Relaxation in Acting

Relaxation in Acting

Relaxation in Acting allows the Actors expression to happen. If the Actor is too tense their expressions will be restricted as well as their personalities. Relaxation is just as important and Depth of Emotions.

Some Key Quotes of this Acting Article:
“The goal of Relaxation is to be real and be open to being affected.”
“We use relaxation to dive beyond what is apparent.”
“The emotional impulse will cause you to want to do something towards expressing your emotional state.”

Emotional Preparation Technique Relaxation in Acting, Chapter from Draft Copy from Acting book “Mastering Spontaneity in Acting”
Copyright 2016-2019, by Simon Blake
As so many of my works have been stolen over the years, I am publishing this draft, or I did not take public credit.

Emotional Preparation Technique Relaxation

Technique 1: Relaxation

What you cannot do in a relaxed state you likely have no control over.

Even intense anger expressed has a relaxed element about it if you have some level of control over not killing the person you are upset with (in a scene). That small ion of relaxation is the difference between being a neurotic or being an angered rage filled Actor.

Learning to craft your ability to make this line thinner is the goal of training for many. During learning Relaxation with Intensity, you may lose your cool several times within the training before being able to have the iota of relaxation needed to stay in control just enough to function as an Actor rather than expressing as a neurotic.

Emotional Meditation Technique vs Emotional Preparation

Relaxation the Two Step Process

Ridding yourself of Intellectual Baggage.
(not being worried about how you look to others)
Physically Relaxing into a Real Stimulus.
(learning to craft yourself so you relax into your Acting reality)

First allow yourself to realize that nothing can naturally unfold without your being relaxed enough to receive impulses. You limit your own responses until you are relaxed enough to receive outside of yourself stimulus. If you are limited in receiving stimulus you will limit your responses.

The goal of Relaxation is to be real and be opened to being affected. Potentially the first step of relaxation is the forgetting the mind and intellect. Keys to Relaxation in Acting are vital to the life of the Actor. Most people respond more viscerally when they are not locked in a mental state of being. The mind often attempts to commit the body to upholding or righteously representing what it thinks the body should be going through during a happening.

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If you can rid yourself in your mind of what you think you are supposed to act like than you can free yourself more to actually having the experience that is, you are stimulated by. The stimulated experience usually surpasses the experience of the mind’s commitment.

Relaxation in acting is a necessary ingredient to find one’s own talent.

-How to address relaxing into the emotional stimulation but not through it. You allow it to live and be alive inside of you, yet you focus your attention and receiving abilities outside of your inward emotional life.

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The First Emotional Preparation Technique is Relaxation. This is not only the starting place for Emotional Preparation but also the place where integration of the emotional aspects gain familiarity within us before we work.

We will learn to use Relaxation as a tool that will interlace different Emotional Preparations and intensify other Emotional Preparations. The relaxed state is a very important element not to overlook when dealing with emotion.

The more settled we are with the tool and techniques of Emotional Preparation Relaxation the more we can empower ourselves to gain experiences through use of Emotional Preparations.

The goal of relaxation amongst your intense emotional life is the breath of air that fuels reality. Without relaxation and recieving of another you usually are left with very little that is ‘real’. There is a lack of a ‘scene’ without relaxation interwoven.

When we relax, we give over to how we are really feeling beneath the obvious surface. Relaxing includes what is going on underneath our obvious present life condition.

When you do not have relaxation, you do not have yourself as a friend or companion to your own work. It is a requirement that relaxation befriends your own inner being if you are to cultivate it.

Unrelaxed work will cut off your internal layers of self-communicating with your outward expressions. Some would say that this is keeping yourself intact as an Actor. Mastering this push and pull between relaxed give and take and expression. IF you are only expressing you are likely oppressing within the scene. There is a lot of that in the industry these days.

