Different approaches – Different Acting Techniques

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I believe that there is no advantage in comparing different acting techniques. There is no logical reason to argue that one is better than the other. Over 12 years, I have witnessed many actors, acting coaches, and drama teachers collaborating in over 150 workshops, courses, and masterclasses that I organized. What works for one may not work for all, as everyone is unique. Some actors just need a different antidote.

Then it hit me that what actors benefit from is often linked to Carl Gustav Jung’s superior and inferior functions (sensing, feeling, thinking, intuiting). The difficult aspect is that some actors consistently veer in the wrong direction, drawn towards their preferred function because it brings them pleasure and is natural to them. However, reaching a point where you focus solely on your dominant functions can hinder your growth. You become trapped.

Our superior functions often connect to our defenses. Our most valuable strengths are often derived from our strongest defense mechanisms.

Allow me to provide you with an example. Certain actors solely rely on their instincts and emotions, despising the use of structure. They find excessive thinking tedious and get bored when reading a script more than twice, or even when thoroughly analyzing it. While this strategy may prove successful for a while, there eventually comes a point where it falls short, unable to capture the intellectual depth or grasp the historical significance behind the words. At a certain stage in their career, actors can come across as shallow when they don’t fully understand the size of the ideas and depth of the material.

Consider another scenario where an actor becomes addicted to the process of thinking, analyzing, and gaining a profound understanding of a subject, experiencing a sense of mental stimulation and satisfaction. They should work with an acting teacher who helps them connect with their feelings and challenges them to trust their impulses, ’cause they’ve already got so much thinking going on.
Other actors are so caught up in their feelings, it’s like they’re drowning in self-absorption. They’re not like super self-centered or anything. The reason behind this is usually them being scared. They might have to work with a teacher who makes them react to their partners, letting their impulses hit everyone in the room without trying to control everything. While self-reflection can enrich, it can also serve as a method of trying to control the unpredictability that arises when you wholeheartedly dedicate yourself to what’s going on between you and your partner.

Other actors have a drive for business. They do a ton of self tape training and workshops with casting directors to create chances. That’s cool, but they’re still stuck even with more work. And then they get stuck all over again. They should do a workshop just for fun, with no purpose at all. ‘Cause the playful child inside them wants something totally different from what they think they need.

But then again, some actors have to embrace the practical, materialistic side of the business to get ahead. They might have to bring some playfulness to auditions and learn to protect their work.

Our souls don’t work in a straight line!