That what my sensei told me, and it is very helpful. He also said to eliminate all "fluffernutters", meaning all the unneccssary embellishments when you act, e.g. don't comment on the line with your face after saying the line. Got it? OK.
A few days ago I took one of those silly quizzes on facebook. This one was "Which Shakespearian Character are you?" I would have bet a gajillion dollars mine would have been Falstaff. Jocular, lighthearted, quick witted, slow footed and all around party animal. But noooooooooooooooooooooooo, I had to be "Iago." Iago! What?
Then after a while I realized that I was judging the character. Yes, it's true; Iago is a bloodthirsty, calculating sociopath. But at least he isn't this junk! I swear to God, they must only sell that stuff to sorority girls or tertiary level alcoholics.
So I chose to prepare a Iago monologue from "Othello" tonight for class. I also decided to find personality traits that I, a decidedly non-sociopath would have in common with Iago. And wouldn't you know, I found something.
Sociopaths (and I admit I am painting with broad brush strokes here) will do whatever they can to get what the want, even if it casues harm to others. I admitted to myself that I hate it when I move out of the way of physically smaller people on the street. Why do I accommodate those turdwads? Why do I always sway and bob and weave through foot traffic? I am a 6-3, 255 pound man with a working knowledge of boxing. So if you don't want to get out of the way, hey man, suit yourself.
I tested this out last night when Mrs. PhillyRay and I went to MoMA to see an exhibit and some of the mainstay pieces, Jackson Pollacks, AD Reinhardt etc. We met on 57th and 5th and walked down 5th Avenue, it was around 6pm. It was crowded, predictably so. My conscience told me to budge. Budge not, say I. "Stay the course, PhillyRay" I thought. U-oh here comes someone, steady, steady...wait for it. THWAP! BOOM! OOF! (Shout out to Edward Ruscha) I even saw people about 15 yards away and thought "Oh man, this is going to feel great!" That's right, I even started to look forward to these shoulder knocks. (Side note: my friend Mark is the king of not moving out of the way. It's such a treat to walk down the street with him, in all honesty. It's hysterical.)
I had embraced my inner-sociopath, my inner Iago, if you will. It felt great.
Even just a little step like that can make you connect with a character you would normally struggle with. You're not willing to do that? Well, then...despise me if I do not.