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4 Best Tips to Play Strong Emotions Quickly for Success

Bringing strong emotions quickly
Bringing strong emotions quickly

Secret of How to Play Strong Emotions Quickly for Winning Auditions | On a Set 

Sometimes you need to cry, be angry, be threatening, or play a powerful villain and that too, quickly as in auditions or on a set due to time constraint.
If you are not an experienced actor or are uncomfortable showing strong emotions in real life, you may feel uneasy acting with the kind of power or intensity called for in emotional scenes.

The basic approach

Perhaps you are afraid to get out of control, but the willingness to lose control will actually allow you to be more in control of the scene. When you lose control, you find freedom. You start to get lost in the character and their reality. Once you get out of your own thoughts (and your own mental blocks) and get into the body and the thoughts of the character, you begin to operate from inside which is connected to the emotions of the character.
I suggest these tips for beginners, based on the successes of very experienced actors. I use it in classes (kids, too) These tips work fast.

The Master Key

The most important for an actor to play strong emotions is a highly developed power of imagination to see and feel as a character a strong emotional situation. Develop it by practice. Take help from your acting coach.

Before the audition or a shot

Sometimes when you find difficult to bring strong emotions quickly (especially if you are a beginner) and are short of time, using your body as a whole, individual body parts like face, hands and gestures to bring emotions triggering from outside to inside may be the answer to a tricky situation. This is my experience and personal opinion though may not be in line of “Method Acting”.

Just physicalize

Pump yourself up to get your blood surging... big time. You are trying to get yourself into the exact physical state that you are in when you actually feel the emotion in your own life.

1. Anger

Do pushups or agitate you. I, personally, stomp around, pound my fists and yell and curse to pump my emotions up to get angry. Gets your adrenaline pulsing through your body any way you can. No one cares that you are doing this. They know you need to push your buttons for an emotional scene and are thrilled you can do it quickly so they can get the shot.

2. Crying with tears

Slump or hold onto your body in a defeated or protective way. Perhaps even collapse a bit. I suggest audible breathing as if you can’t catch your breath. Make the ugly sounds you make when you cry. Let your voice be ugly and broken. Let your face become ugly. Be willing to be unattractive.
(Make sure you watch the accompanying video to see how insane I actually get!)

3. Passion 

(A state or outburst of strong emotion)
Generating a strong emotion could be applicable to many situations, when you speak passionately about something. These are great in improvisations, for building characters quickly, and for strong emotions.
For example intense love, desire, longing, frenzy, hero worship, craze, obsession etc. 

Intense Love or sex

To express a strong emotion of love, visualize someone you love deeply and replace your scene co actor with this person you love so deeply and practice your dialogs. Try to make your voice husky and breathless.

For anger

Pick up what your character in the script hates most and do a few minutes’ worth of a wild, passionate, angry outburst about it. Pick what is really irritating your character in the scene or the straw that broke the camel’s back that set you off. What drives you crazy? Get madder and madder as you go. Get insane!

For tears

Choose what you fear, what broke your heart, or whatever situation in the actual scene is making you sad and just rant. Get more and more upset as you go until you are sobbing. This will help you to find the buttons to push when you need to call upon those tears again.

4. Scream

This works especially well if you are playing an extremely angry or powerful villain. Just scream bloody murder. Often, if I am taping someone for an audition, I will have them scream and go right into the scene and I just edit out the scream.
For tears, this will get you so out of control that it is easy to break into tears very quickly. Just keep screaming until you are totally broken.

Now go go go forth and freak out! 

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  1. Sir. Thank you so much for being so selfless and willing to educate others freely.

    I have read the whole blog.

    Can't thank enough.

    OK am very passionate about acting. Since school days and done theatre for one year in school. am 34 yrs old male from Delhi stuck in a wrong contract based job.till 2019.

    Till then what can I do besides the advises you already posted?

    1. If you are not trained professionally nobody can help you. Then, it's only your luck. Do some internet research work. Read carefully, also my coaching site mentioned below:

  2. Hi sir.. ur blog really helps newcomers as I.
    Sir i am looking for a suggestion from you.. A producer offer me a movie, he is new in production and da director is also new. I am unable to judge if he is not fraud (sorry for such word, but i think u better understand how da newcomers are trapped)


  3. Greetings Sir,

    Iam from Navi Mumbai working in the field of Hospitality since more than a decade and half. Apart from my work, my passion for the longest that i can remember are movies. A person of considerable creativity and imagination, i fancy my chances as a full fledged writer of commercial Hindi movies. I am of age 38 now, and since the past 2 years i have been developing my original story ideas. As of last month i have finished writing a full length Hindi movie script. So far i have narrated the story to a few in the family and they seem to appreciate the idea and content. Currently having this said script and a dozen other synopsis that i have written, i am not sure what it woulf take to land up at a director / producers office.
    I yearn day in and out to create an opportunity to present the story to the people that matter. To be able to pitch it to reputable production houses would be a dream come true. But i am not able to create that channel. I would be obliged if you could share a few words from your experience which might help in getting closer to my dream.


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