Its the Talking I Find Hard
Actors look forward to playing scenes where a strong emotional response is required. Universally actors seem to relish these opportunities. Inexperienced actors often say they like these big scenes and can do them really well its the ordinary talking ones that are hard. Obviously this can be a major problem, for an actor is likely to have to play ordinary talking scenes on a more regular basis than big emotional ones.
It can be a problem on another level too, for sometimes scenes that feel really good to the actor in fact havent played very well for the audience. Of course the converse is also true but the scene where the actor is pushing the emotional parameters is one situation where this misjudgement may occur.
Why is this? And whats the actors fascination with emotion?
But this fascination with exploring emotion is much more complicated.
While we often feel that there is a lot of emotion being displayed in the world around us, the fact is we seldom reveal to others the way we actually feel. This behaviour is even embodied in our social etiquette. If we are feeling very unwell and someone asks us how we are, the usual response is to say we are fine, thank you. When it comes to strongly felt emotions people generally keep them to themselves. We are like the police officer who always carries a gun but rarely uses it. Emotion, as with police officers and their guns, can be something which is never used during a working life.
So how much emotion do we see around us?
Walk down the street and have a look.
The actor who with naïve enthusiasm is celebrating the fact that they felt everything that transpired in a scene may have, in the euphoria of their personal involvement, entirely missed the fact that they have failed to deliver both story and drama.
Being able to explore emotional responses is an essential skill for an actor, but understanding
is of greater importance, for without these elements the emotional expression has no purpose other than to benefit the actor.
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