As an actor you are asked to fulfil many typical adjectives.
They’re found in audition breakdowns and in movie advertisements and in movie reviewer’s reviews.
Let’s pick a few at random:
Smart, sensitive- Ruthless head of U.S. Operations- Attractive, well-dressed, worth tons of money- Elegant- Black, tough, serious- severe-looking man with the cold gaze of a shark- Lean, terrifying and tough, physically intimidating- She is strong, attractive, outspoken, focused and brave-Drop-dead gorgeous- Hot
Some actions or emotions or adjectives you can play well and with ease. What about the areas you struggle with?
Sex. Violence. We know those are the two key themes in Hollywood. We learned about all that in high school, didn’t we?
Let’s take crying just as an example.
It’s possible that when you were young you learned not to cry. Maybe you learned it in high school. Much of our tv culture is based on ‘high school’ that arrangement of relations, those types, those narratives, icons.
Now you are a working actor and practicing to improve and one aspect you’re working on is ‘crying’. Is the way forward to keep confronting the old path you learned? Maybe learned in high school. Banging your head and trying to turn this old synapse that is deeply ingrained in your brain. Trying to grab the old and twist it to what you want. To what is needed for the role.
That could be an approach.
What is your experience when you come at it ‘new’? While practicing properly you might discover your own, new approach, creating new synapses in your brain that will produce what is needed—crying.
The next time you read: The Character Cries you won’t fall into the old. You won’t see and hit that wall that has had you frozen in the past but, rather, you’ll lean to the new and follow that fresh route you’ve discovered and then: Presto!–cry.
It is a real confidence building method. You conjured it under good circumstances and by revealing an emotion that you had never done before it really lifts you. A hurdle is leapt. A breakthrough happens.
Not suggesting it’s easy.
See if you like discovering your new paths to fulfilling an adjective more than beating to death an old idea that has plagued you since, well…high school.