I’ve written before about controlled chaos, the idea of being completely in charge of your emotions and controlling the scene while giving the illusion of emotional freedom. However, what happens if a particular scene hits too close to home? What happens if you find yourself overwhelmed by laughter or tears?
My advice is this: when you are rehearsing, feel whatever you need to feel, really indulge. If a scene moves you to tears, go there BIG. If you are overcome with hysterical laughter, go there, too! Go with the raw emotion of the scene while rehearsing. Let yourself feel what it’s like to be overcome and out of control – I’ll bet it feels fantastic.
Crying is an amazing, cleansing experience – as is uncontrollable laughter. In rehearsal, really dig into those emotions over and over until they no longer have power over your work. THEN start your prep. Break down the beats, and find your physicality. Really find moments in the scene that, ground you and make you PRESENT. When dealing with an overwhelmingly emotional scene you MUST find clear beats. Where are you when you start the scene, both physically and emotionally? What drives you to say the first line? If there’s a really emotional beat, what happens RIGHT after? What’s your clear, clean moment to get back into the scene? Where is the character at the end of the scene? All this should be established in rehearsal.
Once your prep work is done, the audition day is more likely to be controlled. However, if in the audition, you are once again swept up in the emotion of the scene, that is fine. You have your next beat to drive you back into the scene. Find yourself. Don’t get too carried away, but give way to the real emotions of the scene. I guarantee you, if you cry and then spend the rest of the scene fighting against those tears, it will FEEL real. The same goes for uncontrollable giggles. In life, we fight through emotions. I’ve said it before, but watching an actor recover is one of the most beautiful, raw experiences casting and producers witness. Your real recovery, be it coming back from emotion, laughter or just searching for a line, is AMAZING to watch.
It is most important to be completely honest and present. We will feel your fun, and spontaneous freedom, and we will happily go on that ride with you