Goal: Give up preconceived notions and replace them with Relaxation.
Result: Relaxation finds impulses instead of logic.
Concentration finds Logic, Relaxation finds stimulation

Technique:

Relax.
Don’t meditate, stay awake and alive to what is inside you and what you react to.
Allow and permission your body to relax.
Allow and permission your mind to let go of control.
(Relax your mind and rid yourself of all that is in it. You don’t need your Intellect when you act. You need your instincts. )

We use relaxation to dive beyond what is apparent. Beyond the obvious and into what does not present itself until we are relaxed enough to realize it. The realization we aim to become aware of is in our senses, not our intellect. We relax rather than concentrate to allow our bodies to respond with our senses rather than our minds concentrate with our minds.

4 Short STEPS to Emotional Preparation

Resonations are Reasonations:

(Reason ations)

This is a physical and emotional activity to relax and allow the resonation of how we are. Developing that relaxed quality so that what we are actually responding to makes clear sense on camera is a key. Relaxation at a deeper level permissions impulses to be readily available to the Actor.

Thus, when you have a response, it is in response to something rather than unconnected to your acting scenario. The audience watches you to achieve realizing witness to what reasons you to respond. This is far different than unconnected responses.

The Relaxation Technique of Emotional Preparation is the acceptance and allowance of everything that is going on beneath and within our emotional aspects of self. We allow and give into any awareness’s that we did not have with what is stimulating us in the present time of life.

If we have had an argument earlier in that morning to when we are Relaxing with the Emotional Preparation Technique we may recall aspects of being in the argument that happened prior.

When we relax, we allow more of ourselves to activate within us and take an inventory about what is still present within ourselves. Being aware of what is inside ourselves and presently stirring within us means we have a better commandment of being able to bring those things into expression. Emotional Preparation is the readying of emotions and making them available in the case they are needed or utilized within your acting work.

Examples Here =
Not relaxing-
Relaxing-

  • Presenting your emotion – example
  • Emotional jitters – example
    Decides to make the work about something they are thinking about and does not come out of relaxation.
  • Presenting your logic – example
  • Finding a deep acceptance of your emotional life – confirming the other can do something about it. (Gives the action) work is coming from a solid place of being rather than an idea.
  • By relaxing finds an emotion and builds off that ?? Somehow. Picks that emotional color to become alive and awake with.
  • Relaxing until you find an impulse – example –
    Does it twice – finds an impulse second time.
    Let go of the logic to be good and started feeling a sensation to want to interact. This curiosity about the person that he would be working with took over inside of him. It was coming from impulse not logic. He was not wondering but curious with intrigue. The teacher had said to not judge the impulse but go off the impulse, so the student goes off the impulse of intrigue and interest that is a gut response that he is having. He moves towards doing the work., found an impulse and knocks on the door. That impulse gets replaced by how his partner is behaving. But at times the impulse of intrigue reoccurred at different times within the exercise.
    _ Had just found that he could work off an impulse. “There is no baggage of confusion when working with Instincts” he says to the teacher. “Everything was crystal clear, I knew how I felt, and he knew how he felt.”

Question: How do you know you have activated something in yourself?
Answer: The emotional impulse will cause you to want to do something towards expressing your emotional state. The key then is to respond towards doing something towards the expression and then turn your attention towards receiving the other in the work.
You know your activation is real because it causes you to want to do an action. But instead of doing that action you interact with your partner. This will keep alive the undercurrent of the emotional life and impulse active and alive.

Example:
Joanna works in her emotional preparation to relax into an inner emotional state. As she is feeling some emotion something sparks in her about wanting to strangle Jerry for what he said about her weight.
She goes to the door of Jerry and knocks on it with the furry of wanting to strangle him. When Jerry opens the door his eyes are filled with tears. He looks like he has been upset for quite some time.

