Quoted from the previous article:
“I’m going to write about Seonhwa’s acting ability in the next article because she gives a glimpse into how she developed the character that she portrays on Invincible Youth. I will say this now, though: Seonhwa’s ability allows her to convey emotions as though she is the character, not only pretending to be the character.”
That article has been delayed. It was taking longer than expected to research.
Today, I’ll talk about another topic that I talked about in my previous article. Today’s article features actresses Ha Jiwon and Stephanie Lee. This article is Part 2 of answering Hyomin‘s question about Han Seonhwa‘s acting (you can read Part 1 here ).
Han Seonhwa in ‘Marriage, Not Dating’
Quoted from the previous article:
“Seonhwa has the ability to magnify parts of her personality.
Every person has behaviour that is ‘normal’ to them. What prevents a person from acting crazy in public? Usually, it’s thoughts such as ‘What will other people think of me?’ or ‘How embarrassing will that be?’ Every person is balanced by thoughts about what they ‘should do.’ Those thoughts prevent them from doing extreme things that they ‘want to do.’ Thoughts of what they ‘should do’ create borders in their minds that prevent them from doing what they ‘want to do’ beyond a specific limit.
When I say that Seonhwa has the ability to magnify her personality, I mean that she has the ability to move the borders in her mind to allow her to do more of what she wants to do. She knows how to gauge how far she can move a border and still be within the goal that she’s trying to accomplish. She can do that without ‘becoming a different person.’ She knows how to make herself ‘off-balance’ compared to what is ‘normal’ for her. She also knows when and how to put herself ‘back into a normal balance.’
For Seonhwa to be able to move borders in her mind with precision and to be able to answer questions with answers that consistently create fun reactions, Seonhwa must have a mind that is disciplined, self-controlled, and highly intelligent. It would not be possible for her to do what she does without being intelligent.
Hyomin had trouble trying to figure out whether or not Seonhwa was acting because Seonhwa wasn’t acting. Seonhwa was showing a real side of herself, but she was showing it disproportionally compared to how she is ‘normally.’ When Seonhwa was pretending to be dumb on Invincible Youth, she was showing an ‘off-balance’ version of herself. Seonhwa was called ‘White Paper’ (‘Blank Mind’) because people didn’t realize that what was written on that paper was written in invisible ink. People couldn’t see that she had something in mind because she was so good at hiding it.
Seonhwa uses that skill when she acts. If she looks angry, sad or jealous while she’s acting in a drama, it’s because she has made herself ‘off-balance’ compared to what is ‘normal’ for her and she has balanced herself to be closer to what the character she’s acting as is like. She looks angry, sad or jealous in a drama because she is feeling those emotions, she’s not pretending to feel them.
Seonhwa uses that skill by changing her mind so that she will think more like the character in the story might think. She tries to see things from the character’s point of view and she tries to make things that are important to the character more important to herself. That is how she can show emotion and body language that is closer to what the character may be like.
The good news is that Seonhwa’s skill can be learned. It’s not something that a person has to be born with. I’ll write more about that in the next article.
When I watch Seonhwa act, she reminds me of Jun Jihyun (Gianna Jun), and not only because Jun Jihyun looks like a cross between Go Ara and Seonhwa, but because the subtlety in Seonhwa’s acting is similar to Jun Jihyun’s acting.
Of course, her ability is not the only thing that she needs to be able to act well. She also needs to understand the character that she has to play. Sometimes a person has to experience something to be able to understand what another person is thinking and feeling.
When you combine Seonhwa’s ability to ‘unbalance and rebalance’ herself’ with human experiences, you have a powerful tool.
That combination can help actors act well, but it can also help writers. A writer could use that skill to be able to see things from the viewpoint of each character while the writer is writing. That can help the writer write actions and dialogue as though it is authentically coming from the character. It can help a writer develop characters to make them seem like real people.
That skill and ability can also help a person understand another person’s viewpoint, which can help a person resolve conflict.
It can also be used to help you understand the suffering that another person is going through so that you can have empathy to help that person and pray for that person.
Would you like to find out how a person can ‘unbalance and rebalance’ their own mind?”
Disclaimer: The comments in this article about specific people are my opinions based on my observations. My comments in this article regarding specific people may not be accurate because they are based on my observations.
Warning: Improper use of these techniques could make you become delusional.
That’s not an exaggeration. These techniques are so powerful that they can alter your patterns of thinking.
If you push your mind too far to an extreme without being able to pull it back into ‘normal balance,’ it is possible for you to lose make yourself lose grip on reality.
That almost happened to actress Ha Jiwon. She did not drive herself insane, but she pushed her mind ‘off-balance’ so far that she needed professional help to bring her mind back into normal balance again.
Ha Jiwon in ‘Sector 7’
(I have not watched Sector 7, nor do I plan to watch it. The monster in that movie is hideous.)
In 2010, Ha Jiwon filmed the movie Sector 7 in which she plays an oil rig worker. In the movie, a monster attacks the oil rig and she fights that monster during most of the film. That movie established her as one of Korea’s top action stars, according to a CNN interview, but the filming was intense.
Quoted from the CNN interview:
“I don’t know how I did it,” says Ha. “I think I was just in the zone. My character Hae-jun is a feisty woman who’s tougher than the men in the film and loves her job so much that ‘she can probably eat rice with oil,’ as one of the guys say in the film. That’s why when she’s left alone to face the monster she sets off to kill it instead of breaking down and crying. When I was wearing the oil rig uniform I just thought I had to be strong like Hae-jun.
“I’m just glad that other Korean actresses would be able to play such roles in the future,” says the actress. “But now that I think about it, it was so crazy, riding the bike in the rain. I don’t think I’d be able to do it again.”
