Listening in Acting

Types of Listening in Acting

Types of Listening in Acting is in fact a key thing to grasp for your acting classes. You don’t only want to listen to what is said, but also how it is said. Real Listening involves Receiving! Listening even deeper can-do incredible things for your acting.

Listening in acting is more than just Hearing.

Remember, Real Listening is Receiving!

Hearing a Que for a line to bask in your own spotlight of Planned Expression is not, NOT, interaction in acting. Interaction is the use of Emotions in acting and being able to develop the talent of finding your own Emotional Activations.

Draft Copy of Chapter from Mastering Spontaneity In Acting Book
Copyright 2016-2019, Simon Blake


Types of Listening in Acting

Listening is an active process. An active process does not mean it is a doing process. It is both a doing and a being process. Often times in communication with another our ability to listen to them is cut off by either our own actions towards ourselves or another or their actions towards themselves or another.

Receiving is the Interaction of Listening.

The initial communication of receiving informs you to gain a comprehension about the other Actor. Your reality in acting rests on how accurately you receive your acting partner. To be clear with ourselves and authentic we want to be in a free environment. Receiving the other Actor puts us in a free environment where our attention is on them rather than on ourselves.

After we do our Emotional Preparation our goal is to receive not to perform. We access our emotion and self activate our emotion so it can color the way we listen to the other actor. Our Self expression of receiving rests in our ability to listen. When we receive we are being real in our acting.

Base-lining the Training in acting with the ability of listening helps to assist the learning of the craft of acting without deliberate interruption’s (that can thwart our own efforts and energy into achievements of personal growth and expressions.) This Base lining provides an equality to each participant within it without affecting or taking away any quality or trait that anyone may already possess.

Obtaining the ability of listening is a necessary ingredient to learning the craft of acting. Just because you hear another does not mean that you are actively listening or have given yourself permission to listen without interfering with yourself or another.

Listening without interference begins the craft of acting and being able to turn the craft of acting into an art form. Listening is the first ingredient that the Actor has to being artistic with Acting. How an Actor listens often is a basic to how they do in the rest of the work or later on in the work when dealing with deliberate difficulties such as handicaps or impediments.

Many actors enter into Acting with impediments that they need to work out before they can realize themselves in the craft of acting. It is very difficult for an Actor to actually be involved in or participating in Acting without being able to listen. Learning the steps to listening is a fantastic initial approach to checking in with yourself and grounding your own learning with a new person or new experience.

Many Actors who are neophytes believe that Acting and listening is the planning of taking turns expressing Dialog. This is not the instruction or experiences expressed in this book. Listening is the active participation as expression occurs. A tandem of events occur as expressions and duologue occur and the scene happens with some level of sporadic happening.

Smart Audiences will see through planned expressions where the timing is preplanned over the spontaneity of participation. In honesty it is a juggle to learn how to both listen and express at nearly the exact time as each other.

It is important to realize that listening is an active process and just because you have a line that you are speaking or are about to speak does not mean that you are cutting off your circumstances of listening and participating with. Your interaction is far more recognized and relatable than many Actors ever realize.

Visceral Listening (Resonate Listening)

Listening is the component of interacting that informs the Actor’s instinct. Often times early in the learning of Acting the Actor will cut off their instincts from being in their Acting and never know how to connect their instincts later on in their work. The reality to including your instincts fully is the capability of Visceral Listening.

There is a theater expression that says, “Just listen to for the cue”. Nothing could be further from the truth when aiming to working with your instincts and viscerally connecting with your acting circumstances or acting partners.

If you commence your training with the inclusion of visceral listening you will both, be intellectually listening and allowing your connection with the other to stay open. There is a muscle component of self that you will start to train if you decide to take the visceral listening route that will pay off in dividends as your training continues.

Visceral Listening is also very different than observant judgementation while being around someone. Many times being observant can be an aid to your Acting capabilities however the more you have unexpressed opinions of another the more you are taken away from a visceral experience with another.

The key is to be responsive and expressive with your observations and not hold back your own allowance of communication. This may often times lead to offending another with your opinions, but those initial offending moments can also lead to a deeper connectedness to the other person after the initial shock of the unexpected, expressed moments.