Now, Joanna has two different directions she can work in:
Direction 1: Head – She could follow through with her own inner commitment to the action of attempting to strangle Jerry that she had in her daydream during Emotional Preparation. or
Direction 2: Behavior, heart and interactively.
She could receive the state the Jerry is in and from her gut reply.
Joanna takes in Jerry by receiving him. Out from her gut comes laughter and she sputters a statement of “You deserve to be crying”. Now many people may not like her gut reaction or have a different gut reaction themselves, but Joanna choose to work from her gut level rather than her intellectual will power.

Relaxation in acting assures that you are not acting out committments to do things based on mental preparation. Emotional Preparation stimulates you with intensity then you discover what the result will become.

Working from the gut is not working to gain the nerve to follow through on an emotional commitment. There are many examples in life where people lose their humanity to allow their intellect to high jack their state of being. Rather than interact with outside circumstances they mentally commit to do an action to right the wrong.

This is terroristic behavihor that frankly doesn’t belong in the arts unless it is a scripted action that the playwright has interwoven into a storyline to tell another angle or purpose.

We are interested in the human elements and human explorations of inner life conditions. Commitment is more applicable to commitment of discovery over execution. Compassion is not an intellectual decision but an action in the present moment of expression. Relaxation ensures that Emotional Preparation is more about exploration than rushed intellectual decisions executed.

Not Releasing your Emotions Completely

The myth of emotions in acting is that they are prepared for so they can be forced into the work and utilized. Amateurs force emotions out of themselves while they are learning to use them. The depth of understanding that we are gaining is different. Permitting yourself to be an amateur while you learn is perfectly ok.

We are gaining and stimulating depth so that there is an undercurrent beneath our obvious life condition. Our imaginary circumstances constructed with a rich and deep undercurrent beneath them. Our emotions are not our imaginary circumstances but what lies beneath.

When emotions get stuck in you after your acting work it helps if you have relaxation in acting to take breaks and then try to re-release. This will help you relax out the emotions completely.

The goal of the work is to have depth available for the scene or exercise partner to be able to interact with. Not to force interaction based on the idea that you have something going on internally. Learning to allow internal expressions to be brought out by your partner instead of presenting them takes time to be comfortable with. Having depth available is very different than forcing depth. Relaxation is the key that opens up surprising responses in acting.

The goal of Emotional Preparation is not to release all that is going on internally inside of you in its entirety. To naturally be open to your partner interacting with you is key. The goal of Emotional Preparation is to saturate yourself in and awake yourself to your internal emotional life. The goal of becoming aware of all that is going on inside of you is a good one.

The ability to have priorly activated your inner life so if your partner does bring up the issue that you are able to admit to its reality. The secondary goal is to wake up what is inside of you, so it is active inside of you and available to the other while acting. The second step of allowing your partner to extract your undercurrent is a major key.

Preparation is not a linear process in result. It’s like filling up the gas tank. The emotional gas is available but does not necessarily get used in the acting work, it really depends on the experience of the trip taken. Only the emotional gas that gets activated into the present moment by interacting with your partner or the circumstance comes out in the work.

Much of the emotion remains in the Actor as an undercurrent that supports the scenes happenings. What you put into your emotional gas tank will always come out differently and in combination with other things while acting.

Actors that practice expressing their emotions with Emotional Preparation so that every ounce of expression comes out of them often are performing their expressions rather than living out their experiences. In life, during emotional times, there are always left-over bits of emotion after we are upset about something.

Nearly every real-life experience has remaining emotional content that does not get expressed within living the experience. Trying to express all the emotional content of any reality would become a conversational dramatization or soap opera. Soap opera writers often script intricate emotional conditions that take hours upon hours to be able to get to the expression. Many emotional layers are misunderstood by the experiencer because they are trying to express every ounce that is within them.

Using Relaxation in acting can help you develop techniques to layer emotions.

If you are having a difficult day you may want to become aware of those difficulties and be certain in allowing those difficulties to be active inside of you. If you allow the activity of those expressions and permission and then stimulate them further than you will start to feel those sensations or recall how you felt during certain times that you have felt those sensations in the past.

