Lee Brock: Change The Sentence In Your Head

Doug GoldringCommunity

I’m teaching. Two actors finish their scene. One of them says, “That was so horrible. I wasn’t real. It was just terrible.”

I pause and walk slowly to the side of the stage.  “Why don’t you change the sentence in your head”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s just a sentence in your head.  You are controlling your narrative.  It is just a sentence.”

The actor relaxes a little, shifts his head, looks down at the floor, and says, “I still don’t get it.”

“What might another sentence be after you finished your scene?” I ask.

He says,  “I don’t know…maybe…I did the scene”

He looks up, his eyes filling with water.  He throws his head back to keep the tears from falling down on his cheeks.

The room is quiet. I wait.

“Yeah, I think that sounds like a better sentence.”

He starts laughing.  The class starts laughing. I start laughing.

We actors are so hard on ourselves.  Sometimes the sentences in our heads can be so strong, they can paralyze us and take over the experience. They can shut down our thinking and make our bodies more tense.

If we can recognize when a sentence is too strong, then we can change how we talk to ourselves.  Softening our internal dialogue can invite new thoughts and insights, and, in turn, open us up to all sorts of discoveries.

– Lee

Lee Brock teaches many classes at TBG, including the 6-Week Summer Professional Acting Program.

Check out TBG’s full schedule of classes.