Alyson Schacherer: That Second Go Feeling

Doug GoldringCommunity

Have you ever wanted the first go of a scene to feel more like the second go?

Me too. And I’ve heard this from students in class a lot, sometimes with a bit of frustration or longing.

Years ago my friend and fellow teacher Chris Wells and I were talking about this very thing — how to get that second go feeling on the first go — and here’s what we came up with:

Give yourself a tool before the first go.

“How do I know what tool to give myself?” you might be asking. This is where knowing your own process and patterns and habits comes in very handy.

For example, I know that I sometimes speak faster and quieter in my acting than I do in life. (I’m still reconciling how voluminous my actual speaking voice is.) Because I know these are two ways my actor tension shows itself, I can remind myself before I do my acting to talk how I talk.

I’ll say something to myself like, “My love, (because I really try to talk sweetly to myself, and I recommend you do too,) just like how you do when you do you, your whole voice, which might feel loud, it’s fine. And take your time.”

If I’ve done this scene before, (the previous week in class, let’s say) and I played around with something really helpful, like taking in the environment, then I’ll remind myself I can do that.

I remind myself that I can instead of telling myself I must do it, because, for me, the permission I’m giving myself short circuits work and effort. This way I’m starting today where I left off last time, with all of the useful stuff at play.

Try it! Let me know how it goes.

– Alyson
IG: @alysonshocker

Upcoming classes with Alyson include Beginner Acting Class II: Getting Specific starting 4/14, Professional Film/TV Acting Class I: The Tools starting 4/19, and Beginner Acting Class I: The Basics starting 4/25.

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