Acting training is really, at essence, fear reduction training. Because of the fact that we have been punished for so many different behaviors, it sets up the fear patterns in each individual. As a result, you have these knee-jerk reactions to things, where you just get that fear in you. Our general thinking as a people, is very fear oriented in many ways. When two actors get up, they may initially fear each other to some degree, or fear actually being up in front of others. And so we’re working on that in class. We’re creating a space or container to allow people to let go of that. Also, we are utilizing methodologies of releasing fear and just getting to the real self.
And that’s when you’re acting, when you are behaving in the moment without any reference to whether it is OK or not. And all of us can learn this. Spontaneity. It’s a matter of self trust. Knowing yourself enough to allow yourself to be yourself.
It seems that Acting is quite misunderstood. People think of Acting as pretending. It is far more about being real, because it’s about dropping that disguise and being authentic in your behavior. You learn to be real with your emotions and more immediate with your responses to things. You allow yourself to experience life, the life of another, in an unguarded way. This is the quality that allows the actor to let go of worrying about the audience or the camera. Through constant repetition, you learn to create your own imaginary world, and to live with in it.
It is an interesting aspect of acting training that by playing another you come to know yourself better.