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by Patricia Angelin, Founding Instructor of the Alba Technique, NY
Actors frequently come to me because they want the ability to “cry on cue.”
Can I help with that? Well…yes. Will you be able to produce salty water from your eyes on-demand? That depends upon your own lacrimal gland functioning. Some people have medical dry-eye, for heaven’s sake. For the perfect, dewy tear? Well, that’s why God created glycerin… and filmmakers do know this.
Honestly, I only know of one actor who could produce perfect crocodile tears on cue, and despite being a beautiful ingénue, after a couple of Under-Five jobs on various soap operas, she disappeared into well-earned obscurity… because she was about as deep as a damp paper bag!
So what do you do now in order to be able to become appropriately sad (salty eyes aside)? Do you use an “Emotional Substitution” like when your dear grandmother died, the results of a friend’s tragic car accident, or the memory of your dead puppy?
I don’t mean to entirely make light of this. Many good actors use this: Emotional Substitution is now a time-honored technique. However, there are two problems with this approach:
1) It can make you neurotic as hell, and (far worse)…
2) It doesn’t always work.
You can have your obstacles, objectives, intentions, tactics… all your intellectual ducks in a row. Yet you’re still thinking “Gwaaggghhh! I hope it shows up!” The emotion that is needed, that is.
Many actors are being told in their training that their intellectual process work is all they need. That the emotions will magically appear at the right degree whenever they need them. However, that’s not reliable. We all know it. How many of us have been to that big audition, thought about the dead puppy, and…zip. Nothing. Absence of emotion… followed immediately by panic… and then a blown audition.
We now know from 3+ generations of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that repeated exposure to a stimulus eventually desensitizes one to that stimulus.
With Arachnophobia for example, the therapist will expose the patient to a picture of a very small spider, very far away. Then he will gradually move up to a real spider in the same room; thereby blunting the effect of the fear/phobia.
So, how can we expect our Emotional Substitutions to continue to work forever? Truly, gang, you don’t have to think about your dead puppy to get to the emotion. Actors need techniques that are:
In our working lives we need to become more:
Our talent also needs a competitive edge in the marketplace. We need to be, and continue to become, our best, deepest, and most unique selves. We also need to be able to tap into the universals that a will touch other peoples’ uniquenesses.
Alba Technique could be your final process puzzle piece.
Alba Emoting–a neuroscience based body work–is simple, natural, and authentic. It’s not easy to learn, but from Day 2 of class you’ll know it’s worth it. It isn’t for everyone…what is?
Meet your Six Core Emotions for the first time, and learn to shed them like an overcoat
through the revolutionary Step-Out protocol.
Go to the Edge…Get to the Center. The Center of You.
Would you learn more about the Alba Technique? Click here to access the website.
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Posted on January 23, 2015
by Patricia Angelin, Founder of the Alba Technique filed under