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DOUG REISER : THE HEART IN THE ART OF ACTING

This is about creating imaginary situations by stimulating one's thoughts and feelings to trigger an emotional response. As an actor, I use sensory exercises to help me achieve the most real and truthful emotion in the given circumstance of the scene. The creation of real emotion is a perceived response to the substitution providing the character to live in the moment with truthful action. An important element of success in exploring emotion is through the use of the five senses. There should be continuous work on lifting them to sharpened levels of heightened reality. This is accomplished by paying close attention to his or her senses on a daily basis, opening oneself up of emotional blocks that allow your mind and body to receive the heightened capabilities of your senses freely. If the actor must demonstrate great affection for another in the playing out of a scene, but such feelings do not arise, the performer may substitute the face of someone he does love onto the other actor.

The use of imagination drives the real meaning behind the words and the accent will come out of that. The result is becoming a part of the humanistic reality created in the moment to come terms with the subconscious or inner voice. My belief in the method was induced by the belief I had in Lee Strasberg’s purpose of making the actor bring imaginary objects to life. Strasberg’s belief in sensory objects comes from the state of mind of the actor, created imaginatively, in order to make the scene believable. The actor’s body needs to be consistent by working with acting exercises and methods that require discipline and consistency.

First, the process of relaxation is applied before one can act. When an actor is relaxed and thinking about something through this consciousness, impulses are transmitted without interruption into pure expression. The focus of the exercise is to rid the body of tension in one’s voice, body, face, and appearance. This frees the body of habitual movements into revealing pure emotion with expression and without disturbance. Once the body enters the relaxed state of being, the process of concentration is triggered into believing what he or she is doing.

Second, my acting process involves concentration, which is the guide to impulse and belief. The actor who is usually concentrated has enough will and belief to follow his impulse. This begins the process of the actor to liven up imaginary feelings and make them real. In keeping with Strasberg, the actor cannot really think on stage unless he is concentrated, and he cannot be concentrated unless he is relaxed. The state of being relaxed and concentrated assists the body to limit mental activity that will manufacture muscular tension. The power of concentration is the necessary responsibility the actor has to maintain and combat tension. Most of the time, when tension is relieved, the imagination and senses are open to many creative interpretation of the character. Furthermore, the emotions or intentions act as a relinquishing component of the actor’s creative conscious. When this is achieved for the actor, true concentration is accomplished.

Every human has different levels of sense memory that occur on a daily basis, which comes with dealing in object’s not being present, arouses our senses. The sense memory aspect of preparation is to experience stimulation of the five senses. These areas are the sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch in which experiences are relived. It signifies creating the thoughts, sensations, perceptions and emotions of the inner life in a character.

By Doug Reiser.
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