One of the biggest (but arguably most important) difficulties in acting is being “truthful.” What does that even mean? How can you get there? What are the steps? I figured step one was defining what being truthful meant.
Well it can be defined many ways, but from what I learned in the process of rehearsal it is getting at the heart of the scene. Okay, how do I do that?
This isn’t something I necessarily struggled with throughout rehearsal, but during tech rehearsal I asked my director, Lester Malizia, how I could take my performance to the next level. Although I had many good aspects to my acting there was a lack of listening. Lester said that in order to go from “good” to “great” I have to really listen to my fellow actors.
Specifically in my “love” scenes with Hermia. “Look into her eyes,” he asserted, “If you manufacture the truth it will be there sometimes, but if you really respond to how she speaks to you, the truth will be there every time.”
Undoubtedly, I found reactions and love that I had never seen before. Without intently listening and watching to how Hermia spoke to me, I missed the specificity of the love that she gave me.
During rehearsals I found that being “truthful” was capturing every little wonderful thing that Hermia gave me and giving it right back. I started “playing” with all sorts of movements and contact that came from subconscious because I was just being truthful.
Scrupulously study the text. Properly warm up the body. Get out of your own head. Lastly, respond truthfully to your partner by really listening to what they say and how they say it. Then you can answer the question “how do I get at the heart of the scene?”
Thanks to my director, Lester, I figured it out.