Understanding the psychology of real life is imperative to our work.
Hello and welcome to season 1 episode 2 of the BLS acting tutorial. I am your host, Braden Lynch.
So, let’s go. To prove to you that this technique comes from real life, let’s take a really simple example from the life of an actor: getting an audition. email on monday, audition weds, shoots friday, you check it out, great people attached, really cool project, challenging audition material, all in all, you really want to book it. so you work on it monday, have someone over to run the lines, tuesday you schedule a coaching and then go and get coached, wednesday you audition, thursday, you’re hoping for some feedback from whomever, friday you find out. okay?
during this week, this event in your life, you’re going to be having all kinds of thoughts and feelings, right? Now. there’s going to be someone else who gets that same audition who’s gonna have completely different thoughts and feelings about it.
and the reason why starts with what I call the relevant history which is exactly what it sounds like: all those things in your history that are relevant to this event in your life: your history with acting in general, with auditions, with this casting director, with this kind of project, with the type of scene that you’re auditioning with, the list goes on, with both conscious and subconscious memories, right? the reason that you and this other actor don’t feel the same about it all is simply because your relevant histories are very different. you love this casting director, they don’t, you love this kind of project, they’d rather do something else, this kind of scene challenges you, it bores them, right? The same is true with how you may get really excited about one audition but want to pass on another, your relevant histories between the two are different.
Okay? that’s the first element that influences your behavior, relevant history. the second is what you start imagining the future might hold. you, being the person who really wants to do this project, might start thinking about how amazing it would be to film this, work with these people, what it would do for your career and your finances, blah blah blah. that other actor might start thinking about how miserable they would be if they booked it, cuz their ex is already attached and it’s a fantasy film and they hate that kind of stuff, whatever, I don’t know. but you can see how the differences in your relevant histories set up very different potential futures and so your behavior will be very different even though you’re going through the same event. again, the same is true when you get an audition that your excited about vs one you’d rather pass on: the differences in the relevant histories will set up in your mind different potential futures which make you behave differently.
Okay. So those two elements - relevant history and potential future - put you in a certain headspace for pretty much that whole week, right, I mean, you might have certain moments where you’re free of it, but it’s pretty much there the whole time especially if it’s a big deal. it may be stronger or weaker at times, it may change subtly depending on how it’s going, but it’s there.
now, the next element. you’re in this headspace, and in walks the person who’s gonna run lines with you, I want you to pick somebody, absolutely anybody doesn’t have to make sense, that person’s gonna run the lines with you. while you’re in this headspace, you feel a very specific way about them, don’tcha? now if you pick someone else entirely, go ahead and do that… same thing, while you’re in this headspace, you feel a very specific way about this other person, which is probably pretty different from the first person. so that’s the third element, called the emotional relationship. just exactly who is this person to you and how do you feel about them.
now. when you’re in that headspace, and that person walks in, what happens in real life and so also in this technique, is that you want something from them. you want them to help you run lines, maybe you want them to stop screwing around, to stop telling you how to do it, to have fun with you, could be one of a lot of things, but it pretty much always boils down to just one main thing in your head, and whatever that is -run these lines with lines with me, stop screwing around, anything in that kind of format- we call that the objective and that’s what the scene is all about.
These four elements, relevant history, potential futures, emotional relationship and objective, are the basis of we behave in every moment of our lives and in the next episode we’ll go over how to properly use them. See you there.