Advanced Acting Technique – Repeated Emotions

During my training as an actor, I was continually taught with the Stanislavski acting techniques. Part of which consists of uncovering your hidden database of emotions in order to create a realistic and believable character you must call upon these emotions.

As an actor on stage or on screen, you must understand the difference between real life emotions and emotions generated for the purpose of a script. Emotions created on stage or on screen are referred to as repeated emotions, and while they are similar to real life emotions they greatly differ.

For example, in a script your character is deeply in love; however, this is not real love, but it must be a truthful love. Although the emotions that you as an actor must engage in are not “real,” they are true to the character. Thus, repeated emotions are true to the actor, but not real.

Unlike real life, the repeated emotions you as an actor will encounter are not created from actual causes, but rather these emotions are generated because you as an actor have undergone similar scenarios and can empathize with the emotional arc of a character.

As human beings, we have regularly engaged in almost every type of emotion. We have been happy, sad, anxious, depressed, nervous, demeaned, humiliated, scared, horrified, gleeful, lustful and shy; however, the circumstances that creates these emotions are all different as well as the degree of severity for these emotions.

Nonetheless, your brain plays an active role in recording these emotions. As you experience an emotion, your brain nerves record these emotions and store these sensations within the recesses of your mind. Thus, when a situation calls for a specific emotion, your mind is able to deliver the required emotional intensity due to its recording processes.

Therefore, when you’re engaging in exercises, rehearsals and performances you may condition yourself to have an automatic emotional reflex in which the proper emotions are literally stored in response to the actions happening around you.

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