104. Inner Movies
Move into actually bringing up the emotion.
Hello and welcome to season 1 episode 4 of the BLS acting tutorial. I am your host, Braden Lynch.
I want you to think of three things: a place that makes you feel at peace, a living person or animal who helps you feel calm, and a food (probably a dessert or drink) that relaxes you. Pause it here if you need a moment to decide on what these things are for you…
Now that you have it, I’d like you to close your eyes for a moment, seriously, close your eyes, we’re going to do a quick emotional exercise, and eyes closed is easiest for most people. I’m also gonna go away here so you’re not tempted to stare at my beautiful beard. with your eyes closed, I want you to imagine yourself in a black, unmade space where nothing exists but you. Not in a scary way, just in the way that we haven’t built the world around you yet. And imagine that a spotlight comes on above you, illuminating around your feet a small circle of the ground of your peaceful place, just a little bit of that grass or sand or carpet or whatever it is. See what it looks like as specifically as you can. See what it feels like under your feet. See if you can hear what it sounds like if you move your feet. When that feels real for you, let that circle expand out to the boundaries of this place, whether that’s a wall or the horizon, then expand that boundary up and in until either the sky or ceiling encloses above you. Now build anything else that’s supposed to be here: plants, buildings, furniture. Take a deep breath. See if you can feel the temperature, maybe the sun is warming you, maybe there’s a cool breeze. See what there is to hear in this space, water, wind, animals, music, maybe it’s just silent. See if you can smell the space. And know that in this space, nothing is wrong, there is nothing to worry about. Everything is as it should be. And now, add a your person or animal. See them as specifically as you can, see that they are very tired, and include some kind of physical interaction them. Feel their skin or fur on your fingers, feel their hand on your shoulder, anything like that and want them to know that they’re safe to sleep here. See that they are unsure, and just ease them into rest. Their head on your shoulder or lap or on the ground. See them rest. And now take a moment to see if you can taste that dessert or drink. Feel it. Take another deep breath.
And open your eyes. So that’s one of the simplest examples of an inner movie. If you went through all that, chances are you felt at the very least, the beginnings of peace or maybe something else if your choices weren’t actually peaceful for you. You can go further in that direction or you can go anywhere else. You can trigger any emotion whatsoever through movies like these and that’s because the subconscious doesn’t know the difference between reality and imagination. That's why imagining getting fired makes you feel something. These things are not actually happening but the emotional center of the brain does not know that.
So here are the important points: starting simple (like in the black unmade space), taking your time to settle into the place and the moment, exploring all the appropriate senses — touch especially as it forces you into a first person point of view so that you’re in the moment instead of just watching it happen — then, don’t plan exactly what's going to happen from moment to moment but instead allow your imagination do the work, and lastly include an objective, what you want that other person to do.
Building Inner Movies is an incredibly important part of the work and let me talk about two things real quick. First thing. I have encountered a large number of people who are scared of this part of the work because they think they will manifest these things in their real lives. that if they fully commit to visualizing their dog being hit by a car, their dog will be hit by a car because that’s how the universe works, that we can manifest these things. if this is you, allow me reassure you that you need not worry about that. it’s simply not true, if it were true, all of my loved ones, and every loved one of every client I’ve ever had, would be so very dead. and they’re not.
Second thing.. a note about Journaling. Too many times, I've heard actors say, “I journal about my character.” When I ask what kinds of things they write about, they say things like, “I was born Florida in 1985, my mother’s name was Joan, my father's name was Harry, I had a pretty normal childhood my best friend's name was Kenneth blah blah blah a bunch of boring emotionless tedium that does nothing for their emotional understanding of character. Now I'm not saying don't do this kind of journaling, I'm saying don't only do this kind of journaling. If you're going to Journal, do it so that makes you emotional.
Viola Davis in the movie Doubt? in which she had seven straight heart-breaking minutes of screen time that earned her an Oscar nomination? I asked her afterwards about her process. She didn’t have a child like her character did, she didn’t substitute a nephew or anything like that, she wrote a 50 page bio on her character. 50 pages for seven minutes of screen time. That's more work than most actors put in for the entire two hours of being the lead of a film. And that is why she her performance was so compelling and full, Because she treated her character as having an entire life, very different from her own, because all Viola cares about is being good. And I can guarantee you that that journal bore witness to her tears, her laughter, her rage, the full spectrum of authentic emotions because she was writing emotionally and visualizing all of it. There's no way that her performance came from “my son was born on March 5 at whatever hospital and I named him this and his favorite color is orange, and blah blah. No She absolutely wrote something like “holding my son in my arms for the first time shook my world his skin was so impossibly soft his eyes impossibly big, he was absolutely helpless but he trusted me completely. He was immediately the best thing that ever happened to me, and I knew I had to do whatever I could to give him a good life, even though I knew that I had brought him into a world that wouldn’t be fair to him.”
If you're going to Journal, journal like Viola Davis. Get connected to real emotions.
Next up we’re talking about exploring. See you there.