Amateurs use Feelings, Professionals Use Emotions
Amateurs use Feelings and Professionals Use Emotions in acting. Learning the difference between a fleeting feeling and a real emotion is key in being able to attain talent in acting.
Drafts from Mastering Spontaneity in Acting
Copyright 2016-2019, Simon Blake
Goal: Understand when emotions work with you and when they work to prevent you from being.
There are so many examples of how experience teaches Actors and Musicians about Emotional life over feelings. Feelings can be fleeting, but learning to work with your emotions can build you a career.
Key Quotes from article:
” Amateurs use Emotions, Professionals use Meaning”
“Amateurs use Feelings and Professionals use Emotions.”
“The Crafting of Meaning is the exploitation of (your own) truth”
Amateurs use Emotions, Professional’s use Meaning – example this work
*-add – somewhere in this Emotions will leave you, change on a dime and an actor who marries themselves to an emotion before their work will struggle with maintaining their emotion rather than being present unless they are willing to let their emotion go completely.
*- and actor who works with emotion may be able to get their emotion right for the start of the scene, but the emotion will readily change immediately when involved with the scene. Many Actors think that the coveted Emotional Preparation Process is getting themselves into a state of Emotion before their working of a scene which is not the entire or full story of having an Emotional Preparationary experience.
From the beginning of the work the Actor would benefit from understanding meaning over emotion and understanding that controlling their emotion is a task for the insane and there is many of examples of Actors who have tried to marry their emotions into insane asylums after their working with attempting to control their emotion rather than understanding their meanings.
It is the actors free will to achieve what they desire to achieve but the amateurs learn to utilize emotion in a way that limits their being and presence within the scene as a professional acknowledges the fleeting moments that emotion can encompass but works with meaning in a way that the emotion can stay present within the actor without the actor having to be conscious of the emotion every step along their way of participating in acting.
*-add- the decades of intense practice in understanding how actors should work with themselves has resulted in the knowledge that this book offers. Initially some techniques of marrying to the emotion was a revolutionary exercise that furthered the actor’s exploration. The result of seeing the technique in practice for decades has resulted in the technique’s adjustment for the betterment of all and the practical differences are being utilized by those who are professional enough to learn and pay attention to the difference.
*- the action of an actor is not meant to be a neurotic endeavor rather an application of truthful self into the process of becoming rather than a process of keeping their state of emotional affairs active throughout their working during their acting.
The difference between Amateurs and the way they work against themselves and the ways that professions work with themselves is starkly different. Amateurs act out their emotions on stage for both theater and film on cue and in places where they think the script desires the emotions to be at.
Amateurs also use their Emotions in a way that works against themselves and utilize their emotions in a way that keeps their attention on themselves to have to re-stimulate their emotions once they are activated rather than professions that allow their own emotions to eb and flow with the weight density of the scene.
Often times with Amateurs there is a conscious awareness of self and calculated expression with re stimulation tendencies. They pontificate the emotion and self-stimulate themselves during the scene whether the emotion is really there or not. Professionals do not need to abuse their emotions because they work with an understanding of Meaning that quenches their intellect from having to enter the scene and allows their emotions to freely express themselves.
The issue with the pontification of emotion is that it takes the amateurs energy to keep the emotion alive, thus not being able to pay attention to their partners on stage or in film. Many well-known actors have techniques that work this way. Thus, it becomes a performance-based act or a fakery that the performer hopes the audience never finds out their true technique.
A Professional is a true artisan of the work in acting who is very willing to expose their technique because their technique is based on faith of the others they work with. A professional is aware of their emotional life yet never uses their emotions to prepare directly upon. Instead, Professional’s use meaning.
The professional intertwines the meaning and trusts that the meaning will help produce the emotion when the time is right without ever focusing on themselves during the take or stage scene. Their emotion comes from the inter-exchange between themselves and the other person. Thus, the response and investment of their attention is not on themselves even when they are in tears, their attention is on the reality of the scene they are in and the others that are in the scene.
Professionals often times are unaware of there moments of being most emotional because at the time of their emotion they were so intently focused on the others they were working with.
Amateurs cut, splice, tug on, tear drop, and abuse their emotional lives in order to prostitute the desire of being in the moment rather than placing all their attention on the other actor and doing their best to make the other actor better in the other actor’s work.
The mere reality of understanding meaning and understanding that Meaning has Context inherently, thus an emotion is inherently produced by context if the meaning is even purely understood blows away amateur world technique in Acting, Creative Arts, and any other prostitution-oriented splicing or dicing of our very honest Emotional lives.
Emotion does not like to be controlled and has the right to stay free willed, as do our personalities. Our original and authentic selves have the right to constantly be present in the Acting work that we do. Our inherited sense of Being is has the right to always be present also. Emotion is an inherent part of our being and is integral to free expression. Emotion is a Frivolous yet sincere response to being affected. It can be a compassion towards a series of situations or a lighthearted gesture that is of joy.