This is awakening the inner life of yourself within an emotional ballpark range. Your partner, if they are working intiutively, will pick up on the emotional current and include them in with the acting experience.
Amateurs always try to utilize every ounce of emotional life. Amateurs try to milk their emotional experience and draw out what they think are the dramatic elements of their emotions.

This Immediately needs to be cut from the work to help Emotional Preparation succeed. Having left over emotion that did not come out instinctively is absolutely real to life and so should also be real to acting experiences.

Releasing Life Baggage

Releasing all life baggage that you are not putting into your work as part of your craft is key. If the baggage you have does not apply to your scene or classwork release it unless the work activates it while acting. You will need to know how to release life baggage so that you are not distracted by the worries and concerns of life that do not stimulate you.

In many cases releasing life baggage that does not apply to the scene will also release preconceptions and intellectual ideas about what the work should be like to experience. Experience of a relaxed sort relies on what is acually pinched out of you during the life of it.

(There is a craft to bringing all of your life’s baggage into your work. You want to bring your baggage but not your actual hunger. Many Actors are actually hungry for food. That instinct you want to feed rather than mixing up the strength of hunger to the emotional life of releasing emotion. )

Many real life circumstances such as paying the rent does not give a solid tangible emotional aspect. Paying the rent to many people is just another worry, not an emotional motivator. This mistake is so often where people do not understand what consequence is in acting.

Consequence is not adding behaviors to your work that you think belong there. Real stimulation actually turns the inside of yourself and motivates you without the intellectual components.

Relaxation in acting and Emotional Preparation can help find Consequences that actually have Emotional Activation.

Remembering the goal of Emotional Preparation is to liven and awaken emotionally, not worried if the rent is paid if the rent not being paid is not a stimulating event . The result of time spend Emotionally Preparing is a result of being stimulated with a rich state of being. Not bringing a distracted or 1/2 self to your work. Worry is the 1/2 Self of Intellect in your acting work.

Concern could be an emotional result of Emotional Preparation, but its strength lies in relationship to the other person and not self-worry. Self-worry is based on conceded ideals. Concern for another is still intellectual but could also be heartfelt. It is better to work clear from ideas and in the reality of stimulation.

Example: Jordan has a small one act play that he is doing. He wants it to be rich with emotional life and active emotionally. Jordan keeps all of his life baggage active for the play. At first this is good, but Jordan keeps bothering himself in every area of life all day long before the night of the play. By the time he gets to doing the play every area of him is activated and exhausted.

Jordan is responding to everything with no specific point of view. The audience doesn’t know what they are watching. The acting becomes very generalized with no focus point. The lines seem out of place as does much of the behavior.
The teacher replies to the acting effort. “If you let go of parts of yourself you will find that the part will find you, rather than you trying to find it. That effort was kind of forced you know.”

When working with the technique of Relaxation you allow yourself to relax into the work and what you respond to you express. The responses you have come from the impulses not the planning. You don’t try to get the most out of all the moments you relax and allow the moments to build within you.

When a moment builds momentum, and you have the impulse you then express the impulse. There is no need to keep tension on yourself or keep yourself artificially uptight or emotional.

4 Short STEPS to Emotional Preparation

Your Emotional Preparation will pinch you rather than you acting out what you believe you should be experiencing. This relaxedness is rare to see in acting. Most often the work that is done is preconceived on television and in movies.

If you do nothing less than use the Emotional Preparation time before you work as a time to be fully released from the daily life pressures you don’t need in your work and get to a place of relaxation you will amplify your work as an Actor because you will be completely clear of whatever could be preventing your abilities to listen. This will also amplify your ability to believe in the Imaginary Circumstances.

The type of relaxation that you need to release and forget about and the type of stimulation that you need to encourage is part of you figuring out your own instrument and learning to master your own instincts. Learning through becoming familiar is the only mastering that anyone can do in acting. The implementation of anything by dictating it will kill anything artistic.

