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. I recalled the laugh as a stock version and just put it out there with very little concerned for the quality of the moment. It was lazy and it was fake.
It got me thinking, how often do we actors reach for the pre- packaged, no frills, long life emotional response and how often do we genuinely invite a response from ourselves even and especially if that response is surprising?
Watching the incredible series ‘Sons of Anarchy’ at the moment  (for the second time in 3 months!) I am constantly taken by the incredibly surprising and detailed work of the actor Kim Coates. Here is a guy who seems to challenge the expected rhythm of a moment and in doing so, suspends your idea of what is going on for him leaving you doubly satisfied. Moments of true humanity are revealed and, true to form with quality art, you are, for that moment, captivated.
Truly beautiful acting.
To you, the artist.