Source: CNN: Interview: Ha Ji-won and Korea’s first 3D IMAX movie Date: 2011/08/08
On May 3rd, 2013, during an episode of SBS’ Thank You, Ha Jiwon revealed that she couldn’t break away from her Sector 7 character. Everyone whom her character cared about was dead by the end of the movie. She said that she felt the character’s pain so strongly that she couldn’t break away from the character. That caused the first script reading of her following drama, Secret Garden, to be a mess. She sought professional help to break away from the character because she couldn’t do it alone.
Ha Jiwon had embraced her Sector 7 character. She acted the way that she thought her character would have acted, even though it was difficult for her to do so. The filming schedule was so intense that she began to live in that character’s world. The result of that and the tight filming schedule is that her heart felt that the film’s story was part of the ‘real world.’ Her heart began to feel that story’s plot was ‘reality.’
Actress Ha Jiwon was grieving for the loss of the character’s loved ones – ‘loved ones’ who were characters that did not exist in the real world. The actors who played those characters were alive, but she was grieving for the characters as though those characters were real people who had died.
Ha Jiwon became emotionally un-balanced. She could still tell the difference in her mind between what was real and what was not real, she was not insane, but she connected so deeply with her character that she felt the pain and suffering that the character would be going through if the character were a person.
That is one example of why you should not un-balance your heart or mind so much that you cannot put it back into a healthy balance. Don’t push yourself so far that you cannot disconnect.
Ha Jiwon has said that she feels uncomfortable with how deeply she connects to a character.
The ability to connect that deeply is an ability that is given by God. It allows an intercessor to pray for another person as though that intercessor is suffering with that person in that person’s body. When God answers an intercessor’s prayer, God also stops the intercessor’s suffering. The ability to connect with a person deeply lets an intercessor feel the suffering that another person is feeling so that the intercessor can pray until God’s answer comes, but it is God, not an intercessor, who ends an intercessor’s suffering.
Romans 8:26,27 (KJV)
“Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
Hebrews 13:3 (KJV)
“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”
Ha Jiwon uses powerful techniques when she prepares to act. She revealed some of those techniques in an interview with Hallyu World which was uploaded to YouTube on July 9th, 2015. (You can watch the video below; the interview is in Korean with subtitles in Chinese and English.)
In that video interview, Ha Jiwon revealed how she creates a character and how she prepares for an acting role.
Ha Jiwon uses powerful scientific techniques linked to memory retention. She uses those techniques to create a persona. She also uses a unique scent for each character to ‘save’ everything about that character in her memory.
At 5 minutes, 4 seconds in the video, Ha Jiwon says, “When I pick scripts, the most important factor is whether it moves me.”
At 8 minutes, 17 seconds, she finds out that she’s called the “Versatile Queen” because she can do well in almost any role. When she’s asked what her strength is, she says, “For me, my curiosity is very strong. I really like and enjoy taking on challenges” and explained that she likes to take on many different roles with the mindset of ‘What would be the best way to portray this?’ instead of being scared and thinking ‘Oh no, what should I do?’ When asked what role is the most memorable to her, at 10 minutes, 5 seconds in the interview, she replies, “Actually, every work is a life that I have lived through.”
At 11 minutes, 35 seconds in the interview, Ha Jiwon begins revealing details of how she creates a character. The interviewer says, “To be honest, you’re the only A-list actress in Korea who is able to perfectly perform action scenes,” to which Ha Jiwon responds that she has liked sports ever since she was young, but she doesn’t have much physical body strength. Then she said that her action looks powerful on screen because when she draws a sword, for example, she puts her emotion into the tip of her sword and uses her sword to show her emotions through her body language. Ha Jiwon uses props as extensions of her own body to show body language, such as when she shoots an arrow by syncing the release of her arrow to the rhythm of her breathing.
Ha Jiwon says that every actor believes that the drama that they act in will be a success. Her mindset is that she chose the character, so she should do her best at every moment so that she will have no regrets. Part of doing her best is preparing diligently. At 14 minutes, 36 seconds, Ha Jiwon says, “Actually, I am someone who likes to be well prepared. If I’m acting in a film, I don’t simply do the acting, but at the same time find the most suitable music for my character …from costumes to the smallest props, I will think, find and learn like that.” She continued, saying, “If I prepare well enough, I can relax on the set. I feel happy even when I am preparing.”
When the interviewer asks her where she gets her energy from, Ha Jiwon says, at 15 minutes, 48 seconds in the interview, “I like the saying of ‘Live in the Moment.’ I focus on every detail during this moment and I focus more on working to enjoy the moment. With a more optimistic and relaxed feeling, I am able to work with a smile.” She then said that she acts to enjoy the acting and that a drama is not made by one person alone. She said that, by working hard, she will influence other people to work hard with her. She also said that it’s better to show a bright smile on set, even when she feels sore or tired, because it gives energy to the other members of production’s team.
At 17 minutes, 27 seconds, Ha Jiwon says that she really likes fragrances and that her older sister is a scent specialist. Ha Jiwon is also very sensitive to scents. At 18 minutes, 23 seconds, Ha Jiwon reveals that fragrances help her acting. (At the time of that interview, Ha Jiwon was going to play the character ‘Oh Hana’ in an upcoming TV drama titled The Time That I Loved You.)
At 18 minutes, 36 seconds, Ha Jiwon says, “During makeup, if I place Ha-na’s scented candle or fragrance infuser next to me, it will be very helpful. … Actually, if I do this, after ten years, if I smell this fragrance, I will return to Ha-na’s role with the character Ha-na and, through this scent memory, I can remember the memories from that time. This method is also very interesting.”
