How to find the emotion

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.

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