Emotion may be the most accurate projection of ourselves in the moment and is so interconnected and complicatedly represented by nothing other than simply being who we are as people. Mistakes and all. But honest understanding of meaning gets us all over the creative hump of what is Amateur Hour in Creative worlds such as Acting.
This book explores Context. Meaning has Context and we do not train people to control their Emotion but understand that an understanding of owns own Neurosis is usually a benefit from the work to those who do the work. The work is learning Meaning and understanding how to match the Meaning Context to the context within the scripted materials for both film and stage.
Additionally, later we strike up and understand some basics of Emotional Preparation which is the concentration of Meaning which adds and inserts more meaning into the meaning of the scripted works and exercises.
Amateurs have a lot to learn because their human beings whom if they take the training of understanding what means the most to themselves in their own lives they will benefit in their artistic acting world because they will be able to relate the meaning of themselves more into the meaning of the scripted materials more.
There is no benefit to any artist to slice up their lives into emotional sections that can place on a platter the emotions that they will get harmed or put out for others to put down.
This book is not to put down anyone’s efforts in acting yet only to encourage and redirect their efforts to what actually does work in the process of learning acting. Better placing your efforts in the Context of both scripted materials and exercises that know how to explore meaning without being invasive is a god sent approach to the artists that few have had the honor to work with for decades as the masses sat back trying to figure it out for themselves.
Now collectively as Artists we can supersede the past generations of film makers and stage performers to build true connections within the work that are both believable and real under the essence of truthful imagination and full abundant life.
Master crafters in Acting use meaning and then work on crafting themselves to be able to allow others to access them during their scenes with unpredictable results which always adds to the insights of the work of both actors not just a single actor. This work is the inclusion of others and not the exclusion of others.
The Crafting of Meaning is the exploitation of (your own) truth that Reason alone is not a justification that is a warranted approach to self.
Many times, when you start learning technique you do not start with Meaning. It may be easier to start with less meaning because the weight of the work will be easier to handle. Regardless, you can start by knowing that you are headed in the direction of working with Meaning. Meaning is the direction you will head if you want to work in any spontaneous or real-life way in your artistry or you’re acting.
If you are crafting a reason instead of a meaning than you are justifying a commitment of action in a predetermined state/condition or hopeful circumstance of a predetermined outcome. This is interesting but not the work of an Artist who works with their soul or their heart, not their head. A computer can think but a computer cannot heal or feel or experience. You could turn Acting into a competition of doing but it would avail to meaningless work and only sport the competition between people involved in a way that denies each of those involved their own sense of self enslaving their internal dynamics in the process.
- if you are crafting a reason than you are working to justify a value that you believe that you have. Allow yourself to realize within the exercise if that value is activated by the other or if you are activating it by yourself.
*Working with meaning means that you are working with the internal muscle of meaning. Meaning is indeed a muscle of self that works to hold self together as our identity continues to expand. Those muscles of meaning are muscles that will encompass truths about yourself and also dispel truths that you thought were true about yourself. You are putting yourself into training of acting exercise which will test your systems of belief. These tests are not there to change your value systems but explore the range of your value systems. Many times, though we find new things out about ourselves that will
- topic of self-evidence that muscles have are they are already with us. If we just activate the reminder to self that the meaning has then we will expand ourselves
-this is good to go through but need to figure out how to approach this and tie it in with everything else in this section.
-may need section called Crafted Reason
Or keeping your values and working from your values, what to expect.
- I want to make it clear when the reasons are being utilized and when the meaning is being utilized if that is possible.
- also accepting who you are and accepting what effort does get put into your work without worrying about what your effort is is a free will approach. If you are achieving that and in a state of relaxedness than you have achieved an open state of learning which is desired. If you are still caught up in the life that you are subjected to than include that where you are at the present time and accept that you will improve your abilities to have it affect your work as you learn about how to craft yourself into acting. There is no perfect way of being except the relaxed state of being.
The relaxed state of being is the most perfect state of being that you can ask of yourself.
It is a grotesque sense of competition to believe that Acting is the execution of crafted Reason which is soulless and Meaningless except for the trophy of being better or outsmarting another.
A Reasoning alone is an instruction to perfect or perform and not an activity of involvement.
?? Encompassing a meaning into the reason is the lifeline of a reasons existence. Perfection is the journey of excluding yourself from the process you are in.
We know that writers include Reasons to justify their storylines but as artists and actors we must translate the work of the writer into something of value that can put parts of ourselves into the work that we do as we contribute to the project, we are taking part in as Actors. Being capable of translating Reasons in writings to Meanings of personal nature within ourselves.