Allow me explain how Ha Jiwon prepares to act and why it works.
Doctors and scientists discovered that there are strong links between ’emotion’ and ‘memory,’ and scents can be the strongest memory triggers. Ha Jiwon calls it ‘Scent Memory’ and doctors call it ‘Odor-Evoked Autobiographical Memory.’ Scientists say that scents trigger memories of ‘sensations’ more than memories of ‘facts.’
A memory can be triggered by sight, sound, taste and touch, but our bodies process those memories differently compared to how our bodies process memories that are triggered by scent. Sights, sounds, tastes and sensations of touch pass through a part of the brain that scents do not pass through. A scent can trigger a memory and other memories that are associated with that memory. For example, if you smell the scent of a flower, you may remember a time in the past when you smelled that scent and you may also remember who you were with, other things that happened at that time, and the ’emotional atmosphere’ that you felt during that time.
You can find more about how scents trigger memories here:
What is interesting is how Ha Jiwon uses scents when she creates her characters.
Ha Jiwon chooses to act as a character in a scripts that she feels an emotional attachment to that script. When she connects to a script emotionally, it’s easier to act as and create the character because she feels an emotional connection to that character.
Then she develops the character. The character is already in the script, but Ha Jiwon has to make that character come alive through her acting, so she makes that character part of her. She does that by exploring the character’s personality.
When Ha Jiwon feels that she has found the character’s personality, she becomes the character by training herself to act like the character, think like the character, and feel the same things that the character might feel.
She does this by ‘living as’ the character. She finds and plays music that she thinks fits the character’s personality. Music is emotional and it sets the character’s emotions and personality into her heart. She uses the same utensils as the character would, wears the same clothes as the character would, etc. Props and clothes are physical and they create ‘sight’ and ‘touch’ memories. Clothing, props and the environment may have their own scents. Each of those memories alone are memorable, but Ha Jiwon needed a way to tie those memories together when she creates a character. She ties them together using a fragrance.
Ha Jiwon has a different fragrance for each character that she has acted as. A fragrance unites all her memories of a character. When she’s preparing a character, she uses music to set the character’s personality inside her, like a character ‘theme song.’ When she develops the character’s personality before filming begins, she uses ‘sound,’ ‘sight’ and ‘touch’ memory to develop the character well enough so that she can act comfortably. She can’t play music during filming and her props and clothes may change many times during filming. She would develop a character naturally while a production is being filmed, so she needed some way to remember her character while she was developing it during filming. Scents are the strongest emotional trigger and they can unify other memories. Ha Jiwon’s older sister is a scent specialist, so she asks her sister for help when she chooses a scent for each character. Ha Jiwon can wear a fragrance while the cameras are filming. She uses a fragrance as a ‘theme fragrance’ in the same way that she uses music as a character’s ‘theme song.’ Music helps her remember the character’s personality and a fragrance helps her remember the character’s personality and life.
Ha Jiwon’s science-based approach to acting is effective because it uses every memory-trigger in effective ways. This method works well for her because she prepares thoroughly by ‘living’ as her character before filming begins until she feels comfortable ‘being’ that character. She fills her heart and mind with that character and the things that are in that character’s life. She is sensitive to scents, which is the most powerful memory trigger, so she uses fragrances to help her remember each character.
Ha Jiwon probably has a ‘fragrance library’ that she uses to keep track of which fragrances she’s used for each character. I doubt that she would use those fragrances in everyday life because that would affect her memory, or the ‘character profiles’ that she has in her heart and mind.
One of the key points is that she stays positive and enthusiastic while she works on a character and while she acts. When she’s enthusiastic about acting as a character, she stays interested in that character. When she’s interested in a character, she can create strong emotional connections to that character. She creates strong emotional connections by making things about that character important to her and by trying to understand how that character thinks. She tries to understand how a character thinks by reading that character’s actions and reactions in the script and the context of the situation in the story.
Research is one part of that key. If your character must experience something that you’ve never experienced, research it.
Another key is that she is optimistic and she tries her best. It’s easier to act when you’re happy because you can focus on your character and you can focus on other people. If you’re angry, sad or depressed, you’re focusing on yourself. Ha Jiwon enjoys working and acting. She smiles and works enthusiastically to help energize other people around her.
Another important key is this: Do not let yourself become lost in your character.
Ha Jiwon ‘lives’ as the character that she acts as. She lives like a secret agent that is undercover. The key is that, if you don’t want to become lost in your character, you need to spend time being ‘yourself.’ You need to remind yourself that the character isn’t ‘you’ and that the character’s life isn’t really ‘your life.’
Ha Jiwon didn’t have time to do that while she was filming the movie Sector 7. The film schedule was so tight, and her character’s story was so intense, that it was as though she were in a war zone. The emotional information from the environment while filming was so overwhelming that she felt as though the film sets had become ‘real life.’ In a sense, it was real. She was pushing her mind and body every day through a rigorous film schedule without much time to rest. The overload of sensual information while she was stressed caused her to be more sensitive. She felt her character’s suffering because she was suffering the same way.
At some point, she felt that she was ‘Actress Ha Jiwon, acting as Cha Hae-Joon (her character’s name in Sector 7), but her heart felt as though she was ‘Actress Ha Jiwon, acting as herself.’ That’s how deeply connected she was to Cha Hae-Joon, her character.
By the time that filming ended, she was deeply connected to the story. In her heart, the story had been real. She was grieving for her character’s friends as though Cha Hae-Joon were her close friend who had recently lost her beloved friends. Ha Jiwon needed to grieve. The characters who had died had become real to her, and she felt the break in relationship the same way that she would feel it if real people had died.
