The importance of expression

– Using the eyes on-screen (& in real life)!

As an actress, it’s considered to be part of your job to watch and learn from others, be it from participating in classes, to watching what is widely available to view on both television,stage & screen…

It’s something that I thoroughly enjoy, and frequently talk about with my fellow thespian friends. It’s also something that I am very aware of on a day to day basis… peoples’ eyes can tell such stories, or give their game away…..

Here’s a link that I came across the other day…….The basics are taught in class across the world I know…however seeing it done so well and also in such a close up shot (where the camera operator has really focused on the eyes) makes for such powerful performances.

I thought it was only right to share with you. The the message from the footage is so simple to hear….yet seeing it in action makes it oh so much more powerful…..have a look ….and enjoy!

Acting School: The Eyes

Our second video essay looks at the importance of the eyes in constructing a screen performance and presenting convincing character arcs. Featuring clips from The Ides of March (2011) & The Godfather (1972).

Posted by EP Showreels on Tuesday, 7 November 2017

After watching this footage and listening to the commentary, I decided to do a little experiment with my son…. He’s a very similar child to the one I was at his age (a sometimes shy character who at times lacked confidence)……and I thought that by allowing him to see the impact of what the eyes can give away, – even without words or sound…..may help him with his own physicality’s that can occasionally be detrimental to us all……not just an 8 year old boy…..

What followed was what I expected…and that was for my son to hear (and now not just from his Mummy) how very important eye contact is, and also what the effects of not having any, can bring to any relationship.

It was important for me to see my son’s understanding of this, as it’s very easy to pass a child off as “shy” when at times “shy” doesn’t cut it. Realising and understanding how when saying “hello”, it is good from to use the eyes too, and that a head looking down at one’s toes kind of stance can bring all manner of emotions that on the whole are not positive ones to be on the receiving end of….

So I was happy to see that whilst watching “The secret life of a 4 year old” with my son the other night ..he had taken on his newfound knowledge and watched the programme with an amazing and intelligent stream of commentary…..
…..” Mummy you can see in that little boy’s eyes that he isn’t happy, even though he has a smile on his face. His eyes are giving it away”.

So…..there you have it…….a simple acting tutorial that has resulted in general lessons in life yet again…..

It makes sense really when you think about it…….acting is all about experiences, emotions, actions and reactions ….and as an actor, our role is simply to bring it to life…..and to make it honest and believable….

Bringing this into real life for me – is the icing on the cake……..(if only our waitress on Saturday night had learnt some of those lessons. A waitress with no smile in her eyes…..her mind seemingly fascinated with what was on the ground….not those eagerly waiting to be served)…..

…..But there… another story for another day……


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