Visceral Listening is a one of the types of listening in acting.

Anybody can have an unexpressed opinion of another and blame the other persons ignorance for your not expressing your own opinion. However, it takes tack to express what is really going on within yourself and put yourself out there in a way that is somewhat unfiltered or rawly honest.

Visceral Listening is the tack of learning to listen with more than just a bias opinion of another person and learning to listen while being open to your own instincts and impulses that may choose to also communicate at the time you are attentively paying attention to another.

To Viscerally Listen to another person is to participate as a communicating member of the expression of the other and overcome an inactive process. Listening is not only an inactive process it is also a participating process even when the only person speaking verbally is the other person.

To really listen is to listen beyond your own Judgment of what the other is expressing.

Listening beyond Your Own Judgment.

To really listen is to listen beyond our own judgment’s. We need to gain the understanding of the other in detail. We may have striking differences of opinions yet the goal of listening is to not allow your own judgment to interrupt your connection.

Don’t take your focus away from hearing the details that the other is speaking. You may have another point you want to add but wait until you have an impulse to add it rather than getting locked in your mind judging the other rather than being in an active listening state.

It is key to really listen, you must learn to listen without judgment. This does not mean that your judgment will not come out later on in the conversation or be included in your work. Being able to do different types of listening in acting is key.

Dialog is not the keeping of the record straight intellectually. The subtext of what you are feeling is in how you are listening. If you trust that by keeping the connection, you are still expressing yourself than you are in the active listening state ballpark.

One of the biggest problems in todays modern 2020ish culture is that few people have the ability to listen to opinions that they don’t agree with. Having conversations only when you are agreeing and refusing to have conversations when you disagree is an elites culture not an open minded culture.

It is an incredible experience when seeing two people with apposing opinions have a conversation and agree to disagree. In Acting this same concept can catapult your work rather than pushing everyone around you to have your opinion.

Just because you are listening to something that you don’t agree with does not mean that there is not a value in it. Believing that we are being tortured because we are surrounded by those without our beliefs is a ridiculous point of view for an Artist or Actor to take. There are scenes where this will be useful but more often the attitude will limit the collaboration and refinement of your own point of view.

Trust your own instinct enough to be able to allow it to be refined or even strengthened by listening to another’s apposing viewpoint. Sheltering yourself of others views will only lessen your options as an Actor rather than expanding your possibilities.

The more you can identify with another persons mindset the more you may be able to relate to them. Acting is about relating not about creative ways of objecting. The more you are capable of believing the other person even if you do not share their opinions the more ahead you will be with acting.

Example: Mary has a scene with Johnny. Johnny is a narcotic abuser and he had picked a scene as in an addictive relationship with narcotics. Mary decides to go to an NA meeting which there are many of in Hollywood. At first, she is unable to really hear the stories and has trouble not judging the people for not having more self-control over their own lives. Her rehearsals with Johnny are difficult. She sees him as being less than a human being because of his addiction. She continues to go to NA meetings and study survival stories describing the actions of addicts who can’t kick their habits. Eventually she starts to really hear their stories rather than just casually listening. She begins to have an empathy for them and starts feeling more human about their conditions. Her scene has her livid with her brother, Johnny, who is a user. Yet because of her hard work to be able to listen beyond her own judgment’s she adds to her work a humanity that has a rare quality to it. She found the ability to listen and relate even though she did not agree.

Mary could have done the scene with just the hardness of attitude and judgment she had about the topic. Instead by adding the ability to listen she added her ability to relate to the topic even though she was not involved in the issues of narcotic abuse. These are the choices we get to make as Actors towards how to address what we do. Mary’s adjustment to listening gave her a technique that guarantees her a more expressive outcome in her acting work.

Truthful listening is one of the types of listening in acting.

Place right after “Listening with bullet point instructions –
The Observation of Listening

  • Listening is not a 3rd Party Observer, but an Active participation.
  • Truthful Listening is Relationship Building. – Is Key.