Comprehension to an Actor
Comprehension to an Actor is a different element than comprehension to an audience member. In order for the audience to be able to relate or have an experience the actor’s comprehension of the material must at least match the comprehension level of emotional comprehension and not only intellectual.
This is why the techniques in this book focus on the ability not only to experience the work that is achieved but to also explain the inner workings of the Actor that submerges themselves into the work so that the audience can have the experience of being present within the acting work achieved.
-move section further down
In order to learn the Art of Acting and the Reality of Doing we must separate and understand the differences between Reasons and Meanings.
Basic understanding of not needing a Reason to cause action? or take a
Basic understanding that you require a Logic in order to complete an Action is the mindset of a control mechanism that we do not need in acting. Acting is more an art form that flows and ebs from the reality of being rather than the reality of logic. In Acting and Arts you need to get over the reality of needing to justify an action with logic and instead trust that your instincts will create the storytelling that often the logic relies upon.
“Reasons” and “Meanings”
Bringing our own life into the Exercises. Bringing in “Meaning” vs. “Reasons” is an adjustment to learn as an serious Actor.
key: Story brings Reasons, Actors and Artists bring Meanings.
Reasons are Explanations after an Event occurs; Meanings are present things during the occurrence. The first lesson to understand in Acting is “Reasons” and “Meanings”. Both Reasons and Meaning can provide stimulus to Be Present, but both operate out of differences. Reasons and Meanings are two consistent keys to Acting, they will forever be intertwined within circumstances that are scripted for either film or stage.
The Reason is an explanation of why the present needs to change to the Logical function,
The Meaning is the emotional through points of describing combined efforts – interweaves all aspects of self and how or why – important aspects also within the community.
Many times, the reason and meaning get intertwined or
The number one thing to know is: For every single reason there is a meaning but often there are meanings based off feelings with no reason. For Every single Reason there is a Logical explanation. For Every single Meaning there is an emotional connection.
Reasons are Logical, Meanings are Emotional, unless they are merged together to get meaningful reasons. Individually Reasons often separate connections between people. Meanings often have potential of emotional depth and have the tendency to want to include everything and everyone. If an Actor does not take the Reason seriously, they will be out of place with the scripted materials as scripts often start from logical places to tell stories.
The logic of a script is often connected to the Reason or the Meaningfulness of a moment the Actor desires. If an Actor does not take their Meaning seriously then they will compromise the intent of the emotion life of the meaning and be compromising their humanity. If the Meaning is compromised so will the Actors own intention be. Human exchanges bridge or explore the differences between Reasons and Meanings all the time in both Film and Theater.
In order to be in compliance in the general ballpark of the script or exercise you want to know how to match a meaning to a reason and a reason to a meaning. Context is created between the two to ride out the story lines of scripts by using the Reason and Meaning approach to Acting.
To start with in Acting we want to do the Exercise work and really examine the “reasons” and the “Meanings” separately so we can best understand their context. Initially in the work we are going to treat Reasons and Meaning with a different intent.
Reasons are Tangible things that are story lines for the reason we are presently there. Meanings are the emotional sense of why we are there. In the Exercise work that follows; A Reason may be a made-up untruth, but a Meaning must come from your own personal being. have sincerity and honesty.
A Meaning must be sincere and honest because we want to train ourselves from the start in a way that does not fool or trick our emotions. Our emotions throughout learning this work will go through enough so we are making it very clear that we are never being insincere or fooling around once a meaning is put in place in an exercise.
Personal Reasons and Meanings are not Imaginary Circumstances, but instead are elements of your own life that we bring into our Acting and Creative Projects. In Acting we must work from elements in our own life which we consider are the most valuable assets.
In order to create our most valuable works we expose these isolated elements into exercise forms and improve our learning and capabilities. Unlike many reasons, our most valuable assets are always the assets of meaning or defined moments of meaning that are the inner life and energies of ourselves and our beings.
In Acting we add elements of our life in order to help us realize the imaginary world that we are attempting to create within ourselves and with the other players around us. The added personal realities are crucial elements that will be the building blocks of the work that is assembled with the creative teams and even the writers.
The first reading and writing exercises are exercises that start to isolate elements needed in creative and acting world work. Defining elements are the keys needed to proceed in participating in anything creative.
Reasons vs Meanings in Acting:
Reasons are logical explanations for the action of being in certain states which is why we leave the reasons up to the writers unless we are building our own exercises for practice. Writers rely on and interweave reasons for us, so we don’t have to deal with Reasons and the depths of ourselves.
This frees us up as Artists to allow us to focus on the meaning of the work rather than logic of the work. Reasons are always present in explanation of events because they put into logic a context that helps to explain the actions that have already been completed. Sometimes there are reasons why we want to be in a certain state now for a result that will be completed in the future.
