Acting with Aphantasia

Hello all

I’m a full aphantasic with no visual imagery, no internal monologue, no touch, no smell and no taste(in terms of imagination).

I’m a musical theatre performer who has been struggling really hard in the acting aspect. I am curious as to whether there are any actor friends here who experience similar problems and how you have managed to cope with them.

Eg. Emotional recall, physicalizing a character, The Magic If, given circumstances etc.

Share this post

You must be signed in to comment
on May 15, 2021

Hi Koh, nice to connect with you! I did not take acting as a career path, however I did some acting in school and have done my fair share of public speaking as an adult. But unrelated to either of those ventures, I’ve actually spent a long time analyzing and practicing these skills of emotional recall and physicalizing a character. I’m happy to share my approaches in case you could gain any value from them!

Emotional Recall – I developed a practice called DEEP (Deliberate Emotional Embodiment Practice), which consists of four steps: 1) Compile a list of emotions you wish to generate at will; 2) Reflect on and record how each of these emotions feel in the body (i.e buoyancy in the stomach, hairs raising on the back of your neck, warmness in your cheeks, etc.) and gestures that personify these emotional experiences; 3) Order these emotions in a sequence that feel like a smooth transition from one to the next; 4) Write and affirmation for each emotion (i.e. “I am enthusiastic”); 5) Familiarize yourself with these emotions and practice running through your list, reading your affirmations aloud, acting out these gestures and  imagining these sensations for each emotion until you actually feel them.

Once you’ve learned to do this you can begin switching up the order to practice new sequences, setting audio recording alarms of these statements multiple times a day, and getting better at generating these emotions on command.

Physicalizing a character – Read Bourne Identity haha