An On Camera Technique That Gets You Out Of Your Head

Creation is a physical activity not a mental one. The body can create better and faster than the mind. The actor’s process entails a lot of analysis using their minds, and it’s a big reason actors don’t pop on camera. They’re stuck in their heads so they don’t pop on screen.

Next time you’re about to start working on a piece of material and before you do any analysis, try this…

Everyone and so every character is a product of their environment. Imagine the environment of the story. Imagine the lighting, mood, temperature, textures and feel. Now create a human being that embodies the characteristics of that environment.

Now take the character you just created based on the environment and before you do any analysis, pick an action that best reflects the character you’re creating. Carry that action through the scene delivering every line as though you’re carrying out the action with the lines. Now your character has a cinematic spine.

Now take the character and as you play the scene, explore rhythms you think might capture the mood and tone of the material. Human beings operate rhythmically. Writers write dialogue rhythmically. Most actors never think about rhythm when approaching a piece of material. Apply rhythm to the dialogue until the scene feels like it fits a groove and has forward momentum. You’ll never have to worry about moments and line readings again. You’re body will create all of them for you. The rhythm will unleash them.

After you’ve done the above, then do your scene analysis and character analysis. You’ll find it takes less time, your performance will look and feel more cinematic, and no matter how much analysis you do, you’ll never be stuck in your head again.