Artists are sensitive people. They feel deeply and they can feel hurt deeply.
Ha Jiwon needed help to get out of the character ‘Cha Hae-Yoon.’ I don’t know the details of what help she received, but she seems to have recovered.
The techniques that Ha Jiwon uses are expert-level techniques. They are so powerful that they can cause serious damage to whomever uses them if the person using them is not careful.
If you want an to have an idea of how powerful these techniques are, watch actress Stephanie Lee.
Stephanie Lee in ‘Yong Pal’
Here are two clips in which Stephanie Lee acts in the 2015 Korean TV drama, Yong Pal. Watch these clips and look at her acting.
Do you think she’s an experienced actress? Did you think that maybe she is a recently-debuted actress who has attended school to learn how to act?
Would you be surprised to know that her role in Yong Pal was her second acting role?
Stephanie Lee began as a fashion model and then appeared in television commercials (such as the one below).
How did Stephanie Lee become such a good actress?
On an episode of the Korean variety show Happy Together, which aired on December 17th, 2015, she spoke about how she prepared to act as Cynthia Park in Yong Pal. That part of her interview begins 22 minutes, 5 seconds into the episode (in the video below).
During her interview, she said, “I haven’t been acting for a long time. I felt like I was falling short. So I decided to live every day with Cynthia’s clothes and makeup. … I was dressed like her when I hung out with my friends. … I told my friends to call me Cynthia instead of Stephanie. … Since I’m a model, I wanted Cynthia to have her own walk too. I didn’t do a model’s walk, though. Cynthia had her own thing.”
She went on to explain that a model should never sway her hips, but she swayed her hips to make Cynthia’s walk sexy. She also exaggerated her pronunciation for style in Cynthia’s speech.
When Stephanie Lee was preparing to act as Cynthia, she developed Cynthia’s voice and style and then she pretended to be Cynthia. She went to the extreme of living as Cynthia and asking her friends to pretend that she is Cynthia.
That sounds similar to the type of preparation that Ha Jiwon may do.
Stephanie Lee refined her character and immersed into it. I don’t know whether she chose ‘theme music’ for her character and I doubt that she used the ‘fragrance memory’ method that Ha Jiwon uses.
By doing only as much preparation as she did, Stephanie Lee was able to act much better than most new actors would. If she continues using techniques that Ha Jiwon uses, she could become a world-class actress.
There is one question that still needs to be answered…
How can a person ‘unbalance and rebalance’ their own mind safely?
Developing a character’s persona and character immersion are two ways of getting to know that character better. That is a step closer to ‘becoming like the character,’ but it’s still pretending, not ‘unbalancing’ your mind.
If you want to ‘unbalance’ your mind compared to what is normal for you, you should think about ‘what you’re willing to do’ and what is preventing you from doing that.
‘What you’re willing to do’ is the furthest border of who you are as a person. Are you willing to dance childishly?
Are you willing to dance childishly in public?
No? … Why not?
Ji Changwook and Im Yoona in ‘The K2’
What you’re ‘willing to do’ is the furthest border of who you are as a person. You should not move the ‘borders of who you are’. Moving those borders could change your personal values and who you are as a person. Depending on what type of borders you move, moving those borders could alter your perception of ‘reality.’
The borders that you may want to move (and not all of them) are your perceptions of what is acceptable for you to do in situations.
You should take morals and ethics into consideration when you decide to move the borders in your mind. There are some things that should not be done regardless of how much you’re willing to do them.
Emotional Exercise and Mental Exercise is not like physical exercise.
When you’re doing emotional and mental exercise, you should not ‘push‘ your boundries.
Muscles become stronger after they break because more muscle grows to repair the damaged muscle and makes the muscle stronger. A person’s mind and emotions do not heal on their own like muscles.
If a person has a mental or emotional problem, the person must face that problem if they want it to be solved. Mental Problems and Emotional Problems do not ‘go away on their own.‘ Sometimes, they get worse over time if they are not solved.
A person can become mentally and emotionally stronger, and become more able to put his/her mind back into a healthy balance. That strength comes from practicing ‘rebalancing’ your mind, not from pushing your boundries.
Mental boundries are delicate.
If you un-balance your mind and you feel that you’re starting to not tell the difference between what is real and what is not real, pull your mind back into normal balance immediately.
I’m serious. Stop being that character and be yourself for a while. Get yourself out of your mindset of ‘being that character’ and go do things that are ‘normal for you.’
When you start to feel that your emotions are connecting to a character as though the character is a living person, stop yourself immediately and remind yourself that your character’s story isn’t your real world.
Pull your heart and mind back into normal balance immediately. First bring yourself into normal balance and then rest.
One way to ‘unbalance and rebalance’ your mind is by changing your perception of how valuable things are.
Here is what’s written in How To Craft a Story.
“How do we make decisions? We make decisions by judging the value of two or more things. We will often make a choice based on what is most valuable to us.
What is ‘value’? Value is the amount of worth that we think something has to us.
What is worth? Worth is how useful a thing is.
How is ‘value’ different from ‘worth’? ‘Worth’ is an objective measure of how useful a thing is. ‘Value’ is a measure of how useful a thing is ‘to us’ or to the person who needs or wants it.” — Worth and Value, Chapter 3
‘Value’ and ‘Worth’ are things that structure our thoughts by ranking them based on how important they are.
‘Worth’ is an objective measure of how useful something is. ‘Value’ is a subjective measure of how useful a person thinks something is.