-add, the freedom of self-expression about what you are observing without consciousness about how another may view your opinion (This is part of the unpeeling of personal expression in acting and artistic expression. Freedom to have opinion about topic. Truthful listening will expose how you really are feeling about something just by observing it.)
The Observation of listening is not the active participation with another but instead and inactive participation with another. It is an active awareness of their being without participation with them about how they are being. Therefore, it is essential to not realize to them your expressions of observance as you are watching them but in slight ways if they were to be engaged with you, they likely could tell how you were feeling about them in the real time presence of your observation.
The art of the observation of listening is the craft of being able to observe the reality of the other with the tact to respect their viewpoint of themselves without dropping your own truthful first-person perspective observation of them. Truthful first-person perspective is the point of view that you have as you are which sometimes means that we will get in our own way of being able to hear another because of our own jux of position. Understanding that the first-person point of view is part of the learning process to being able to listen and respond to the other.
In truth listening is a relationship builder between the people in communication.
The abruptness of ‘TRUTHFUL LISTENING” can create an incongruent connection and disconnect any relationship building of the present.
The Observation of Listening is the Tact that en-companies the taking in of the person’s truthful demeanor and the audible sound and intended meaning of the person in communication with. This Tact is a balancing of sorts that builds up the ability to decipher between the persons posturing and their actual disposition.
The reality of Listening as an Observatory relationship of sharing value or exchange. Including the 1st person personal observation of truthful self-awareness of the other.

The Tact of Listening

Build a List of Tact of listening and components of Observation of Listening. Hopefully this can help you adjust to be able to learn more and achieve more knowledge and responses in acting.

  • truthful listening of another reasons no tact required to participate in observation of listening. Additionally, your attention is best fully engaged by what you are witnessing. As full as your attention is truthfully engaged in the observation meaning you have no other thoughts without pushing yourself to be super attentive **** **** __ [this goes into a lesson in not forcing your attention to be in tune with what you are watching and witnessing. ][ school of thought is staying alert to the observation but not forcing yourself to be in attention to it as being particularly interesting unless your captivated by the observance. ]
    **This is a keynote teaching. – actually. – – .
  • Are you building a relationship with the person as you are in contact with them? This is the baseline of communication and a lost reality often in this digital society. The craft of Tact is not the reality of building relation through communication. All Communication builds relationship components.
    The undressed topic of unexpressed Emotion in society
    The misconception of listening is the act of listening is only the hearing ability of speech, but truthful listening is much much more.
    The behavior that is incongruent with the emotional freedom of a person expressing and their relaxed or tense state of being is part of the observation of listening.
    The reality
    Example of – Observation of Listening in First Person
    Example of – Observation of Listening in 3rd Person
    Additional Notation – for later in the book or 2nd book
    3rd Party Observation when there are only two people present is the reality of communication that often happens in Shamed environments or when Bosses are controlling of their employees to the point that the employees feel that they need to communicate under the witness of, or they never enter into 1st person perspective.

Realizing how Types of listening in acting will affect your acting is key.

Truthful Listening

Truthful Listening is listening from your depth of “Being”, not from a depth of “Doing” or pretending to be a false self. Truthful listening goes to your core and affects you from the basement of your being reality.
Truthful listening allows the building up of connection that is the occurrence of communication and listening from the space starting from your core place of “Being”.

Result of Listening/and connection is: Being Present
(Being + Present = Being Present)
Being Present is a constantly adjusting and learning quality of self that develops in ways as the Actor develops. In the beginning of the training we train using only a few key elements that we do not change much throughout the training so that the consistency can be attained and the growth attained in the Actor who grows.

The reality of Being Present is that it changes. Your adjustments to being present often can be an unconscious doing of self that occurs as you are partaking in the activity of being present. We start off the work with only a few consistent factors as the work itself picks up speed. The speed of which the work can happen to us and with us is the speed of which we need to stay present to. The Types of Listening in acting affect how you respond.

In reality keeping up with the speed of the moments within an exercise can be an overwhelming task and this reality needs to be taken into account. Do not fear telling someone or telling yourself to slow down. The point of being present is full comprehension emotionally more than logically, but comprehension is key. Going too fast is a hindrance and will become a bad habit in any craft including acting.

