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.