored to the needs of the industry, through its programme of acting (Meisner-based), movement and voice classes in London.

The post How to find the emotion appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>
http://thesaloncollective.org/how-to-find-the-emotion/feed/ 0
How Tesco can make you a better actor http://thesaloncollective.org/tesco-can-make-better-actor/ http://thesaloncollective.org/tesco-can-make-better-actor/#respond Sun, 06 Aug 2017 22:05:01 +0000 http://thesaloncollective.org/?p=8134 The post How Tesco can make you a better actor appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>

How Tesco can make you a better actor: Repetition without repeating

Repetition can be used all the time. There is a point where the need to repeat simply disappears. A Meisner actor doesn’t have to repeat lines back to their partner in order to practice repetition. A Meisner actor responds to what comes at them (and what doesn’t come at them). That may be another actor’s behaviour, the content of the line, the environment, their imagination. Our performance is to be gained not solely from ourselves but from what is outside of us too. Try going to your local supermarket, or coffee shop, and wait for your server to inevitably say, ‘How are you?’ (something they are usually required to do). Take a moment to connect to your feeling in that moment, and tell them. No need for a complete confession, just a simple ‘Not having a good day, actually’, or ‘I’m really tired’, or ‘Actually I’m feeling really happy today, thanks.’ Now wait to see how they respond. This can feel even more awkward than sharing your feeling. Stick with it. They may raise an eyebrow and continue scanning your items in silence, or they might share something back. Whether you feel like you’ve had a positive or negative encounter, you will have felt something, because it cost you something. This is how acting should feel, and you get to practice this every day. Oh, and if they don’t ask how you are, ask them – and mean it.

The salon:collective offers training and professional development for actors, tailored to the needs of the industry, through its programme of acting (Meisner-based), movement and voice classes in London.

The post How Tesco can make you a better actor appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>
http://thesaloncollective.org/tesco-can-make-better-actor/feed/ 0
How to use the Repetition Exercise in rehearsals http://thesaloncollective.org/use-repetition-exercise-rehearsals/ http://thesaloncollective.org/use-repetition-exercise-rehearsals/#respond Mon, 31 Jul 2017 11:21:18 +0000 http://thesaloncollective.org/?p=8087 The post How to use the Repetition Exercise in rehearsals appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>

Repetition can be brought into the rehearsal room, by asking scene partners to repeat lines back to one another. This can blow all assumptions about how those lines ought to be said out of the water. It can also help you find deeper and more meaningful connections to the text and the people you are talking to. For example, let’s say you have a line: ‘How can I ever trust you again?’. You may have decided how this line should be said at an early stage of rehearsal, or learnt the line with a certain inflection you’re finding hard to drop. You may be having trouble connecting to the line, or perhaps you don’t think another way of saying it is possible. By repeating the line back and forth between you and your partner, using the basic rule of repetition: ‘Respond to the behaviour of your partner’, you might notice some anger in your partner, which might irritate you, so the line could come out irritated. If your partner reaches out to you and touches you on the shoulder, which might make you feel touched, the line could then come out with softness. You’ll soon find that there are so many ways to say a line, and you’ll be wanting to throw away any early assumptions. Our assumptions are rarely as interesting and true as we first think.

The salon:collective offers training and professional development for actors, tailored to the needs of the industry, through its programme of acting (Meisner-based), movement and voice classes in London.

The post How to use the Repetition Exercise in rehearsals appeared first on the salon:collective.

]]>
http://thesaloncollective.org/use-repetition-exercise-rehearsals/feed/ 0