In the state of being present we add to our ability to stay aware to more factors with our being which is part of comments that people will make about our being talented. This state of awareness is the present state of being that unconsciously develops as we experience things at quicker speeds or more personal speeds of involvement. This is why it is crucial for ourselves as Actors to turn over ourselves to our bodies awareness and learn to respond from personal self in a way that allows our instincts to do our thinking.

The Actions of an Actor to surrender over to self their logical analytic self over to their internal instincts is the courage that they need in order to take in and become more aware.

The reality of Acting is that the ACT really begins with the surrendering of self over to the present moment and the internal timing of self rather than intellectual analytic logic of self. At the purest levels Acting is only the art form of personal exploration of self and the surrendering of a prior belief into a realization (the reality) of what is present in the moment of happening in the ongoing moments of your productions.

The loosening of self to the degree where you allow yourself to take in the unfiltered present moment of your first-person point of view is the craft of per-missioning yourself to actually be present in the artwork that you do which doing Acting.

Types of Listening in Acting is an important consideration for the Actor. Listening beyond the words only.

There is indeed no true Action unless you offer your unfiltered self as a reality, preferably in first person perspective . Then enter into receiving your point of view or your Being Present ??????

  • getting over your need to pontificate your point of view and entering an allowance of your truthful perception of Being Present is the key to learning that the ACT is the release of self into an experience and not the bringing of a false sense of self into a performance, (consider – but more importantly bringing what you know to be your authentic self and doing your version of releasing yourself into the experience is the victor. Not trying to find your future self but your present self.?????)
    The quicker an Actor in their training can learn for themselves that it is not the external elements that make the consistencies of their work real but instead the unlayering of self and entering into an unknown experience that makes their work both consistent and real, the quicker they can realize who they are in the work that they do and participate in actually doing the work of Acting.
    Authors Note: From the onset of the training the desire is to start the training and not the figuring out of the training. The necessity of real experience is the backbone of actualizing within the work which is the unavailing of self within the work.

Goal: To lead the Actor into the first steps of learning acting by realizing that they must be having present moment experiences within the actual work of doing acting in order to be taking part in the work they desire to do.

Types of Listening in Acting Classwork Section

Exercise – Can you go to a place and not do anything while you are there. Instead of doing something can you just be. Notice what you notice, feel the environment of the place, take in the people and oddities of it.

This exercise is an exercise that helped the growth of many actors in New York city back in the day where acting was reinventing itself. It is a useful exercise wherever you are and is often most useful in busy places.

When you go to busy places over slower places are you still taking in everything there is to see or are you missing nuances that are there and have to revisit the same place multiple times. This honest understanding of your experience is directly related to your acting abilities and understanding of yourself.

Example – Types of Listening in Acting with couple examples

  • \
  • ? Senses needed to take in things or receive stimulus ? – Is this needed ? – Is this helpful.
  • Interaction with environment. Are you using the environment to get in a certain mood? How are you interacting with the environment? Are you observing?

These are all things that are needed to be able to do a scene in acting. – Replace.

If you want to be an Actor you need to understand how you interact with environments around you. This tangible sense will assist you in every single scene that you do in acting. Understand the Types of listening in acting to further your learning.

Types of Listening in acting

Understanding if you are in the mood to receive the environment that you are in is important. This self awareness is common sense self understanding to an actor. There is nothing overly intellectual about a person understanding what motivates and influences them.

The ideal state of being for an actor is to be openly influenced by what motivates them and to be interactive with their environment. This idea of self-control that limits personal expression must be addressed in Actors as modern-day ideology that robs the actor of personal experience. Actors want to open themselves up to what surrounds them the same way a plant even as a seedy must open itself up to what is outside of itself.

Being fully expressive means by natural means and not overstimulated fakery of what is not internal. A seed never tries to grow beyond its interaction with its environment. An Actor must not try to grow beyond its interaction with its environment.

Another example – Types of Listening in Acting

?another example – what being in the rolling rink does to the student. They feel uncomfortable. This is their interaction with their environment.

  • Example – The elation of a religious ceremony with the Pope. / Or a concert.
  • Example – the cringing of feeling that Adam has when he is around religious buildings. He gets activated by a personal experience from when he was a child. The feeling affects him even before the memory of the past event.
    The inherent evidence of Adams physiology gets activated.

About Simon Blake

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