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Letting The Words Do Something To You….

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katt shooting Carrie 2-1Here’s where I do what I so rarely do, and TALK about acting.

I don’t like to talk much during class, because the actual work we do does it all for you, and you EXPERIENCE what you want and need to be experiencing (so much better than getting intellectual about it, or hearing me TALK about it). Then your body, mind, emotions are fully engaged and you’re ‘out of your head’ — Yippee – freedom! When you experience this kind of freedom and un-self-consciousness, you create a memory for yourself of what that FEELS like – It feels effortless, it feels natural, it feels like nothing. There is no strain. The beauty of experiencing this state of consciousness three times in every class is that the feeling comes back to you when you are auditioning or working in front of a camera.

When you’re not in your head trying to conjure up emotion or an attitude, something truly natural and original comes out. But, the only way that kind of natural expression flows is when you get out of your own way and trust. The fun work we do in class gets you out of your way, so you can trust. FUN is really important in this process. If it’s not fun, you’re doing something wrong. REALLY.
When you trust, you allow the words to do something to you – the words move you, rather than you doing something to the words. That’s the way it works in life, so at that point, the work is magical. Even the simplest scene is unpredictable, surprising, and exciting.

This week I gave a very strong (strong in the sense of her experience and in her personality) actor in my class a scene where she played a dependent character. After the exercises I guided her through, she came out with a very original take on this character that came from her own truth, but later in the class, when she did it again, she got back in her head and decided to PLAY the character as weak. It came off like acting. It didn’t feel truthful, it didn’t engage. I had her do it “different” which is another of my exercises and suddenly she was off guard – there wasn’t enough time for her to decide something, so she had to rely on the words doing something to her -–and the character came back to life. The character became real again. What a relief!

Whenever you are doing something to the words, it’s coming from your head and not your heart, not your gut – and it will always ring false. Trust connects you with your heart, mind, soul and emotions — and engages them in a miraculous and fulfilling way. That’s where you want to be. . . and that’s what books you jobs.

Katt Shea

About Katt Shea

Writer/Director/acting coach - credits include: "Poison Ivy" and "The Rage, Carrie 2"