If you have present life conditions that are baggage and distractions in your work either use them in your work or get rid of them. Using real life circumstances is not advisable but could bring upon a real experience. Adapting real life circumstances by using their meaning but not ???

** -When you are relaxed you are able to identify your opinions because there are moments of relaxation that allow you to emotionally realize yourself. When you are not relaxed you will skate over how you really feel or project a feeling that is not truthfully your own.

You get to choose which kind of Actor you would like to be. Do you want to be an Actor who skates over your own and others’ opinions? Do you want to be the Actor that is alive with yourself and the others around you? This is not an accident. You choose this by how you choose to train your own instincts.

Remember that all that you do your body, mind and spirit remembers. Once you establish a habit that does not serve you, you will have to go back to correct that habit. If you start with a relaxed approach, there will be less to correct along the way to discovering your own acting process.

  • Not only the first ingredient, but also the consistent ally of the Actor is the skill of relaxation just before you become present in your work.

If the only success of Emotional Preparation is a relaxed state of being then it has been a success. Relaxation is directly related to comprehension and acceptance of Self, which is the undercurrent of all present conditions. Mere relaxation takes you to the deeper undercurrents of self.

Relaxation in acting helps the Actor to achieve their deep undercurrents.

In essence, you can relax away your desires to accept who you are at a deeper level and bring that and all those elements into the work instead of your presented and polished self. This is the outcome that will involve you more in your work rather than keep you away from experiencing.
Relaxation will deepen your own involvement in acting scenes or classroom exercises.

  • Doesn’t need to be more complicated to be affective. – Turn this into an example. Affective means affected.
    Explain what happens when someone is affected.

When you are affected, you will pay attention differently than when you are not affected. This minor difference is significant. Gaining emotion that changes the way you are affected and receive from others is part of the adjustment of relaxation. The emotional element may change how you perceive the others behavior.

This is optimal, however, if you include relaxation to you process you will recieve more truthfully their intensions towards you and not just their actions. Relaxation is an element that requires you to allow yourself to be affected by another. Unless the other causes you reason to not permit them to be in contact with you the connection will build and moments upon moments will occur.

There is a striking difference between being affected when relaxed and being affected when uptight. If your emotional life is relaxed within you, you will recieve in a deeper way the circumstance you enter into and the experience of connectedness to the other person.

If you are not relaxed, you will tend to execute actions and mentally commit yourself to their doings. As soon as your mind is made up that you will proceed, you proceed without experiencing what you are doing.

  • Later on in the work as you add complications to your Emotional Preparation you will find that relaxation is the item that solidifies having a truthful emotional understanding of your circumstances.

Examples of relaxation before working

  • There’s not much going on, but what is going on can build upon itself with the experience from the other. What happens in the work immediately is able to be used and absorbed by both people. During the exercise marbles fall all over the floor and this immediately becomes a lifeforce towards things. This puts a healthy foundation to the Actor and gives them a reality of presence with an openness to be affected and able themselves to adjust to the other.
    The normal ‘performance’ nerves aren’t there unless the Actor focuses outside off the work. The clarity that this relaxation brings her is incredible.
    Journal: I never realized what it meant to be in my head before. Now that I am using Relaxation as a technique for Emotional Preparation I can instantly tell when I am up in my head and not focused on the work. When I focus off the work, I start getting ideas wondering what others think and nerves. If I just do the relaxation thing technique, then go into the work there are no nerves to work through. Who would have thought it would work like this?

Example the thoughts of the students before they work and how they accept there thoughts are alive within them.

Example of an emotion being present and finding a deeper settledness underneath the nerves.

Example a nervous twitch or habit and how beyond that experience an opening of a greater thing happened. An exceptance of why the twitch was there and the letting go of past baggage. Mother always told them that they were not as valuable as others and the nervous twitch came from the feeling that everyone’s time was being wasted in class because the self worth had been diminished.

