Advanced Acting Technique – Transforming into Your Character Through Reincarnation

As an actor, your primary goal is to make a complete transformation into a character. You are to approach this process as if you are undergoing some sort of incarnation, and the only way to fully reach your goal of this temporary mind and body transformation is to engross yourself into becoming “him.”

Transforming into your character is referred to by the great acting coach Stanislavski as reincarnation, which means to embody the physical body and mental consciousness of a character.

While there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of methods used by professional actors to complete the reincarnation process, I have cultivated several tips based on my over 10 years of working as a professional actor.

Moment-by-Moment Concentration

The beginning of your reincarnation starts as soon as you see your name on the cast list. From this moment, you will spend hours researching the story and uncovering the various idiosyncrasies that comprise the character.

However, the only true way that you will transform into your character is to live “his” life as you live your own – through moment-by-moment concentration. While you have an overall goal and purpose for waking up and going throughout your day, this purpose and goal is only met by focusing on the moment-by-moment of your day.

When you’re on stage, or in front of a camera, you are unaware of what is going to happen from moment-to-moment. Your character has a natural idea of how the scene might flow; however, he is not a fortune teller, he does not fully know what might happen in the future.

Although you do know this, as you’ve read the script and memorized your lines, you must forego this knowledge in order for the character to naturally live in the “here and now.” You must subordinate yourself to the character’s feelings, thoughts, behavior and speech patterns. It is only when you fully let go of your own traits and accept the incoming traits of the character that the process of reincarnation can begin.

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