Friday, May 6, 2011

Pushing the Limits

Now I understand perfectly what Sanford Meisner meant when he said "the text is the canoe and the river which it floats on is emotion".

This week, I had to prepare for the most emotional scene I've ever performed.  It dealt with my worst nightmare as a mother, the loss of a child.  In the scene, my character has just been informed by a doctor that her son has died.  She then tries to rush out of the room to go find him while two doctors hold her back. 

I used all of the visualization that I could muster and created a sense memory to draw from.  It was horrific and painful but very effective.  By the time we were rolling, I was in full-blown hysteria.  Three takes later, we were done. 

It took all evening to come down from it.  I cried on the drive home and felt very withdrawn the rest of the day.  Despite all of that, it was incredible to push the limits of what I thought I was capable of.  This was a breakthrough that I've only dreamed of having. 

There are few things that I've been prouder of in my acting evolution thus far.  This ranks up there really high!

P.S.  If you haven't read it, read it - the film actor's bible - Sanford Meisner "On Acting".  Every time I read it, I learn something new.


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