Many people don’t think of ‘worth’ as much as they think of ‘value.’ Many people care more about how ‘valuable’ something is to them and to other people.
That means that many people have structured their minds according to how valuable they ‘think something is.’
This is what’s written in How To Craft a Story.
‘Worth’ is an objective measure. ‘Value’ is a subjective measure. Something that is not ‘worth’ much can be very valuable to a person. ‘Value’ is based on how useful a thing is to a specific person and also based on the emotional attachment that that specific person has to that thing.
The ‘thing’ may be a way of thinking, a belief, a habit, an object, etc. Everything has worth, but how valuable is a specific thing to us? Is it more valuable than something else?” — Worth and Value, Chapter 3
How does a person determine how ‘valuable’ something is?
A person determines how valuable something is to themself by strengthening or weakening their emotional attachment to that thing.
A person determines how valuable something is to someone else based on how that person behaves regarding that thing.
That is a spiritual principle:
Amos 3:3 (KJV)
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
“43 For a good tree does not bring forth corrupt fruit, neither does a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.
45 A good man brings forth that which is good out of the good treasure of his heart; and an evil man brings forth that which is evil out of the evil treasure of his heart: for his mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart.”
If something is valuable to you, you are expected to behave as though it is valuable to you. People expect your thoughts to agree with your actions.
Words are spoken thoughts. Your words and your actions are expected to agree with each other.
Your actions shouldn’t turn your words into lies.
This is what’s written in How To Craft a Story.
“What are a character’s ‘values’? A character’s values are everything that is important to the character, everything that the character places values on. Importance is ranked from ‘most important’ to ‘least important.’ Some things can be of equal importance. How does a character decide how important something is relative to something else? A character often decides based on the emotional connection that the character has to a thing.” — Worth and Value, Chapter 3
How does a person use emotional attachment to determine value?
Relationships create emotional attachments. ‘Relationships’ are how we sort information in our minds. They are the ropes and glue that we use to tie information together and hold that information together.
Two unrelated pieces of information have no connection to each other.
This is what’s written in How To Craft a Story.
“An emotional connection is a relationship. We give and receive emotional information in a relationship. The word ‘relate’ means ‘to carry back.’ A ‘relationship’ is an exchange of something between things or people which are in a relationship with each other. It means that a relationship is defined by what and how much we ‘give to’ and ‘receive from’ the person whom we are in a relationship with.
Sometimes, one person in a relationship places more value on a relationship than the other person does. Sometimes, one person is emotionally invested more deeply in a relationship than the other person is.
A person can impress emotion onto an object, onto an idea, or onto something else and have a relationship with that thing based on how that thing makes the person feel.
Sometimes, a person may transfer emotional information that they received from a person onto an object or onto another person. When a person does that, the person is connecting those two people or things together in that person’s mind.
A person could have a strong emotional attachment to an object that belonged to another person because of a relationship that they had with that person. For example, a person could have a strong emotional attachment to an object that belonged to someone whom they cared about and who is no longer with them.” — Worth and Value, Chapter 3
Why do we use emotional attachments in relationships?
Because emotions are a basic form of communication. Emotions convey ‘sensory information’ and attach that sensory information to other types of information.
Almost everything that we hear, see, smell, taste, feel, and imagine evokes emotion in us. ‘Thinking’ is our way of trying to arrange emotional information into patterns. Thinking is our way of trying to understand ’emotional information.’
Ha Jiwon uses memory triggers, such as a fragrance, to remember her understanding of a character’s emotional information.
Most types of information already have ’emotional information’ linked to them.
When we form a relationship between two pieces of information, that also forms a relationship between the ’emotional information’ that is linked to each piece of information. A relationship connection creates ‘context’ between pieces of ’emotional information.’
Ha Jiwon uses a fragrance to create a relationship ‘context’ between single pieces of emotional information about one character.
This is what’s written in How To Craft a Story.
“The values that a character has are based on relationships. A choice that a character makes is a choice between which relationship is more important to the character: the relationship that the character has or the relationship that the character wants to have.
Every obstacle is an opportunity for the character to make a choice. Every time that a character has to make a decision, it is an opportunity for the character to become better.
Obstacles that a character faces while going toward that character’s goal are often the trials that make the character better able to reach the goal and overcome forces of opposition. The trials could cause the character to realize that the goal that the character is moving toward is not the right goal. Maybe the goal was made based on flaws that the character has since overcome. Maybe the character discovered that the goal will not really fulfill the character. Every journey is a learning experience.
The audience travels with the character on the character’s emotional journey…” — Worth and Value, Chapter 3
The actor also travels with a character on the character’s emotional journey. That’s why scripts need to be written well. An actor carries the audience’s emotions on the character’s emotional journey because the actor represents the character while the actor is acting.
This is what’s written in How To Craft a Story.
“Learn how to value things that belong to another person.
If something is important to someone else, even if it’s not important to you, you should respect that it’s important to that person. Don’t try to diminish the importance that the person places on it.
When something is important to someone else, and you treat that thing as being as valuable to you as the other person thinks it is, you’re sending a message to that person. You’re saying, ‘This is as important to me as it is to you because you are important to me. I am making this important to me because I value you.’
The word ‘relationship’ comes from the word ‘relate.’ ‘Relate’ means ‘to carry back.’ It means that there is an active, ongoing connection between things which relate to each other or between people who relate to each other.
A ‘relationship’ means that the people who are in a relationship with each other are connected together somehow.
Connections in a relationship should not be one-way. When you try to connect to a person, that person has to accept your connection otherwise that connection is not a ‘relationship’ connection.
