An old acting phenomenon is going by a new term these days. The Hidden Acting Agenda refers to an actor hiding a certain trait, condition or quality due to the fact that at least one of these things was a source of great turmoil at some point in their lives.
A hidden agenda works this way: a person has been told repeatedly since childhood that they get upset too easily. That person then decides to never let themselves cry or show upsetting emotions. This in turn becomes a major component in that person's behavior. For an actor or actress, this means that they will never reveal the component which has caused them such previous torment. Making this subconscious choice guarantees that the character being portrayed by the actor will be less affecting and much weaker than if the actor or actress allowed them to cry and show that emotion.
These hidden agendas make it difficult, if not impossible, for actors to fully develop their talent. This is because a majority of their talent may be tightly interwoven with these perceived "undesirable" traits.
Uncovering these well-hidden, often erroneous, beliefs takes time. However, these roadblocks must be brought to the actor's attention in order to get past them and open up their full acting potential.
The full height of an actor's abilities will never be realized unless these hidden agendas are exposed and explored. Releasing these negative beliefs and behaviors results in opening up the creativity that has previously been untapped. This will very likely be a great part of the actor's success. Otherwise, key talents may become dormant and remain unused.
An audience cannot be moved emotionally if the actor does not release these suppressed talents, neither can a casting director nor anyone else. Suppressing these emotions only causes distress within the actors who are compelled to hide them. In order to keep these negative feelings in check, the actor will make the choice to avoid these faults and feelings in choosing which acting talents to display.
In reality, these perceived faults of wonderful actors are not imperfections at all, but rather are indistinguishable aspects of their personality, which are essential to their acting ability. Such an actor needs to let his adventurous side take over and defy the thought process that is dictating how he thinks a particular character should be portrayed.
Necessary acting components should always include characteristics the actor might rather hide or avoid. Avoiding their own negative emotions only weakens the characters they portray. Rich acting skills are always personal to the actor.
Characters become much deeper and richer when the actor connects with and develops what he may consider flaws in his own life. Those very things are what makes one actor so very different from another and gives the acting industry such a vast array of characters. Everyone has flaws and imperfections. Actors must allow these to be used by allowing one or more to be presented in their character portrayals. People are only impressed by what moves them. What moves people are the imperfections, which we all protect. When an audience experiences an actor revealing himself through his imperfections, then they are deeply moved.
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Also read: Relaxation for The Actor
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