When I was a younger actor, I heard a phrase that stood me in good stead (for a short while) and that was ‘If in doubt, shout!’ The idea being that if you are ever caught with a piece of text that you didn’t understand, say it really loudly and confidently and no one will be any the wiser. It was, and is, a terrible bit of advice.
Here’s one for you. Take a moment to think about how you feel after an embarrassingly bad audition/rehearsal/take.
I’m sure it won’t be long before your imaginings set off a series of physical sensations. Tight breath, sweating palms, tense neck, gut wrenching cringe. We’ve all been there, grim isn’t it?!
When shooting a series recently, the director approached me and asked me to bring the shared laugh down at the end of a joke my character was telling.
I realised as I processed the note, that he was absolutely right, my laugh was in no way honestly connected to the joke I was telling. It was an imitation of a laugh that I had done over a joke someone told at lunch time.