A ‘relationship connection’ requires two-way communication through that connection. It requires both people in the relationship to acknowledge that connection and maintain that connection. Two-way communication should take place through a connection often to maintain that connection.
A relationship connection is like a muscle. If you exercise it often, it can become stronger. If you don’t exercise it for a period of time, it can become weaker.
That having been said, the strength of the connection depends on how strong each person who is part of that connection believes it to be.” — Respect, Chapter 8
This is what’s written in How To Craft a Story.
“The distance between two people who are in a relationship with each other is measured by the strength of their relationship connections.
The depth of their relationship is measured by the amount of relationship connections that they share with each other.
The strength of a relationship connection depends on how strong each person in that relationship connection believes it to be. If one person thinks that a relationship connection is stronger than the other person does, it could mean that one person values the relationship connection, but does not know how much the other person values the relationship connection.
There is a possibility that it could mean that one person places more value on the relationship connection than the other person does. (To find out more about this, read ‘Emotional Connections’ and ‘Worth and Value’ in chapter 3.)
Don’t try to change someone else. Don’t try to change the amount of value that a person places on something. If you try to change a person or try to change what a person places value on, that is called ‘manipulation.’
You can give information to a person which can help a person increase or decrease their emotional attachment to something …
Learn about what really matters and place value on those things. Don’t place much value on things which don’t matter. That is a key to a good relationship. It is also a key to resolving conflicts.
If you want to form a relationship with a person, with a product, or with a company, you should evaluate that person, product, or company before you form a connection …” — Relationship Depth, Chapter 8
How do you ‘increase’ the amount of value you place on a relationship connection?
When a person creates a relationship connection to an object, that person is creating a relationship connection to the information that that person knows about the object.
When two people form a relationship connection with each other, they are forming a relationship connection in their minds to the information that they know about each other.
If Person A thinks that Person B is perfect and then finds out that Person B is not perfect, will that change what Person A thinks of Person B?
The reason why Person A’s thinking can change is because Person A based her thinking on the information that she knew about Person B.
Person A based her opinion on information that she knew about Person B and she can change how valuable that information is to her.
If she chooses to place less value on that information that she did in the past, it also means that she will now react differently to Person B compared to how she acted toward him in the past.
When people have a relationship with each other, they really have a relationship with the information that they know about each other.
And most people trust that the information that they know about another person is true if they believe that the source of the information is true.
This is what’s written in How To Craft a Story.
“This is a good place to talk about puzzle pieces. When someone presents puzzle pieces to you, is it more fun to watch someone else put the pieces together or is it more fun trying to put the puzzle pieces together yourself? If you watch someone else put puzzle pieces together for a long time but you don’t put any together yourself, wouldn’t it become boring? The other person would be doing everything and would not be giving you an opportunity to solve the puzzle yourself. You wouldn’t be given an opportunity to think.
When the audience has an opportunity to think about how the puzzle pieces fit together, the audience can become curious.
When the audience is curious about how pieces fit together, the curiosity can create anticipation while the author fits pieces of the puzzle together. The audience would want to know whether their thoughts were right about how they fit together. The audience becomes mentally and emotionally invested in that part of the story when the audience does that. The audience becomes mentally invested because they became curious about how the pieces fit together. They become emotionally invested because they formed a relationship with the puzzle pieces by recognizing the emotional information which the puzzle pieces were communicating to them.
Remember, ‘thoughts’ are our way of arranging emotional information. Do you remember that everything sends emotional information to us and that everything can evoke emotion in us?
When a person thinks about emotional information and tries to identify the right pattern that the information fits into and tries to arrange that information according to that pattern, the person is forming, or deepening, a relationship with that information or the source of that information.
The person is receiving the emotional information and is making that information important by focusing on it. A thing becomes more important to us the more that we focus on it.” — Emotional Connections, Chapter 3
“The audience becomes mentally invested because they became curious about how the pieces fit together. They become emotionally invested because they formed a relationship with the puzzle pieces by recognizing the emotional information which the puzzle pieces were communicating to them.”
Remember, Ha Jiwon is curious and enthusiastic when she develops a character.
This is what’s written in How To Craft a Story.
“When a character ‘wants’ or ‘needs’ something, that character asks a question. The ‘want’ or ‘need’ is a problem and the question asks ‘How can that problem be solved?’ or ‘What is the solution to that problem?’ The question is asked out of curiosity. Sometimes a person is simply curious. At other times, an emotional motivation may be compelling the person to ask the question.
Every problem begins when a character desires to have a relationship which it does not have. The ‘relationship’ could be a relationship to a person or to an object or to knowledge (knowledge is information which is arranged in our minds according to patterns). Every problem begins when a person ‘desires to access’ something which that person wants or needs.
The story begins when a character is willing to take action to get what it wants or needs.
The word ‘curious’ means ‘full of care.’ It means that the person cares about whatever the person is curious about. When a person is curious, it means that that person wants to complete more of the puzzle that it has started in its mind. It means that the person has either started a pattern or started to reinforce a pattern and that person either needs more information (more puzzle pieces) or more understanding (knowing how the puzzle pieces fit together) to be able to complete the puzzle. ‘Knowledge’ or ‘understanding’ is what the character wants to possess or gain access to and the character need time, and perhaps someone else’s help, to be able to gain that knowledge or understanding.” — Chapter 5
This is what’s written in How To Craft a Story.
“When the audience anticipates something, the audience usually has one of these reactions: Fear, excitement, indifference, or boredom. When the audience is indifferent to something, it means that they don’t care about it. When the audience is excited or fearful, it means that the audience cares. If the audience is bored, it means that the audience is not engaged in the story. The point of using anticipation, the point of showing puzzle pieces of what could happen in the future, is to make the audience curious. That only works if the audience cares about that part of the story. You can create tension when the audience cares about the story.
