Instinct is a natural impulse, or inclination, common to human beings.
The most important thing for instinct is to listen.
There is nothing simple to the concept of instinct. It is the driving force of every action, reaction, decision, and thought humans undertake every moment of every day.
And so it is with you as an actor.
Without listening you cannot be instinctive. Listen to what’s being said to you as if you have heard it for the first time. Only then can you respond and react with instinct.
Sometimes when you hear something, it’s your instinct to inhale sharply. Sometimes you sit down slowly, or leap to your feet. To react instinctively is to respond in a manner that doesn’t betray you’ve heard the lines a million times before.
Instinct cannot be reasoned with and it cannot be adjusted. Instinct is ingrained from the moment of birth and it changes slightly through experience and knowledge, but it remains, primarily no different that it was 10,000 years ago.
Happiness brings a smile, danger causes fear which in turn causes fight or flight. Attraction causes procreation which helps the species to survive.
. Every decision we make, even the smallest and most innocuous one, is based in part on the survival instinct. It is virtually impossible to complete the transition to a character when the pure survival instinct remains the same amongst all humans.
So what is an actor to do when your instinct tells you, in character, to do something that seems completely logical, but your training defines as incorrect for the character itself. Should you side with instinct? Or should you side with training?,
Once you have a strong understanding of yours and the characters natural inclinations, find the reasoning behind them.
Find the connections from your due diligence and soon you will see that the character’s choices will not differ so much from your own. They will simply be different roads to the same end.
This is the instinctive process that may be difficult at first, but with your research, time and patience, you will find that any actor can portray any character and you will begin to see that despite your reservations, you are actually capable of anything, even that which you never thought possible.
To be extraordinary in whatever field you have chosen you must have instinct.
Jake Gillenhal speaks about instinctive acting
To find out more about how to be an instinctive actor click on the link below