Sylvester Stallone and the Actors Instrument – Physical Presence and Expression

byMaggie Flanigan

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Vulnerability, for example is an expression of the emotion of insecurity. Actors might work hard to develop this emotion and the complex ways it can be expressed. But, unless they have developed other aspects of their instrument, such as empathy or intelligence, the character will not be authentic. A single tear, without words can accomplish this, but how about a sense of vulnerability shown while one is smashing a clock to pieces? There is no predictable, safe way to do this.

The myth is that acting is simply pretending to have an emotion. Acting is not “emoting,” by injecting emotion into a script. As Sanford Meisner always said, Acting is DOING. In other words acting is being in the moment and allowing any number of emotional reactions well up and take you over and turn you into the actual character. It is a subtle yet, very important distinction. Legendary actors do not force themselves to show emotion. What they feel is genuine, and the results can range from crying and screaming to sitting perfectly still to express an emotion. Acting students who have developed a deep capacity of raw, true human experience that can express it using all aspects of the instrument are the ones that learn the most about the craft. Actors must give themselves permission to feel strong emotions, and express them (or not, if the role requires it) in physical, intelligent, empathetic ways.

The Maggie Flanigan Studio provides training for serious actors committed to improving their craft. Find out more about meisner acting nyc by reading this article about actors instrument by visiting the studio website.

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