Tension is created by ‘stretching’ something to increase anticipation. The more something is stretched, the less slack it has. When something is taut, which is when it has been pulled until it has no slack, it is stiff and does not easily bend under the weight of things that you hang on it. If something is taut, things that you hang on it should stay in place. Tension might break if you hang more weight on it than it can bear.” — Emotional Tightening = Tension, Chapter 2
This is what’s written in How To Craft a Story.
“When a story is evoking an emotional response in the audience and the story suddenly weakens or strengthens that evocation, the result of that sudden change can be jarring to the audience.
Imagine that you’re pulling on a rope. The rope is tied to a heavy rock and you’re pulling on the rope with enough strength to make the rope taut. Now imagine what would happen if the weight of the rock suddenly changes. If the rock suddenly weighs much less, you could suddenly fall backwards or stumble because you would suddenly be pulling on the rope with more strength than you need to. Similarly, if the rock does not weigh much and you’re dragging the rock by pulling on the rope, you could fall down suddenly if the rock suddenly weights more. You could experience a sudden and severe shock if you’re moving quickly while you pull on the rope and if the weight of the rock suddenly increases.
When you pull on a rope until it is taut, it creates tension in the rope. In a similar way, tension can be created in a story when the audience focuses on something which evokes an emotional response in the audience.
Remember, emotion is measured in ‘force’ or strength. When a person focuses on something, that person is strengthening the emotional connection that the person has to the thing that the person is focusing on. The amount of tension that is created inside that person is dependent on how much importance that person places on the emotional connection that the person has to the thing.
When you, as the author, focus on something in the story, you are telling the audience that the ‘thing’ that you are focusing on is important and that the audience should establish an emotional connection to that thing. The audience will place less importance or more importance on something depending on how much you, the author, focus on that thing in the story. When you write something in detail, you are telling the audience that that thing is important. The more detail in which you write it, the more important you are telling the audience that the thing is. That ‘thing’ is anything that the audience can form an emotional connection to or anything that can change or threaten something that the audience has already created an emotional connection to.
When you introduce a thing, you are creating an ‘anchor point.’
An anchor point is a piece of information that the audience can create an emotional connection to. After you have ‘anchored’ the audience’s emotions onto something, you can change the tension of that emotional connection by focusing on that ‘thing’ in more detail.” — Emotionally Choppy, Chapter 13
In a script, the writer focuses on specific things in each scene. The more that a writer focuses on something, the more important that thing is. Sometimes it’s something important to a scene as a whole. Sometimes it’s important to a character. In both cases, it should be important to the story.
When you focus on the things in the script that are important to a character, you are forming an emotional connection to those things. The more you focus on those things, the more you’re strengthening your emotional connection to those things.
But how do you make things more important to you?
You make them important to you by acting on them.
When you make something important to you, you are making it important to you in your heart. Your mental boundries are in your mind. When you ‘unbalance’ and ‘rebalance’ your mind, you are moving borders that are in your mind.
So you also need to make things important in your mind, not only in your heart.
Proverbs 16:3 (KJV)
“Commit your works unto the Lord and your thoughts shall be established.”
“A good man brings forth that which is good out of the good treasure of his heart; and an evil man brings forth that which is evil out of the evil treasure of his heart: for his mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart.”
‘Speaking’ is an action. The word ‘establish’ in Proverbs 16:3 is translated from a word that means ‘to erect’ (or ‘to stand up’). Your thoughts are established by your works.
When you do things, the things that you do form a pattern in your mind. That’s how habits are formed.
Every time you do something, you’re enforcing a pattern in your mind and you’re training your body at the same time.
When you act on things that are important in your heart, you train your mind to believe that the things that you’re acting on are important.
If you believe in your heart that it’s important for you to brush your teeth every day, but you don’t do it (or you don’t do it every day), what will happen when you feel lazy? Or when something needs to be done that you think is more important than brushing your teeth?
If you believe in your heart that it’s important to wake up at 6:00am each morning, but you don’t believe it in your mind… What will happen at 6:00am when someone tries to wake you up or you hear an alarm?
You will think.
You’ll think of reasons why you should stay in bed. You’ll think of reasons why you should get up. Will your mind win or will your heart win?
Your mind controls your body. If you want to get up at 6:00am, you have to choose to get up and act on your choice. Your heart won’t make you get up at 6:00am. You need to use your mind to move your body.
When you make a choice and act on it, you’re moving a boundry in your mind. You’re telling yourself, ‘This is what I must do in this situation.’
When you repeat an action, you are reinforcing the position of a boundry in your mind.
That’s why it’s easier to have the motivation to do something the more you do it. That is also why it can be hard to break a habit. You reinforce a pattern when you repeat your movement in that pattern.
If you want to make things important to you that are important to another person (or a character), you need to find out what those things are by finding out what that person focuses on. The more important a thing is to a person, the more that person will likely focus on it. After you find out what it important to that person, you need focus on it to make it important to you in your heart. It’s easier to focus on something if it makes you curious. After it is important in your heart, you must act on it if you want it to become important in your mind.
How do you ‘rebalance’ yourself after you have ‘unbalanced’ yourself?
This is what’s written in How To Craft a Story.
“Imagine that you’re pulling on a rope. The rope is tied to a heavy rock and you’re pulling on the rope with enough strength to make the rope taut. Now imagine what would happen if the weight of the rock suddenly changes. If the rock suddenly weighs much less, you could suddenly fall backwards or stumble because you would suddenly be pulling on the rope with more strength than you need to. Similarly, if the rock does not weigh much and you’re dragging the rock by pulling on the rope, you could fall down suddenly if the rock suddenly weights more. You could experience a sudden and severe shock if you’re moving quickly while you pull on the rope and if the weight of the rock suddenly increases.
