One of the most important things an actor can learn in Meisner Foundation is the ability to unite body, mind and action. When you successfully perform the foundation exercises, what you feel, think, and say become one thing.
If you watch yourself in your daily life, you might sometimes catch yourself feeling one thing, thinking another and saying a third. The result – we become a bunch of fragmented pieces of ourselves; we feel “out of sorts”. You might express this in different ways – you’re not yourself; or you’re looking at yourself from the outside; or you feel only a sliver of yourself
It’s not a good feeling and it’s certainly is not helpful for acting.
Acting is about portraying the human circumstance. If we do not understand our own present circumstance, how can we even think to accurately portray it, let alone stretch out and portray anyone else’s?
If we are feeling jealous of someone, but our thoughts are “they suck” and our words are “you were fantastic!” … we’re disjointed. If we don’t want to admit those painful experiences of jealousy to ourselves, how can we understand them? It is true, the body is our instrument. If we don’t get in tune with it, what is it that we train in exactly?
It’s not that we have to say everything we think in life, but we do have to know where we stand. And, for that we train.
The process of training begins with investigating your expression of jealousy, your expression of pain, your expression of happiness, your expression of glory, your expression of disdain etc etc, and living them, over and over, becoming clearer and clearer on your truthful experience.
Your self deception comes off in layers as your ability to experience truth deepens. At first you may say “ I am NOT jealous, I thought she was amazing!”, and then, ‘I am not jealous, I just thought she sucked”, and then, “I am super jealous”. At this point you can investigate jealousy. You can start to play with jealousy, you can deepen it, lighten it, mould it, and you are on the road to coming to terms with it in some real way. And, at the same time, you’re on the road to becoming a very good actor.
If you are in a foundation class at Actorium: continually remind yourself of the goal to unite thought, feeling and action.