Holding Emotion Back
A stroll through any public place will reveal that theres seldom much emotion on display. We might see some frustration, that is, someone holding back the way they really feel. Only occasionally does this erupt into anger. If we do see anger or tears or even affection we remember it because it is so different from what we usually experience around us. The exuberant happiness of a small child makes us smile because it is such an honest and innocent expression of the moment. Everyone else is not showing the world how they really feel.
The rules of the actors world are however different. Because for some roles actors have to be able to explore and display their emotional responses the actor is given permission to play out feelings. It can be a wonderful release of built up tensions. It can become a drug. Free at last the actor can let it all hang out.
Remember - that if we are trying to create a truthful image of the world we live in then our observations will tell us that we are going to spend more time dealing with the reasons people dont display their emotions rather than exploring the way they do.
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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