My struggle with being vulnerable (Part 1)

Lately, I have been struggling with being “vulnerable”.  It took me some exploring within myself to reach the issue at the core.  I feel like I am unable to do justice to the character and what they are going through.

Allow me to elaborate.  When I get a script, I do all the work that we need to do.  Figure out the crux of the scene, and know exactly in details why I am doing what I am doing.  My choices can carry through the entire scene, and it feels great.  The issue comes in when I have to get to a particular emotional state.  I know in my head that I have to maintain this emotional state only for the duration of the scene, and the time before and after the scene has nothing to do with the character.  These feelings and emotions aren’t really me, and that’s not what I want to feel otherwise.  I continue telling myself that these feelings are not mine, and hence I don’t fully embrace it.

On the other hand, I think that if I somehow manage to get in that emotional state, I should not lose it if I am being truthful. I should continue to live in that emotional state even after the scene is done because I am being truthful.  The life of the character goes on whether the camera is rolling or not.

I am also being watched, and that adds additional concern.  I want to be truthful knowing full well that I am not being truthful.  I can be truthful, but I don’t want to be truthful after the scene.  This kind of thinking makes me feel like I cannot do justice to my character, and that I am a cheat.

I am aware that this is the work that an actor, does but that’s just on the surface.  I want to truly feel what my character feels, explore that within me and not give a care what others watching me think.  I have to find a way to be vulnerable, and not care.  Actually, I have to find a way to not feel like I am a cheat and that I can do justice to any character I take on.

And because of this thinking, I give up way too early in the process.  It’s my catch 22.  I can’t be truthful, so why put in the time? I don’t put in the time, so how can I be truthful?

Maybe the answer lies in digging deeper into my character, or maybe I have to expand myself, or maybe I have to brute force this feeling of being a cheat out of my system.  Or maybe it’s all of the above, plus some more.  Or maybe these aren’t the core issues and there is something even deeper to explore within me.  Or maybe it’s just a matter of putting in enough time in the process before I go in front of the camera.

Either way, I want to live my character’s life in a scene truthfully, as myself.  I have to find a way to enjoy the process and enjoy the scene.