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Staying Released in Acting: Masters With Meryl

Masters With Meryl – Staying released in acting

It’s been a long time since I did the first of what I hoped would be an ongoing series.  Meryl Streep is certainly of the best actors of our time if not the best.  Who better to study and learn from?

When I posted the first Masters With Meryl it got flagged by YouTube because of the film content–but I was able to figure it because of its educational purposes.  Hopefully this time I won’t have any issues!

I recently went back and watched some scenes from Sophie’s Choice, as I do on occasion, and I see something new every time.  If you haven’t see Sophie’s Choice, stop everything you are doing and do that now.  Like–right now.

This last time I was particularly struck by the scene where she is talking about losing the people close to her.  You’ll see how her face is completely released–without the teensiest bit of tension anywhere.

I had a joke with an actress I was working with on-set about this–I would remind her to release her face when her eyebrows starting working overtime and it would crack her up.   It’s good to have this kind of sense of humor about it.

Watch the scene here

Sophie has a big secret that she doesn’t reveal here and I don’t want to spoil it in case you haven’t seen it (why are you still reading this post and not watching Sophie’s Choice?!) but it is also deeply related to the losses she has faced.  And Meryl Streep never pushes it.  She releases and allows and the tears stream down her face.  She lives it.  She has done the work to prep and in this moment she can allow the images of her rich backstory to join her.  She’s not messing around.

What did you think of this clip?  Have you seen the film?  How does Meryl inspire you?

Let me know in the comments below!

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