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September 30, 2017 7:04 am  #1

Acting School Obs (male focused)

For you, Woundedpuppy

I have yet to be in a play where I offer comfort to a male counterpart. I hope very much to do that some day (and until then I'm writing my own play that contains it). However, during my training as an actor, I've gotten to experience it a lot.

My class contained a variety of ages and races which has been extremely enlightening. During class we would do what is known as a Meisner repetition. It involves making observations about the behavior of  the person on stage with you. You repeat it until something different happens. For example, I may come on stage and start:

"Your hands are at  your side"

and they would reply, "my hands are at my side"

It then continues. "Your hands are at your side"

"My hands are at my side"

Then something might change up, and you observe it. "You look nervous"

"I look nervous"

And so on.

It sounds completely mundane and absolutely insane, but you'd be surprised how often it leads to incredibly meaty and emotional scenes. It's about being in the moment and building a strong connection with the person you are on stage with. For the sake of brevity I'm not going  to quote the repetitions but just describe them.

For my part, I'm average height, average weight with (I don't know how else to put it) a big set of boobs. Often times during repetitions, men will flirt with me and we escalate into a kiss. This class is responsible for upping my self esteem and realizing that I can be a sexually desirable woman. I started out shy and timid and now, if I'm attracted to a man, I will go after what I want

During one repetition, I'm paired with a guy. He's tall, slim and with dark hair and eyes. I'm very attracted to him. We start out amiably enough and I start flirting. He suddenly shuts down and gets mad. I'm not sure how to handle it but I call him on it. He suddenly starts to get upset and his eyes filled with tears. I soften and back off. He's completely backed away from me and where once there was desire, it's replaced with fear. Tears start to stream down his face. I approach him slowly and cautiously. I eventually get to him and place my hands gently on his cheek and wipe his tears. He begins to soften and fear melts away to what I perceive is relief. I look into his eyes and embrace him. I can feel his body shaking against mine as he sobs softly into my hair. I rub his back gently. We embrace for a long while. When we pull away, I keep my hands on his face and stare into his eyes. His face is still wet. I lean in and kiss him very gently on the lips, soft at first and then more passionately. When we pull away for the second time, the teacher ends the scene.



September 30, 2017 7:15 am  #2

Re: Acting School Obs (male focused)

I must admit, were I in that situation with the genders reversed, I'd get pretty hot under the collar.

"Bless me now with your fierce tears..."

September 30, 2017 5:42 pm  #3

Re: Acting School Obs (male focused)

Wow, that is an amazing observation... thank you, ShyActress!  That definitely wasn't the context I was expecting. 

Years ago I registered for a short series of classes where the teacher got us to do that Meisner exercise, but we were placed at a certain distance from our partner.  I'm not sure, but I don't remember anyone getting close or touching.  But maybe it's because it was more of an introductory series (open to all who were interested) and you were at a more professional level with it. 

I know you haven't been in a scene yet where you got to offer comfort to a male counterpart (hope it happens for you soon!), but have you ever been involved in any scene at all where a male actor cried?  If so, like others, I am curious what the person was like in-between takes, leading up to the first take, afterwards, etc. 

Even if you haven't been in that situation, I of course continue to welcome any other observations you would like to share with us from classrooms, sets or stages!  Fascinating stuff.


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