The duality of an actor's emotional experience | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 29 Number 161
  • ISSN: 1318-0509
  • E-ISSN: 2050-957X



Understanding the psychology of emotions can help an actor convincingly play a character while maintaining their presence. Emotions are not an independent entity, but a complex circular reaction composed of the processes of reflection, bodily reaction, preparation for action, experience and behaviour. An actor's emotional experience takes place at several levels: in addition to their personal emotions, they experience task-emotions, which are intense emotions related to the demands of their work. At the same time, they want to convincingly portray the emotions of the character they are playing. In order to achieve this, they use double consciousness and simultaneously experience different emotions. Actors can enter the circular emotional reaction at different points. They thus make the best use of task-emotions as the physiological basis for acted emotions, which are therefore more convincing and increase the actor's presence.


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