‘Someone does some brilliant scene work in class or kills it in a monologue.
They’ve been bringing their embodiment work to their career and their agents are sending them out on next-level roles. And they’re booking them.
They’re feeling the power of CI.
But often questions come up.
“What if I’m working with someone who is not as present as I am? They’re so checked out that they’re not even there.”
“I just had a rehearsal for a movie I start shooting next week, and the guy I’m working with is completely emotionally shut down. He doesn’t even look at me. How am I supposed to work with that?”
First things first.
If you’re judging how bad your scene partner is…
You’re not present.
You’re in YOUR head.
And have no doubt, this art form flatlines when you are in your head. (That’s why we use ‘I’m Back’)
Even if someone isn’t giving you anything – THAT IS STILL SOMETHING!
If your scene partner is closed off – then play the scene with a closed-off person. Who knows – it could be very interesting, and – it may pull them into the moment. Even if it doesn’t – you are still doing your best work.
And look – in the vast majority of human interactions, one person is more ‘there’ than the other person. And within the context of a conversation, this often shifts. It’s human nature.
So, no blaming your scene partner for not making it work – especially if you don’t have the power to replace them. (Wait till you have Diva Status for that.)
Remember: the scene is always interesting if you play with the reality of what is going on between you and the other actor. This will translate into the story/script often in wonderful and mysterious ways.
So, bring YOU to the game.
If you’re judging your partner – COME BACK.
Play with what is in front of you.
That’s your job.
Have fun with it – that’s your job too.
Have you ever been in a situation where your co-star or co-worker checked out?
How did you deal with it?
Share your thoughts below.
And, everyone here at Committed Impulse is wishing you a great day, ya Rockstar!
SO TRUE. SO POWERFUL. THIS PERSPECTIVE WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING. THE MORE WE ARE ABLE TO BE IN THE MOMENT WITH WHATEVER IS IN FRONT OF US AND PLAY OFF OF THAT, THE LESS CRITICAL WE WILL BE OF OURSELVES AND OUR SCENE PARTNERS LATER WHEN REPLAYING MOMENTS IN OUR HEAD – BECAUSE THE MOMENT WE SIMPLY BE “I WAS THERE” AND NOW “I’M BACK.”
Josh Pais says
So well said, Eric. Let us all know the next time you apply this in a real life situation. Rock on, Josh.