Milikin Student Blog Post: Neutral is Not "Zero"

On the first day of class, Kari talked about the concept of a character being in a ‘neutral’ state. We talked about how each beat must inspire the next beat. I think it took me until the most recent day of our workshop - day 5 - to realize what this meant.
In each of my acting beats, phrases, and moments, I was returning to zero. I failed to see how each could inspire the other. Even at the end of a packet of moments, the next packet needs to inspire the next. On Friday (our Day 5) Kari said that a neutral body or transition moment is when the character is not at zero. This “neutral” idea is where the character is in a neutral state, ready to move to the next moment.
This does not move them to a state of nothingness. They must keep their past alive, as well as inspire the next moment. Essentially, they must always be alive. “Waiting for the next moment” is bringing the character to zero, like waiting for your character’s cue line or the moment in which you move, not keeping the moment alive.
In the individual work we did on Day 5, it was clear to me that my characters all returned to zero and were not inspiring the next moment in a packet, phrase, beat, what have you.
I can’t wait to see what else I find in this workshop! So much work, so many new ideas, and so much fun! Thank you to Kari and the class! Here’s to a great second week!
— Katie Szajkovics