Interacting in Acting with Others is the excitement of Spontaneity in Action. Receiving the Other in acting builds moments upon each other. Interaction is the Doing side of Acting. Receiving Another is the Being side of Interacting. Actors who Interact always support both themselves and their acting partner.
Interacting with others in acting takes discipline to keep your attention off of yourself.
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Some Main Quotes of this Acting Article:
“Trusting the depth of your Emotional Preparation.”
“The point of learning emotional preparation is not a set of technique rules to follow but of experiences to open yourself up to.”
“Interacting with others in acting is the exploratory nature of discovery.”
Interacting with Others in Acting – Chapter Nine
Copyright 2019, Simon Blake
Interacting with Others in Acting
Interacting with Others in acting is the DOING side of Acting. Acting is Doing, but it requires setting up your BEING before acting which is called Emotional Preparation.
Interaction is not Forcing another to Do something involuntarily but is interacting with them with both parties free to express freely. This involves risk and excitement as neither will know how they may affect one another.
The Inter-actionary Period
This is the improvisational period in an exercise
or actual time in the scene
Keys: Inter-actionary is the Exploratory real time activated relationship building give and take. The meat and the potatoes of all scenes ideally is an Inter-actionary Period. Real opinions and junctures get formed during the interactions. Interacting with Others in acting is the exploratory nature of discovery.
It is the Period where the rubber meets the road, and each other’s intensions get divulged to one another. The Inter-actionary Period is not a trial period but a period of real contact and negotiation. There is a sincerity that must not be omitted in order for the Actors work to be real under the imaginary circumstances of the scenario.
The Interactionary Period
The Interactionary Period = the scene
The Interactionary Period = the exercise
The Interactionary Period = the ‘working off’ with partner
How to interact with emotional weight.
Interacting with others can be an emotional weight by itself. However, in acting, we add our own emotional weight with Emotional Preparation. It is important to remember this during this read.
For most the Inter-actionary Period is the first period where any of the work or acting or artistry is seen. But if you are an Actor or in many other forms of artistry there is so much work that goes into before the first seen moment of your production, product or craftsmanship. The planning phases which often times are very instinctual and the trial and error to gain the predetermined ballpark or emotional range of product has been its own journey, which is an emotion-ary one.
The inter-actionary period is the time of interexchange and is the time of truthful living within the circumstances of the set up without any bias as to which direction the work goes in. Readjustments to the work happen by choice outside the inter-actionary period of ‘living truthfully under the imaginary circumstances’.
Scenes are nothing more than interactions between the people scripted to interact. The meaning of the interaction is the most important aspect of the scenario that is lived out so that the intercourse of exchange can be achieved for filming or theater stage purposes. The confidence in the success of living out the circumstance of reality.
Interacting with others in acting will take both discipline and confidence to stay open during stressful times in acting exercises.
There is an argument that Acting is reacting, but in fact it is the interaction that matters within the scenes structure. Even though individual reactions can give moments of joy the individual moments that are interconnected are far more structurally important. Interaction is the collective reality of being present and not the independent action of deliberate response. There is always more connectedness in inter-actionary periods than an individual response to another. Yes, the ball of attention goes back and forth between those who are present within a reality together but if the work is being done correctly than the amount of attention grows with the amount of time spent together and all who are taking part within that are able to feel the effects of increased attention and growth. The independent forces of action and hard work often become passé after the self-effort has been let go of after the Emotional Preparation process interjects its emotional reality within the circumstance or situation.
The inter-actionary period of reality of that of truthful behavior within the set circumstance or situation, which although has individual aspects is more shared than separated. The shared aspects of being together even at times where opinions are opposite of each other does create an increase in awareness which is directly tied to the buildup on emotional life that occurs generally in every exercise and every scene. Opposite opinions of similar circumstances can often be the bread of butter of many scripted materials which create the necessary natural build ups that are required during interchanges between scenes or Segway’s of scripted materials.
Interacting with others in acting takes the ability to work with scripted materials and leap into imaginary conditions that everyone including you forgets that there were scripted materials.
When interacting with others in acting there is this need to not control the outcome. For some Actors learning not to control the outcome takes a couple years to achieve in persistent acting classes and working environments in film.
The key to the Inter-actionary period of the actual doing of the scene depends upon the allowance of not controlling those you are working with and allowing yourself to accept the responses and interactions of those you are working with. The lack of control that you have over the other actors you are working with is the gift of spontaneity that you are granted by the freedom of letting go of that expectation.
