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The Very Heart of Great Acting

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3 months ago
Reading Time: 3 Mins

One way I like to define acting is that it is an art of authentic relationship.

Let's jot down some words related to the 2 key parts of the phrase - authentic and relationship - and see what we get:


Pure, reliable, true, trustworthy, actual, dependable, faithful, legit, sure, trusty, valid, certain, for real, genuine, undeniable, truthful, unquestionable, honest.


senior woman using laptop and smiling as man serves breakfast - authentic relationship stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images


Connection, communication, contact, rapport, bond, interconnection, intimacy, kinship, affinity, reciprocity, exchange, mutuality, interdependence, involvement.

Now, match up any two words, one from each group. For example:

- Pure connection.

- Honest communication.

- Genuine involvement.

If you are to become a top 5% actor, the very first thing you must do is strengthen the skills of authentic relationship.

In other words, you must encourage your ability:

- to be in pure connection with another human being.

- to communicate with utter honesty.

- to have a genuine involvement with other people and with the world around you.

To do this, you must recognize the two sides of the authentic relationship coin.

The Authentic Relationship Coin - Side One: Availability.


daughter standing on feet of father dancing - authentic relationship stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

The way I like to describe availability for the actor is "To listen with the ear of one's heart."

Imagine that for a moment.

To listen with the ear of one's heart.

Doesn't that sound like a deeply human endeavor?

To listen with the ear of one's heart.

Do you see how these words immediately suggest greater sensitivity, openness and an embracing of the world around you and the people you are with?

To listen with the ear of one's heart.


mother and daughter having a talk. - listen stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Can you see how much more useful this is than the typical commands you may have had shouted at you in an acting class, "Focus!", "Concentrate!", "Be Present!", "Get out of your head!"

Any teacher who tells you to "Focus!", "Concentrate!", "Be Present!", "Get out of your head!", is doing you no favor. To tell you to get out of your head only turns your attention inward, putting you more deeply in your head.

What about the biggest acting cliche of all, to "be present"? It's one of the most absurd things a teacher can have you try to do.

Think about it for a moment:


young man chatting on the phone - think  moment stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images


Question: When you are involved in going over what you think should have happened in the past or you obsess about things you wish might have happened in the past, where are you doing it?

Answer: In the present.

live performer standing on stage with lights - acting stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Question: When you are fantasizing about what you hope will happen in the future, where are you doing it?

Answer: In the present.

What's the point I am making?

The point is:

young dancer performing on a theater stage - acting stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images


When you are stuck going over events from the past, or you are lost in daydreams about the future, you are doing it right now. You are in every moment living in the present. Where else could you possibly be?

You exist moment to moment, it is the basic nature of life itself.

Life itself only exists right now, everything else is outside the domain of reality. Welcome to the real world.

Breaking News:

speech bubble with breaking news. - breaking news stock illustrations

You can give up all attempts to be in the present.


Did I hear you breathe a sigh of relief?

dodged a bullet - relief stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

So then, you are always acting in the present. What then is the challenge of great acting that needs to be addressed and mastered in regards working in moment-to-moment reality?


Come back for my next blog post and we will get to it!

I hope you enjoyed today's discussion. In future posts, let's continue to explore the ideas I have introduced today.

Join me here at Moris Talent Hunt in my Online Diploma Course where we do the work organically and rigorously. Until next time, stay well dear friend, stay well!



Written By: By Larry Silverberg

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