Meaning are the inner workings of why a situation matters to you personally and your personal attachments to it.
Positioning ourselves for Learning Acting
We need to be at a point in the work that we are per-missioning ourselves to do the internal work of self-reflection in a way that emotionally draws us in towards the meaning of our life and our existence and the connection to others meaningful existence.
If we can enter the approach of learning acting at a point of internal workings rather than external examination and out of first-person perspective than we can victor, the discovery of self within the process of acting and achieve far greater results for the audience that enjoy the way we work as Actors.
The techniques of crafting the exercises are long tested within the community but individually pocketed which have for decades hidden the approaches of successful acting techniques even from actors who sought after finding the techniques.
As much true knowledge the Internet medium has assisted in achieving better communication about what works within acting processes as well as the hard time spent watching and learning from others.
Inability to believe meaning
This is a key element to comprehend about your own work. When you are unable to believe in a meaning then you are not yet ready to take on that circumstance or that script.
Too many actors believe that if they can get the feeling for the meaning then they can bypass needing to work with belief. This is not true. You cannot bypass your ability to believe in the meaning that you represent.
You need to learn how to activate the meaning within you and remain in the belief of the circumstances.
** This is really key –
Many actors approach acting that if they just believe in the scripts storyline that that will be enough for them to become involved in the living out of the story. Many Improvisational actors believe that if they just spark an initial emotional intent that the scene will happen without the need to believe in its circumstances.
Imaginary Circumstances are both Imaginary and Circumstantial. The emotional upsetness and emotional stimulation is not real unless it is stimulated through an Emotionally Preparation process. This stimulation has to actually be sparked in the actor for it to be a real time event.
Now that the Actor has stimulated emotion, they have the imaginary element that they have taken beyond their imagination to make it visceral.
The Circumstances must be known about thoroughly and most importantly believed in. Acting with an imaginary real emotional component with the belief in circumstance is the balance needed on the acting tight wire rope.
If the Actor can do the work to believe in meaning they can achieve an intertwining of specific circumstances and a grounded emotional element. Then they can rely upon that foundation with discovering the scene living entirely as if they have no idea what the outcome will be.
From the very beginning of the training, we are gaining the ability to balance these elements of belief and imaginary emotional life, but we replace it with real emotional life that matches the imaginary condition. – ? Clean this up a bit.
You cannot be an actor that has the inability to believe in circumstances and be living truthfully under imaginary conditions. The imaginary conditions of being emotionally upset cannot hold up to the level of truthful life without the belief of circumstances.
Sometimes actors struggle with believing the circumstances. If the Actor takes in the circumstances to just be in them, they will achieve some reality of belief. This is key, and the starting point of all belief in acting. Being is the start of believing.
Sometimes an Actor is unable to initially believe the other actor is doing something important or involved in a circumstance. The job of the actor is to believe the other actor, not disbelieve. Believing the other Actor starts with being with the other actor, then changes to staying connected to them.
If you refuse to believe the other actor then you are disregarding the reality of their circumstances. You must work to both believe the other actors circumstances and the other actors emotional life. Both = the balance in acting needed to = reality.
Being with the other Actor as they are experience their inner life is the beginning process of believing them. It is a simple start to what will evolve into surprising elements. If you just allow yourself to be simple with being in the presence of the other without intellect the process will start in, you are automatically. Who would have thought in performing schools that the process of belief could be so automated? But it is. Almost all things start with presence. Being is the presence, which is the birthplace of reality.
Many Actors try to complicate the initial element.
Question: When you work with another actor are you able to believe their Meaning and their circumstances?
Your job is to come up with the reasoning and belief system needed to believe the other Actor. However, you may not want to tell them what you had to believe to make your fellow Actors work believable to you.
You may have to think of them as being a complete dotard in order to believe that you would have to explain a simple thing to them in a scene. So, believe what you need to in order to justify the meaningful connection with the other Actor.
Acting Book Draft of “Mastering Spontaneity in Acting“
Copyright 2016-2019, Simon Blake
Simon Blake has studied between 30,000 – 40,000 acting exercises and studied over 8-10++ thousand acting students work in acting. Studying their Emotional Preparation to their Spoon River Work. Studying every area of Meisner training work with well over 30 Teachers including himself.
“Meisner In and Out Exercise, which was later known as Doors and Activities give a basic building blocks to modern day acting”
After being assaulted by an industry student associated with the school Simon moved on to finish his acting books and start teaching acting online on YouTube. He is available for Live Feed classes as well as private coaching sessions if you contact him to arrange it or find the times on the website.
Simon Blake runs and operates the website EmotionalPreparation.com which teaches Actors how to add Emotion to their acting using improved acting techniques.
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