August 2, 2011

Myth #3: "If I create truthfully, honestly, organically, it will appear on my face appropriately."

This statement has put me in a bit of controversy with some of my peers and at first in conflict with myself based on my own training. Like most actors, I was taught not to be concerned with the face. I was taught to listen to the other actor, focus on the circumstances, involve myself with an activity or the overall action and come from my own instincts. If I did this, what appeared on my face would be appropriate. So, if what you are experiencing doesn’t appear on your face in an appropriate way then all that is left to think is, you are doing something wrong. How frustrating is that?

At some point you (may) have to be concerned with what your face is revealing or choose not to work in front of the camera. You can, of course, always stay on the stage.

So, back to the statement, If I create it truthfully, honestly, organically it will appear on my face appropriately - Is it a myth or a fact?

It is a fact, if:
•the trigger is specific and strong enough to trigger the emotion in you
•if there are no distortions in what and how you express emotion
•if you understand the nature and the experience of the emotion you are creating, which refers to the impulses and the sensations that stem from that emotion
•if you have a keen awareness of what that emotion looks and feels like on your face, from its slightest hint to its strongest reveal

Unfortunately, this is a fact for only a small portion of the acting community and quite possibly the reason why such a small percentage of SAG actors are actually making a living from acting. So for the rest, to not understand the very thing that you are relying on to get you hired, it may be time to get concerned with what you face is communicating.