Example: Jordanna works without Relaxation. She gets herself so upset with the given Emotional Preparation technique she is using. She convinces herself that the acting partner has lied to herself for years and that she needs payback in order to equal the score. Her head is spinning, she has very little emotion going on internally, but she is absolutely livid and crystal clear that she wants retribution of the circumstances.

Relaxation in acting helps to determine Depth of Emotion vs a fleeting feeling. A feeling is good in acting but Emotions are better.

Now she works with an intent and point of view but the other has nothing internal to work off of her. What is being done is a crazy element out of this world insanity with a lot of dialogue back and forth in the exercise. It is clear that she came to want retribution and will never get a truthful apology because she is demanding.

As a growing pain of acting work there is a virtue in Jordanna’s approach, but it is lacking depth. When she gets to the stages of interlacing emotional layers, she will have to relearn the entire emotional preparation process. The truth is that convincing yourself logically of an occurred event does not gift you enough substance to build multiple emotional currencies. So, the only result of Jordanna’s technique of emotional preparation will be clear demands onto the other person.

Emotional Meditation Technique vs Emotional Preparation

We understand that there is a responsiveness to adhearing to demands and there can still be a healthy improvisation occur in the exercise. The textures and layers of build up will be restricted. The point to the abilities are to pedastel yourself on a platform of emotionality not instruction.

If Jordanna was more relaxed she would have less direction of the other Actor in the scene and more experience of the person in the scene or exercise. Jordanna’s experience in the exercise would come from relating to the other rather than dictating to the other what they need to do or not do.

Try to understand that clarity is the product of the work, not the working ingredients of it. Often the emotional life underneath will be muttled with depth that is yet to be expressed. This murkiness is part of the construction but not part of the final expression in scenes or exercises.

You can often have more productivity with relaxation in acting than without it.

In every example of the work. The relaxation became into form clearer after spending time doing Emotional Preparation. The Emotional Preparation before participating with another in the classwork or scene allowed the settledness of the accepted self to be present rather than the fraudulent or presented self to be present. We aim and always want the authentic self with all their ailments and possibilities.

Early Look at working

It is vital to comprehend the habit of letting all that was stimulated in you during your Emotional Preparation exist in your acting work. You learn quickly to not present your Emotional Preparation but by the actions of being involved in your work that your Emotional Preparations will find their ways into the work.

Not leaving your acting work without expressing fully within it is an early hint at the work that we are going to learn in this book. Relaxation in acting is part of learning personal expression.

What you allowed and stimulated in your Emotional Preparation will filter into your acting work by interaction. Forcing or doing your Emotional Preparation performs it which creates a fake platform rather than genuine interaction.

The way to work with Emotional Preparation is to spend the time to self-stimulate yourself and then focus entirely on outside stimulation. The more focused you receive the other in your work after you have already stimulated yourself the more of yourself will pour into your acting work without any conscious effort.

Releasing the conscious effort of self focus relieves you from the worry of having to keep up anything at all and assists you in genuine communication. This is the way to work with the technique. Focus on the Emotional Preparation, then release, and focus on your partner.

Happy accidental and incidental coincidences will flood your work when you utilize the ease of releasing yourself from your Emotional Preparation and focus on your partner. Incredible synchronicity will also occur and what you will find it that often there will be times where you will know exactly what the other is thinking and feeling. This is when you know you have entered the world of acting and relating to people.

Relaxation in Acting Summary

Relaxation in Acting is just as important as Depth. Finding your emotions requires you to find your relaxation.

Finding your Emotional Preparation takes the ability to have relaxation in acting.

Learn with Simon to discover your own acting techniques to unlock your emotions.

About Simon Blake

Simon Blake has studied between 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.

After being assaulted by an industry student associated with the school Simon moved on to finish his acting books and start teaching acting online. Studying every area of Meisner Training with well over 30 Teachers including himself.

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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Relaxation in Acting

Draft Copy from Acting Book “Mastering Spontaneity in Acting
Copyright 2016-2019, Simon Blake

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