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Overcoming Emotional Blocks: 5 Steps for Actors to Enhance Their Performance

Updated: Jun 7

Intellectually, you know what emotions are required of you for a performance and you know when it feels authentic within you but - you can't seem to go there.

acting class

Not being able to access the emotional state that you need for your performance is considered an emotional block and can lead to pitfalls.

Or have you used your past experiences, or that devastating loss that happened to you in order make your performance look and feel real, only to find that it didn't work or it doesn't work every time? Some are able to tap into those emotions from the past, and it may work, for the moment, and it's powerful, it's cathartic. Once you've done that though, then what? What about having to do the same performance again and again or again years later for a different role. Does the same method spark the same passionate real emotion, spontaneity and rawness? If you're honest with yourself, it does not, because it doesn't last.

Your performance may look like disconnected actions because you have unleashed raw untapped and unprocessed emotions without any control or artistry.

Frankly, you walk off stage feeling relieved but you don't even remember what just occurred. Whether you've underreacted or exaggerated an emotion and whether it makes sense in the storyline eludes you, and even worse, it eludes the audience. I'd prefer not to perform with such risk. God forbid, if you're asked to do it again and again, night after night or retake after retake.

people in plastic

When we don't understand how our past emotional history influences our current behavior, or when we don't completely grieve our losses it makes us hypervigilant and go into self-protective mode, cautioning ourselves, therefore blocking openness to further pain.

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