It is a vital component not to control those who you are interacting with as when they do the unexpected, they will gift your responses that you could never have predicted even when or if you attempted or rehearsed an attempt in order to achieve it.
The placidity of your agility of working with others with a relaxed being allows for the surprises to be absorbed by you and exchanged between yourself and the other. The more inclusion of the other you achieve the clearer the meaning of your interaction often becomes which is a dipolar aspect to really being in the present, in the reality of the scripted events and not trying to “Act” them.
Interacting with Others in Acting may result in a feeling of physical visceral emotion. This needs to be encouraged but trained to be able to occur in a way where the Actor or acting student can realize the emotional effects they are experiencing.
Physicalizing the Activation: ~ ((MIDDLE SECTION AFTER SEVERAL TECHNIQUES HAVE BEEN TAUGHT AND EXAMPLED.))
This is another technique in emotional preparation that would be done at the very end step of the Emotional Preparation process. This is not a step to jump to without addressing the other 6 steps to preparation. The purpose of this step is often to viscerate the ability of actuating the inner emotional life that is present and physically helping it to be manifested. All manifested emotion within this approach is for the purpose of letting go of after achieved. The residual effect of activating the physicality of the emotional life is enough to carry over into the scene or exercise. The physicalizing of the Activation of Emotional Preparation does not have to be loud or obtrust, although it could be.
What happens with Emotional Preparation is that there is a first point of physical contact that must occur to come back into the full reality after the time of Emotional Preparation. Some actors who are still feeling nervous or unsettled about their Emotional Preparation will do something physical to help activate what they feel they have going on emotionally. Other Actors may be very focused and have figured out for themselves that a physical interaction is a final punctuation on their Emotional Preparation process.
It is the choice of the actor but often times that first moment of physicality the Director will want to capture on film. Other cast members need to be aware that physicalizing the Emotional Preparation is an existence that occurs as not to be surprised when on professional film sets.
The Physical addition could be a tapping on their knees., a punching of an object that they cannot harm., could be yelling at the sky. The only importance is that they do not intimidate others on set or stage by their actions and that all around them understand that this is part of that particular person’s process. Additionally, I would encourage the experimentation of such preparation in scenes where choreographed violence occurs with stunts as it will help to actualize the physicality of the emotional life in the film picture. In a classroom situation I do not recommend it as much accept on a case-to-case basis and only at the point in the work where it could be justified or warranted.
Physical Activations are not necessary for most Actors or creatives to realize the inner emotional life of the scenes or exercises. Internal Emotional life has a way of interweaving itself during the work so a very limited approach to physicalizing is recommended if at all needed. The very first moment of contact between two actors after Emotional Preparation can be precious real estate and amazing moments to exchange giving the scene partner more energy to work with right from the start of the scene. But if the intensity is too much in the first moment of contact that might be another reason to physicalize it just before interaction.
Interacting with others in acting will often led to physical urges that need to be safely expressed emotionally.
NOTE: Often times Directors who are attempting to help ‘liven up’ the emotional life within a scene they may ask an actor to scream over a mountain top or do a physical action to pontificate their emotional life. This is the choice of the Direction the Director is giving. Most often the way to Emotional Preparation and life is inwards and not outwards. Directors may be more successful if they work close on an emotional level with the Actors rather than a physicality level in order to achieve anything other than physicality. On the other hand of the same body there is an opposite side that could help assist the actor to activate emotional life that the Director can see, and the Actor is still learning about. If the Director does have the ability to read emotional life and has a great trusting relationship with the Actor than they will prove their sensibilities over time and build a trust being able to decide together which approach to take or the approach of attempting each approach on separate takes of the same or similar scenes.
These need to be examples of be of how the work does not go in the direction of the Emotional Preparation.
- Show varying examples of how things come back later, vs. A bad example of how someone forces their Emotional Preparation onto the exercise.
Something that the actor doesn’t expect but was activated in their preparation.
Sarah does her emotional Preparation. A few things become active in her. She doesn’t stop anything from happening but instead focuses stronger on the ballpark that she is intending.
When she interacts within the improvisational exercise her partner notices her sadness in a way that isolates it for Sarah. Sarah gets affected by her partner and bursts into tears. She had never had anyone in her life take notice of this particular thing that she has felt before.
Her Emotional Preparation based on the ballpark of being strong has flipped to the tiniest of impulses that she also felt during her preparation of sadness. When her scene partner isolates this, it becomes evident that Sarah’s loneliness was a key to her sadness that she had not been aware of before.
