One of my biggest issues when I act is getting out of my own head. I have a very strong interior monologue, but sometimes it can get in the way of some characters for me. For example, over-analysis of the text and pursuing complex actions can take away from simplicity, variety, and truthfulness.
This was a starting problem for me with Lysander for several reasons including my interior monologue, perceptions of Shakespeare, and “trying too hard.”
Rather than doing the simple well, I attempt to find the most complex and deepest meaning of the text. This isn’t a bad thing on its own, but it took away from the character Lysander.
So how can I get out of my own head?
It is never a bad idea to dive into the text and find what I am really saying. Fortunately, Shakespeare gives you everything you need to know in the text. However, it can’t stop there because I would bring my homework with me onstage.
The issue that arose was not my lack of knowledge from the text, but an absence of specificity. Making what I’m doing and saying specific helped me get out of my head. However, I was still lacking Lysander’s sense of whimsy.
I was still in my own head.
I realized that I needed to do more powerful and soothing warm ups. Meditation warm ups with deep breathing to put all previous events of the day behind me and just be.
Warms ups not only helped me live in the moment on stage, but also to put all my acting homework into my subconscious. Therefore, I could be free and flowing on stage finding Lysander’s lightness and honesty. The truthfulness of the line, with specific images, coupled with a proper warm up led my mind and creativity open and easily accessible.
Then I found Lysander through myself.