Honest Animation

Working from the inside, out.

Working from the inside, out.

When an actor is genuinely engaged, her facial expressions and gestures come from her inner experience. I call this Honest Animation. It’s not imposed from the outside. It’s not just the actor’s natural performance mode. The expressions seem to spin from the inner agitation. The actor genuinely feels the desire and frustration of the character’s predicament and her gestures and facial expressions pop off of that Engagement. The inner energy produces the outer energy.

Great, but what about when a director asks me to do something, or I have a good idea myself? Sure, it happens all the time. You might mark the outer expression at first, but then talk to yourself about the dilemma in such a way as to provoke the expression required.

The main thing is that, in performance, every thing that happens on the outside needs to start from someplace within. Of course, when we’re in the acting groove, the impulse and the outer expression happen virtually together. You don’t wanna stifle your expression, waiting to confirm the inner source. But you do wanna feel that there’s always more on the inside than there is on the outside. Let me repeat that: there should always be more on the inside than there is on the outside. The sense that your focus is as much on your inner agitation, as it is on expressing the sense of the lines.

— Rob McCaskill

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