The Actors Centre

Anthony Meindl

31 July 2015


“Acting” is essentially learning that you have to be yourself – in the TV show, in the audition, in the play, in the movie – it always comes back to YOU. There’s never a time in your life where you won’t be having your experience. For example, let‘s take a look emotionally prepping for a role. How do you prepare for a role in a Shakespeare play on the West End vs. a role in a romantic comedy shooting in LA?

Hint: the core answer is the same for both!

And that answer is… You don’t emotionally prepare at all! You have to trust that there is a part of you that is infinitely intelligent enough to know that everything you have inside you is enough. Because it is. And you’ve experienced it all before in one way or another. How do you prep for tragedy? For loss? For love? For desire? For joy? You don’t. You experience it when it happens. We don’t deal with abstract feelings in life. Only in acting does that happen.

Kevin Spacey talks about this truth during his experiences playing Richard III:

“I don’t start off a performance going into a corner and trying to become Richard III. I’ve trusted that if I just go out and however I am that day, whatever mood I’m in… if I’m frustrated, if I’m angry, if I’m lonely or incredibly happy, doesn’t matter what… I start there. There is a remarkable thing that happens which is just that… I let the play take me there. And it always does.”

Well said, Mr. Spacey. Again, you experience it when it happens: in the moment.

I’m not saying don't do your homework, or memorize your lines, or wear the hell out of that perfect wardrobe for the part, I’m just saying that you, simply and beautifully, are enough. And that’s the most profound emotional prep you can do.

Anthony Meindl - Acting Coach and Tutor at the Actors Centre

For more from Anthony, follow @AnthonyMeindl on Twitter. Look out for tweet updates on the release his brand new upcoming acting book, Book The Fucking Job!, which is currently finding a home with a UK publisher!