Actor training: Releasing the Inner Animal

Peter Valentino Actor Training Blog

The reason for the actor to re-animalize themselves is to be able to connect with the character he or she is playing. We each have a Nature, a Human Nature, and when we connect to that in ourselves, we can connect to the other personality.


The intellect itself is a rather recent addition to the human brain. The frontal lobe can become trained within a system that becomes denatured, leaving the actor disconnected from his physical self. This is something that the animal doesn’t have to deal with – in most cases. Actor training is based on releasing the person from the unconscious hold of their pre-conditioned selves.


Our way back is, of course, primarily through the breath. One who can control their breath can control their emotions; one who can release their breath can release their emotions. The actor must do many exercises to return their breath to its Natural condition. More than anything, think of yourself as you’re returning your breath to the moment. By practicing this, you will allow the breath to respond emotionally in the moment that a situation takes place. 


Remember always that breath precedes words.