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.