EMOTION IS OVERRATED
Okay don’t ever say I said that. It’ll be our little secret! But here are some thoughts on that…
If you’ve ever finished a scene, and been just a tad disappointed that an overwhelming emotion didn’t just pour through you, you’re in good company. At ‘cut’ you feel like “Geez, I could have dredged up a little more emotion…” First of all, remember that if you chase an emotion; anticipate that emotion; fear that emotion not popping up, then that very emotion will definitely not come to you.
Think about this – We don’t walk around every day of our lives with overwhelming emotion. We mostly have opinions, perspectives and thoughts about various people and things that happen to us. And we have those because of the people that we are – how we’ve been raised; where we were raised and by whom; our birth order; whether or not we were wealthy or poor or somewhere in between; life events that happened to us, etc. All these things and more influenced who we are and our perspective of the world.
We’re reactionary creatures in real life. Things happen to us and we feel a certain way about those things. And so does a character. So if you’ve done your character work, these opinions and thoughts, and truthful character behavior will pop up naturally in the scene. Let it. Let yourself take the ‘journey’ of the scene, going moment to moment – and forget about the need to nail the emotion. You just might surprise yourself at the emotion that comes!
But on the whole, in most scenes, the character is living life. Yes, the story is progressing and the character is on a journey, but most scenes are not filled with enormous overwhelming emotion spewing out. So give yourself a break and enjoy the journey!