I was doing a scene with my acting mentor and afterward he told me that my character “had no balls.” What he was referring to was a small impulse that I second guessed – my decision to get up and approach the girl who was my scene partner. It wasn’t in the script, and when I was about to do it I thought about it and held myself back for that reason. The result was I un-confidently adjusted my seating position.
Although small, and something that could easily be edited out of a clip, it solidified the idea that when doing a scene, you should be LIVING in a 3D imaginary world, in your mind. Doesn’t matter what the script says, if you get an impulse within your character’s 3D imaginary world, you act on it. That’s when magical, spontaneous, life-like things happen that are exciting to witness.
We always seem to be talking about miming in our class. Also rather a small thing, and one that is more relevant to auditioning than acting on set, but it demonstrates whether or not the actor is LIVING in his imaginary world. If you’re going to grab a glass and drink from it, you better be seeing that glass on the table, what sort of handle it has (maybe it’s a coffee mug), how big the rim is, how much liquid is in it (not all glasses are full Ivan;)) and when you drink it the coffee should be flowing into your mouth – in your imagination. When you see it and feel it, we see it and feel it.
What has held me back in the past from achieving HD visualizations is usually fear and/or the desire to show my acting prowess. If you’re uncomfortable up in front of a group, worrying about how you look, or trying to be good at acting (getting the lines just right and according to your plan), how could you possibly be LIVING in a 3D imaginary world? You couldn’t. Your mind has to be at ease to let your imagination take over. When you aren’t LIVING it, it’s plain to see.
People don’t spend their valued leisure time watching people act. They spend their valued leisure time being transported to other worlds, to lose their sense of self in your sense of self, which is in your and your scene partner’s 3D imaginary world. If the actor is still bound in the physical reality of the classroom or the set, performing for the 15 people sitting in front on them or the guys holding the boom mic, ain’t nobody getting transported anywhere. You’ve got to unleash your imagination and enter your character’s world to have the spark .
The kids got it right. Let your imagination fly. Unlearn the programmed adult you’ve been boxed into. Lose your sense of self and do whatever the fuck you feel like doing in the moment. There are no rules and anyone who says there is only one right way is full of shit.