I take acting classes at the Berkeley Reperatory Theater, which are great by the way. I just thought I'd share something that I thought was really interesting from the last class.
Someone asked my instructor, Ryan O'Donell, how they should go about performing a laugh that was in the script. There was no written stage direction, just 'ha ha ha', leaving it wide open to interpretation. The person talked about how they had tried laugh after laugh to see which one felt most appropriate, but never really finding something that felt right for the scene.
Ryan's response was that he was too focused on results. That instead of focusing on the type of laugh, he should pursue the objective of the character, and the laugh will figure itself out when he's playing out the scene.
My take on what Ryan said, was that he was telling him that he was just going through the motions, and that just knowing the objective isn't enough. That an active pursuit of a character's objective will bring results born out of emotion, and not out of analysis.
Everything I learn about acting for the stage, I'm always trying to translate into acting for animation. I thought what Ryan said was a great mindset to have when shooting reference for the pantomime in an animated scene. What can I do to be more in the scene, and in the mindset of the character? Am I just going through the motions? Am I ACTIVELY pursuing my character's objectives? Am I rushing to the results or did they happen naturally? Are my results coming from analysis ? Or did they come out of emotion?