Saturday, January 17, 2009

emotional preparation

about a month ago, our activities changed such that we had to work through a certain part of our emotional temperament. instead of having a technical difficulty, the activity now has to bring out the emotional life of the actor as the actor is performing the activity. there still needs to be a standard of perfection and some time limit to the activity's completion, but the difficulty lies in the emotion that comes out during the exercise.

for example, for grieving a loved one, one might do a eulogy, but have to fight through being grievous and practice saying the eulogy by being strong. another might be to crack a practical joke on a friend and have one's sense of humor come out by the enjoyment of the preparation.

this month, we added another element. the person without the activity and coming to the door must come in with a prepared emotional state. that is, they must access a certain emotion they want to work with, and find within themselves how to access that emotion. after experimenting, the actor must daydream about that scenario effectively enough so that they bring out a full emotional experience outward. at the apex of the experience, the actor would then come to the door and enter into contact with the other partner. however, this doesn't mean that the actor hold onto that emotion indefinitely, but let it react naturally as he takes in his partner and his partner's emotion.

emotional preparation is used by actors to be able to experience what their character's experience. what an experience may mean to the character may not be the same thing it means to us individually as ourselves, so we have to interpret how we would imagine ourselves to feel in the character's situation, and then access that part of us that will allow us to experience that emotion. our teacher told us that emotional preparation would serve as a toolbox for us as actors, so that when the time arises when we need to make choices for scenes that we would be able to quickly determine what will push our emotions in a certain way.

i've done a few exercises already and it seems that i'm able to access emotions, however, i'm still not fully immersed in contact with my partner. i have to learn to respond from instinct and not try to figure things out, just out with what i FEEL and not what i THINK. that to me is going to be excruciatingly difficult.