My encounter with broccoli and a note on Acting 101.

So as some of you may know, I got cast in a BBCOne show called Apple Tree Yard, starring Emily Watson and Ben Chaplin. This is my first TV job and I am THRILLED. I’ve got two scenes and literally two lines in total so please let’s not start talking about winning a BAFTA.

One of those scenes was shot last week and I’m here to tell you about how it went. Actually, that’s not true, it went well so there you go. I’m here to share with you about the two most momentous moments (alliteration!) of the day.

Firstly, I was happily hanging out with myself in my trailer when someone knocked on my door to tell me that lunch was ready…As I sat down and started munching the yummy food away, I suddenly realized I was frantically cutting the broccoli on my plate. I then saw that the rest of the food  had nearly disappeared. I was hungry but there was no need to devour the food like that. Or was there? I was so anxious about the whole experience I was frantic, rushed, spinning. I held the last piece of broccoli on my plate with my fingers, looked and it and took the decision of eating it as slowly as I possibly could. I tasted every single bit of that broccoli, my chin muscles relaxed and consequently everything in my body too. What I learnt? Quite literally, be delicate and careful in your moves, as it translates into delicacy and carefulness in your soul.

Secondly, I was on set, we were nearly at the end of the shoot, my scene being the last one. I had said my line quite a few times already, it felt like at that point I knew what I was doing. Then the director said: ‘Jimena, can you hear the audience giggling?’ (My character is sort of talking to an audience in the scene). I said: ‘Yes, I can’. She said: ‘Could you react to them?’ I mean, hello?! 🙈 That’s embarrassing. To be honest, I think the director genuinely wanted to know if I could hear them so she could ask them whether or not they needed to be louder. I internally excused myself by saying: ‘Oh, I don’t think my character would mind them so I chose not to react to them’. Except that, that internal thought was a lie. I did hear them but I was so selfishly focused on my ONE line delivery, I just didn’t care about anything else. What did this remind me of? Real acting is not about ME but about the people I’m playing with. The real magic comes from my character reacting to what the other actors are generously (or not,whatever ) giving me. I learned this on my first acting class ever, so going back to basics is always a good move I guess.

More soon! X


One thought on “My encounter with broccoli and a note on Acting 101.

  1. Hi Jimena,

    Wonderful to read about this adventure and how much you learnt from it. It’s interesting how changing your physical state can effect your mental outlook. Something I’m aware of daily so I can make the corrections. Calm, confident body language, calm, confident mind. It was all pixies and fairy dust to me once. Until I figured out it actually worked. 🙂

    Often in the creative world, I’ve wanted to rush on forward to the better gigs, more exciting assignments. It’s when it doesn’t go as well as I’d like, or a problem comes out of the blue, that the foundation of the basics is the steady platform to approach with a solution.

    Sooooo good to read about your achievements. Wishing you much, much more success and exciting adventures.

    All my best

    Jonathan x

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