Sarah is genuinely touched by her partners interest in her and the humanity that they are working within. The care of someone identifying this fear of loneliness in her as the source of her sadness is a real and revealing moment to her.
Her Emotional Preparation ballpark was on strength but what the exercise reveals is how brave of a person she is carrying around this fear of loneliness and sadness as she remains strong and focused.
The point of learning emotional preparation is not a set of technique rules to follow but of experiences to open yourself up to. Sarah has unintentionally done a layered preparation. She has opened herself up to more than one emotional aspect. Instead of just getting the one emotional color or strength the entire dynamic comes into focus which adds a very interesting variety.
By allowing the inter-actionary period to affect her and being honest with it gave Sarah the gift of having a richer experience than anticipated.
Regardless of what was scripted or not this work would have value inside of a film production if it occurred with the reality that it did in this exercise.
What Sarah learns from this example is to allow the emotional preparation to stimulate whatever it does yet still focus on the parts that are intended. Sarah knows in her heart that if she had not have allowed the Emotional Preparation to live fully within her that her partner would not have picked up on that alive part of herself during the inter-actionary period of her work. The scene would not have naturally unfolded including that emotional color.
Earlier on in Sarah’s working with emotional preparation she would not permission herself to have the experience of her own emotional preparation because she was too focused on just having the single emotional color in her work. She now has figured out a way to allow other activations to remain in her Emotional Preparation experiences yet still keep her focus on the main emotional color. She finds that by doing this her emotional preparations are more natural and relaxed thus her work is more natural and relaxed. Interacting with others in acting takes being natural and relaxed.
Example: – is this an example of good/bad –
Johnny gets himself really emotionally stimulated, even to the point where he is surprised at how affected he is during his emotional preparation. He goes to the door of the scene he is about to knock on to enter and drops his hands just before he is about to knock. The person inside hears something at the door from the inside.
The inter-actionary period starts when you stop focusing on yourself and you focus on the other person or situation. Green screen work will often put you in situations that you have to realize rather than people to relate to.
The moment of Interaction happens at the moment of contact where Johnny’s focus is on the other instead of himself.
Example: – greenscreen.
The interaction happens when the emersion happens into the green screen’s imaginary world. Then As both actors have done this they interact additionally with give and take with each other.
The mistake that many Actors make is not to emersed themselves into the inter-actionary period with the environment first then with each other. Many Actors will only wait till they are working off the other actor to start their inter-actionary responses.
This greenscreen example is the difference between the ability to believe and interact with environments over just having conversations on camera. Interacting with Others in acting on the greenscreen is a difficult and simple task to accomplish. Do your best and keep working on accurate emotional activations to what the imaginary circumstances are.
In Life – Sarah is already in an inter-actionary period with herself and her own logic based off of her experiences from her emotional preparation. The audience can tell that she has another thing going on with herself that is without clarity. There is not scripted element her that makes her do this for a reason that makes sense to the script.
The – another actor notices this element in her – calls out that she is being distracted. At that moment of interaction, the inter-actionary period begins for Sarah. Before this all is more blurred. From the moment where the other actor meets her at her emotional element and calls her on it the exercise becomes crystal clear and both people become alive and spontaneous to each other without interference.
Sarah is new to using that particular type of Emotional Preparation and she didn’t realize that it caught her emotionally into a foundry that was robbing her of being present in the inter-actionary period.
Sarah’s journal: There was a striking difference in feeling awake and aware after my scene partner called me out not being responsive to her. It was then that I started to interact and before it was as if I was in a state of sleepiness. I want to blame the Emotional Preparation for preventing my aliveness, but the reality is that I need to work with it in a way that it doesn’t make me unresponsive to others.
Interaction in a scene is when the subtext kicks in.
Example: Two guys working, it is not until the part in the script where one of them becomes personally affected by what the other is saying that the interactionary period actually starts.
Inter-actionary Periods are often mistaken fallacies. The Inter-actionary Periods do not start at the beginning of the scene unless you are actually in real time affected personally at the beginning of the scene. If your emotional involvement with the other has not started than you have not achieved an Inter-actionary Period and the audience is still waiting for the scene to commence.
A Neophyte Actor or a Fraud thinks that just because the lines to the scene are being said that the scene has entered the Inter-actionary Period. Most scenes have sections of Inter-actionary Periods. One section will fall into the next section. If you are emotionally responsive with the other from the beginning, then you can achieve an Inter-actionary Period from the beginning.
