What does Conditioning mean?
Conditioning, in physiology, is a behavioural process whereby a response becomes more frequent or more predictable in a given environment. Conditioning begins right from your birth and it’s an ongoing process till you are alive. Either from social factors, personal factors or even professional factors.
There are certain events in everyone’s life which leaves a long-lasting impact in a positive or negative way which totally changes your attitude, your perspective towards others. Such events also play a major role in your all over conditioning.
The way you are at any point of time, your behaviour, your attitude, your thoughts, the way you reacts at different situations all this have a lot to do with how you have been conditioned.
(Read till the end you’ll understand it.)
How does Conditioning even related to Acting?
Acting is basically living up a character’s life on camera. Most of the times the character you are playing is not you neither physically nor mentally. So even if you do follow the characterization process very well some part of your character will still remain unaltered. It’s the conditioning that sticks with you that which you have gone through from a very long.
Fundamentally your brain remains the same so does it’s accumulation irrespective of the characters that you are playing.
There are some very important factors while playing a character that is determined by your conditioning. Acting on Instinct is one of them.
Let’s not make it more complicated and theoretical. Here is an example that will make it easy for you to understand.
Let us take a scene :
There is a scene in which you will be seen stealing your father's mobile phone from his pocket.
So before getting into the scene, you have to make believe that you are really doing it to make it look real. Because you have to make yourself believe in it first to make your audience believe in it.
Actor’s Believability makes any scene look realistic and soo powerful.
So let’s say in real you comes from a very decent family background.
You have always been told by society, family since childhood that stealing is not good, it’s a huge crime. Which has now formed a strong belief system inside you?
Now while you’ll be performing there will be chances you’ll find it very hard to believe in that scene because you have already formed a belief about it.
Which will affect the scene and it’ll look fake. These small factors break your natural flow while you are acting and it becomes a big hindrance.
Fixing these small factors can make a big difference trust me!
So what do we do?
You don’t have to do much doing little will make sure your performance looks realistic.
The first and most important step is to observe and getting aware of your belief system. Notice whenever you take any decision or resist yourself from doing something.
Consciously pay attention to every such situation and find out why you have done so.
Because once you are aware of your thoughts and beliefs more than half of the problem is already solved. This will make you more aware of yourself, your traditional beliefs, and your conditioning.
2. Putting Aside what you have just gathered-
Now while you are aware of those things it’ll be easier for you to put all these aside. As a result, there will be strong believability within you.
BONUS TIP: Study about the character you are playing in depth. Study about the social, personal and professional life of the character and try to figure out how the character must have been conditioned from childhood. Look for major events that took place in the characters life. It’ll give you an insight which will help you a lot in portraying it.