Facts On Displaying Emotions
- First of all, rarely, not even the best actors, can summon emotions "at will". They can often portray emotions easily by physicalization (by moving body parts like hands, making faces etc) or what we call as by "Classical Methods". However, these methods may sometimes produce exaggerated responses which may not be appropriate as per the script or for the camera.
- Not everyone has the natural ability to access their own emotions so easily. It is something that may need years of work - and is one of the reasons why acting is not anywhere near as easy as people seem to think it is.
How to access those emotions?
First, be aware of them. Think about yourself. What triggers certain emotions in yourself? Anger, pain, frustration, joy, silliness, fear, and all the others. How do each of them feel? Can you think of an incident in your life that made you feel that way? How did your body react when you felt that emotion? What did your face and body do? Did you pull away? Did your mouth go dry? What else?
There are a number of ways to access emotion. However, I consider the following method as the best, based on my own experience:
1. Look for the stimulus (Trigger) in the script
The most valuable, method is to use the content of the script to trigger the emotions you need. Or rather, to allow yourself to immerse yourself in the character and in the circumstances of the scene, to be fully "in the moment" and let the character's emotion arise in you naturally in reaction to the character's experiences.
2. Analyze the character
The best way to do this is to fully understand your character. Really study him. And do it in the first person - "I" am, "I" want, etc. In other words think "IF" I'm that person. As soon as you can do an autobiography of your character... ask the important questions and answer them - who am I? where and when do I live? what is my life like? am I happy with my life and if not, why not and what would I want my life to be? who else is part of my life and what is my relationship with them? what do I like, who do I love and who do I hate? what do I want - in my life, in the play, in each scene, in each moment? Explore your character's life, his relationships, his childhood, his family, his circumstances, the world he lives in. Get to know him and the people he deals with as well as you know yourself and the world you live in.
Always remember, the final character is a combination, a blend of what the story writer has written, what the director has envisioned, and what you have created. When you truly know the character and have incorporated him into you and you into him, then you will be able to react "as" him in the context of the scenes you are acting.
3. Use the power of imagination and concentration
Then, finally, let yourself be "in the moment". Now you need to focus; to use your concentration to "be" in that world, to react "as" the character, to use your imagination to make that world on the stage or on a film scene you are in, for that moment, more real than the "real" world. Let yourself go; relax; let yourself be the character and simply react to what is happening to you.
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