Interacting with others in acting takes achieving Emotional Preparation and then receiving the other actor to mix with what your emotional Preparation did to you. Allowing these feelings and emotions to mix with each other will amplify your acting responses.
How to Interact with Others in Acting
How to do Interacting with Others in Acting
- Keeping your attention on the other. (Unless you have a gut-wrenching response). This is called “working from the gut”. It is your ability to keep your attention on someone else unless you have a gut reaction. When you have a gut reaction you spit out the reaction to the other person and are honest and open about what part of you is gut wrenching. You never try to make up gut wrenching work you only go with the flow if it happens to you.
Inter-actionary Time with others means keeping your attention and focus on others. — — –
“Interaction Time” defined is when you are in your Imaginary Real-Time Circumstance or when you are working off or working with Another who is in your scene or Acting Exercise.
This entire section is how to interact.
There are two __ relationship with your environment
__Relationship with others in your scene or exercise.
There will be inklings, feelings and tingling sensations around the group of people that will be felt if there is anything going on. Allow the inklings, feelings and tingling sensations to go through you as an Actor but pay attention to any inward jerk reactions. These reactions within you may be the impulse needed to start a different interaction or strike an initial impulsive Interaction Time.
The impulses are also the striking sensations that can change the timing and the rhythm of the interaction. Allow that to flow through you as long as it is not violent in any way towards the other.
Interacting with others in acting takes the ability to open yourself up to the other Actors and find your inklings about the others you work with. Gaining your own inclinations can really assist your emotions in identifying themselves within your acting work.
Third, Group Inter-actionary Periods
This is a group interaction. Often times Actors don’t know where to put their own attention.
INSTRUCTION: Put your attention where your attention goes with the least amount of effort. This is a discipline to build up as an artist.
For Physical Artists (Painters, Sketchers, Sculptors): Allow your attention to drift to the place where it does. Sculptors may start to notice a block of uncarved wood, feel a tingling sensation, then have an impulse strike them internally.
This impulse is the moment to start the effort to create what you just saw or interact with the wood, canvas, or clay.
Inglings and Tinglings are different then feelings and meanings:
(Nerve based instinctual indicators)
The Inglings to get something done can often become over zealot moments of pre-anticipation. Both Inglings and Tinglings are sensory ownership relation to the Actor/Artist which means they have some sort of physical angst attached to their being present in the Actor.
Hopefully there are such moments where Inglings and Tinglings can fulfill themselves in their working relationship with the Actor. In order for them to fulfill themselves, the Actor must allow themselves to be physically affected in subtle ways to achieve that working relationship. The Actor also has other dynamics that have activated in themselves as well which is the interesting dynamics that are watched by the audiences in productions.
We must as people understand the difficulty level and the level of trust that Actor has to have with Self in order to allow such a diverse number of elements to be at play within themselves. This is no small task of trust and faith. An Actor who understands and allows this sort of play to be at (play) within themselves is possibly gaining more experience than they could even understand logically.
Feelings are the sensations of and from ONLY Emotions. There is a different core of vibrations that come from emotions into feelings. These are more concrete in a way and also more unphysical in another way. Too often any type of inkling or tingling gets confused for a feeling, which they are not. Only feelings are attached to emotions rather than nerves, nervous system and physical factors that are real and active but not with the pureness of emotion.
Any Actor who learns to understand their differences between actual Inglings, Tinglings and Emotional Feelings will be further ahead in their Emotional Preparational work and appear to others to have better Emotional Control of their Emotional Preparations.
Examples: confusing nerves for emotion. ?? ??
Scott is about to go on stage for the first scene that he is doing for the class. It is a bit unusual, but he is experiencing what he feels is really intense Emotional Preparation. He has twitching going on, his left hand is also shaking. Scott thinks to himself that he must be really feeling sadness if this is as much activity going on with him before he does his scene and confesses that he is heartbroken about his breakup to his friend.
The scene happens in class and the teacher stops it early and asks Scott what he has been working on. The teacher then asks if Scott is aware that he has no emotion going on at all and his sincerity for breaking up with his girlfriend looks more like a sports team lost their 2nd game in the finals but is still tied at even in the series.
Scott listens to his teacher with his jaw on the ground nearly literally in disbelief. He says back to the teacher. “I was shaking my Emotional Preparation was there, wasn’t it?”
The teacher replies “It was nerves because it was not sincere. So, your problem currently is nerves, not your sincerity at learning acting, just a correction to your technique”. “You had no emotion, nothing but you had a ton of panic”.
