Integral Acting Q & A – Part Two

The following in an edited transcript of part 2 of a Q & A session I had with a young actor I am working with who was interested in my Integral Approach to acting:

Question: From past experiences with different actors on film, I get worried that I’m not getting the give and take that I deserve from them, that will help us be the best that we can be in that moment..? If I’m stuck with someone as a scene partner who isn’t giving their all, how can I get them to help me develop my character, as well as theirs in the manner they should?

Answer: From my perspective, worrying about what the other actor is or isn’t giving/doing/etc. is not your job as an actor. If you are bringing your best, deeply rooted in your character, your presence, energy, and beingness will lift every other actor to a higher level. I cannot count the number of times I have heard stories from actors how being in a scene with a great actor elevated their own performance beyond anything they could imagine. There is a term called “social contagion” which refers to the contagious nature of higher levels of presence and beingness in relation to human interaction. Your job is to be the character as deeply and fully as possible and interact with the other actors as other character-beings, no matter how flawed their beingness is.

Question: As an actor such as myself, what do you think develops first in becoming a character; The Physical or Mental or Emotional, etc?

Answer: This varies from acting school to acting school, and from actor to actor. The key to an Integral approach is to recognize that all four dimensions (physical/behavioral, experiential/intentional, relational/cultural, and environmental/sociological) co-arise. You can use any dimension as your entry point as long as you recognize and move into a place where all four dimensions co-exist simultaneously.

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