I think Katharine Hepburn said, “Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, only what you are expecting to give, which is everything.” It’s a scary concept. You’re just supposed to give your attention to another person? What if they don’t pay any attention to you? That takes a lot of guts. I think that’s the scariest part of Meisner: shifting your attention to another person’s behavior and trusting in that. Takes guts. Thankfully, Laura and Audrey are like PhD’s in the guts department. They have been so good at helping me to work with my guts. Find my guts. Share my guts. But most importantly look at other people’s guts. That’s kind of the secret, you can’t really show your guts unless you see your scene partner’s guts.
For someone like me, who likes to be in control, this process has been really scary and challenging. There is something comforting, however, in the idea that I can’t predict my partner’s behavior. Even if the script calls for my partner to cry at a certain time, that moment will never be the exact same. How exciting! Thank fuck it’s never the same! And my reaction will never be the same! Thank fuck! So why try to push or fake an expected reaction? Seems like a lot more effort than just having an honest reaction in the moment. Of course, that’s easier said than done. But that’s why we take class.
- Written by Conor Woods, current Meisner 3.0 student