Scott is bumped out after class and even has a cold one with his scene partner discussing how to fix this problem with himself. Two months later he has learned to fix his technique to recognize the difference between Inglings, Tinglings, and Emotional Feelings. Another correction he learns on his own is that he doesn’t try to adjust his Emotional Feelings after his Emotional Preparation which he later figured out was part of his reason for not having Emotion in his work.”
How to Interact with Things or Circumstances in Acting
How to interact with things or circumstances,
Interacting with others in acting is a big and fantastic item to work in acting techniques. Another interesting aspect is How to Interact with Things or Imaginary Circumstances.
The same principles here ring true. Allow your feelings to be felt and experienced without taking note of them unless they change to impulses.
Impulses do not dictate to the Actor and Artist what to do but they are suggestions as to actualities to explore. The Actor can explore the impulse of doing something without falling through with it. This is the skill that will begin to develop as the Artist and Actor learn their craft. They will learn to pay attention to their impulses and learn to allow the fullness of their expression (their feelings, inklings, and tingling’s) to build up into works of art and artistic endeavors of craftsmanship rather than just blurting out the feeling, inkling, or tingling’s which many times will kill the impulse from forming completely.
Question: Is it ok to notice your impulses?
Examples of how to interact with circumstances after your preparation.
- Mere examples over and over with different people will help teach more correct methods of keeping your attention off of yourself until the moment calls the emotional quality out of you.
- Student in a car accident where they are instantly in the experience and the response of the other person to them already has a weighted meaning. Was this an acting exercise or real life. Student thinks to themselves.
Why am I having a real experience and thinking about acting lessons from it. Student giggles to themselves about this predicament.
- Student – never knowing if they are interacting enough with their partner during scenes. There are a lot of things to learn how to do habitually to be able to do scenes. Being interactive is one of those things that an actor needs to habituative so that it is automatic and there is an automatic relation and connection.
But how do I know I am interacting? I wish I will learn that because sometimes during the scenes I get up in my head wondering this question instead of trusting that it is already happening.
- Journal Entry?
- Example – it’s not about finishing each started experience or emotional element. This work is like math, it is the addition of numbers that make it interesting. Time connected with your acting partner adds to your experience.
If you can understand that the audience is the resolution to your equation and that you never have to as an actor summate your experience you will be further ahead than others.
Student: question: Are you saying that we never have to quantify our own experiences while having them?
Answer: it is better to have the audience equate your experience and describe what it was then to try to do that while you are still having the experience. Trust that you do not need your logic going at the same time as your experience. The experience cannot be tallied until its completion. Your job as actors is to include as many emotional factors as possible. Additions only happen when receiving is an ongoing experience.
- Example –
Teacher – when you have too much emotion focus on the doing and the connection.
Every single time you feel yourself welling up with emotion or tenseness focus on your connection with your partner. This will automate your innards outwards which is where we want them. We are training not to sit on our emotions but to utilize them.
Student- does this mean …. .
What if our partner doesn’t see our emotional life?
Teacher – the audience will see your emotional life and the camera will definitely see your emotional life if you express it. Expressing it means making a connection, not to dump your emotions onto the other person but to focus your attention on them instead of yourself.
Student – does this mean that you will lose your emotional life.
Teacher – you never loose what is genuinely in you. That is the factor to trust as an actor. Somewhere inside of you if you have genuinely it will work itself into what you are doing. Your interactions with the other person will seep through without your intentionally representing what is going on. That is what is an undercurrent.
Another – Example – Unless the lines address directly that you are in an emotional state which will add subtext to your
Interacting with Others in Acting
Interacting with Others in Acting is a fantastic approach to consider and spend time considering expanding your acting talent. Expanding your Talent is the ability to take time introspection to focus on how you will grow and expand.
Learning to do interacting with others in acting takes learning by experience that the more you are able to receive the others to mix with your Emotional Preparation the more equipped you will be in your own work.
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Simon Blake has studied OVER 30,000 – 40,000 acting exercises and studied over 8-10++ thousand acting students and professionals. Studying over 1000+ famous names in the industry learning techniques that are keys to unlocking their talents.
“Meisner In and Out Exercise, which was later known as Doors and Activities give a basic building block to modern day acting” Simon Blake’s training includes every aspect of Meisner Training.
Simon Blake runs and operates the website EmotionalPreparation.com which teaches Actors how to add Emotion to their acting using improved acting techniques.
Copyright 2019, Simon Blake