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Meisner Acting: The Art of Emotional Preparation

Meisner Acting: The Art of Emotional Preparation

The Meisner acting technique is a many layered approach that relies heavily on a practice known as emotional preparation. This practice has many objectives but the main goal is to eliminate the dialogue as a “crutch” and begin the process of being in tune with and relying on emotional undercurrents rather than the words. These exercises increase steadily in their complexity, as physical tasks are added, along with additional complexity in the relationships between the actors.

A key practice of the Meisner acting technique, emotional preparation is a theory/practice in which the actor deepens and strengthens their connections to emotions and impulses that have personal meaning for them that can be translated and developed to create a true “emotional life” for the character. Many untrained actors work with a mistaken belief that acting is only about pretending to experience certain emotions onstage. Nothing could be further from the truth and audiences instinctively know when this superficial approach is being used.

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