It’s a feeling all actors dread: You’ve thought about the problems your character faces, you’ve learned your lines, you’ve created images you see when you say those lines. But when it comes time to perform your scene or your monologue, you’re just not feeling connected. It doesn’t feel real. So what else can you do?
Look for your kernel of truth. I also like to think of it as the roots for your lines. It’s that connection between you, your personal life and your character that you feel in your gut. Finding it will deepen your imagination work and unlock a level of understanding of your character and their life.
Give it a try and report back, it may be simpler than you think.
CLASS CLIP TRANSCRIPTION
Good, so that’s kind of what you’re doing there, you’re going through and you’re scanning and you’re thinking: what do I need to create a relationship to? And it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. And sometimes it’s deeper than other things, right? If someone says, “Where’d you go?” “Oh, I had to just run home real quick and grab my keys, I forgot them.” You’ve got a little image of that in your head.
But if someone says to you, “What was the worst thing that ever happened to you?” There’s a whole…the building of that relationship has to go a little bit deeper. And then you gotta use a whole other set of tools, really, to kind of build that so that it’s not just pictures, so that it affects you emotionally. And then you start to think about, okay, what do I understand about this?
I was coaching an actress on this audition for a movie a couple of days ago and the character has a lot of anxiety. She’s super, super anxious. We had to talk about, what do you know? What do you know about anxiety? What do you know about, when have you felt anxious like that before? And we were talking it out and all of a sudden she was like, “I’ve got it! I know what it is! I have the perfect situation.” And she was just thinking about that and she spoke it out loud and she said what she would have said in that situation. And all of a sudden the scene…she found it. She searched, thought about, what’s a moment that triggers anxiety for me?
And then you prepare with that, but you let it go. You’re not trying to hold on to it throughout the scene. You just have to find that little kernel of truth. That little kernel of truth. So sometimes that building of the relationship, you have to go a little bit deeper, and sometimes it’s really simple.