Whether you’re a writer or not, the stories you’ve accumulated throughout your life want to be told. Isn’t that why you decided to become an actor? You have lived through deeply emotional human experiences, and those personal experiences create stories – of resilience, hope, healing, loss, hardship, revenge, rage.
When you discover an emotional connection to your character, relationship, or scene, don’t shy away from the pain or joy it brings you. Lean in, and let your emotional connection ground you to the truth of the story. Being truthful in your emotional vibrancy elevates your character.
Something that might help with developing personal emotional awareness and dexterity is to keep a list of emotions you know deep and well. Over time, record details about each of your deep emotional experiences, perhaps as though you’re breaking down a scene – what was your goal/need? What triggers that emotional experience in you anew? Where do you feel it in your body? As you expand your emotional awareness, your characters and stories will take on incredible new depth and dimension.