It’s easier to strengthen an emotional connection than it is to weaken one. An emotional connection is not weakened simply by ‘focusing less on it.’ An emotional connection is weakened by showing that the ‘thing’ has become less important. If you want the audience to believe that something has become less important, you must give them a reason to believe so.
To do that, you need to change the context that determines the thing’s importance. When you change the context, you are changing ‘the weight of the rock’ that the emotion is connected to. When you change the weight gradually, you are giving the audience time to adjust the strength of their emotional connection to that thing.
I should explain the difference between ‘weight’ and ‘mass’ here. ‘Weight’ is a measure of the strength of gravity’s pull on an object. ‘Mass’ is a measurement of how much matter an object has.
‘Gravity’ is a force which pulls objects toward each other. Gravity is caused by a knot in the ‘fabric of space’ which causes things to be pulled toward it.
In a story, ‘gravity’ is the pull of emotions that a person feels when that person thinks about something serious. It’s the tension that a person feels when there is something serious which affects that person’s life. When a person talks about ‘the gravity of the situation,’ it means the ‘seriousness’ of the situation. The word ‘serious’ means ‘seeing in full.’ When we are ‘seeing something in full,’ it means that the ‘thing’ is staying in our sight and that we think that what we’re seeing is important.
Usually, the important thing is something that we are at risk of losing. When the ‘gravity’ of a situation pulls a person ‘down,’ it means that the seriousness of the situation is making the person think about something that matters in the person’s life.
When a rock’s ‘weight’ changes, it does not mean that the ‘mass’ of the rock has changed. The ‘mass’ of the rock, or ‘what the rock is made of,’ does not change.
When the ‘weight’ changes, it means that the rock has become ‘more important’ or ‘less important’ in the character’s life.
What does that mean? Does it mean that the rock has become more important to the character’s ability to stay alive?
Does it mean that the character has changed its opinion of how important the rock is?
It could mean both.
If we need something that can help us stay alive, that thing is important to our lives whether or not we think it is.
If we don’t understand how important something thing is or we don’t pay much attention to the thing, we could be putting our lives at risk by acting as though the thing is less important than it really is.
If something is not important to our lives, but we think that it’s important to our lives, we could pay more attention to it than we need to.
How do you change the weight of a ‘rock’ in a story? When you place importance on a thing in a story, you, the author, are telling the audience that it is important. You need to understand why it is important in the story.
Why is it important for the audience to focus on that thing?
Is it something that is important to a character’s life?
Does the character think that it is important?
Is it something important that’s connected to a character’s goals?” — Emotionally Choppy, Chapter 13
How do you ‘rebalance’ your mind?
By changing the reason why some things are important to you.
When you focus on something because it’s important to a character or to another person, focusing on it makes it important to you in your heart. If you change the context of why it’s important to you, you can change how important it is in your heart.
Ha Jiwon’s character in Sector 7 has relationship connections to other characters in the story. Ha Jiwon made her character’s relationships important in her own heart. When those characters died, their deaths broke the relationship connections that Ha Jiwon had to those characters in her heart.
The characters were not real people, but Ha Jiwon had relationship connections to them as she would have had to real people. The relationship connections in Ha Jiwon’s heart were real. Those relationship connections needed healing.
Ha Jiwon needed to mourn the loss of those characters because her relationship connections to those characters were real. She needed closure. She needed to mourn the loss of those relationships so that her heart could accept that those relationships had ended. Her heart needed to be healed.
After finding closure, she would have been able to start disengaging from her character.
It’s important to heal damage that has been done to you before you disengage from a character. Any damage that’s been done to your heart could remain in your heart and affect your real life if it isn’t healed. And you may not be able to recognize the problem if you don’t remember when or how the problem occurred. Remember, Emotional problems and Mental problems don’t heal themselves, like muscles do.
If moving boundries in a person’s mind caused a mental problem, that could be more difficult to heal. It can be possible for the person to heal their mind by moving boundries back to where they were, if that person has enough of a grasp on reality to know how to move the boundries, which boundries to move, and where to move those boundries to.
If a person cannot move their boundries by themself, the person would need help. Preferably, help from someone who knows how to help effectively.
You can disengage from a character by changing the context of why things that were important to the character are important to you.
It’s important to understand ‘why.’
When you know ‘why’ something is important, you can decide whether it’s ‘worth‘ being important to you.
Importance is always based on context. There is a reason why something is important and that reason is based on context. When you know why something is important, you can reason in yourself how important that thing should be to you. That would change how important the thing is in your heart.
After you have changed how important something is in your heart, you should perform actions that agree with your heart. You would need to make a conscious choice to not do something. You break a pattern of behaviour by changing the importance in your heart and then changing your behaviour.
Do this for every ‘value’ that you need to adjust to disengage from a character.
When you do that, you would be ‘readjusting’ what you value to be ‘normal for you’ and not ‘normal to the character.’
You may have made some things important to you while you were acting as a character that you don’t want to be important to you any longer. You can change the context of the importance by reasoning in yourself ‘That’s only when I’m acting as the character’ or by making it so unimportant that you forget about its importance.
When you’re creating a character, or getting to know a person, it’s important to know how to structure the information that you’re receiving. Information is structured according to a pattern.
Would you like to know how to structure information according to a pattern?
You can find out in an upcoming article!
From now on, articles on this site will be in broad categories. There will be ongoing themes in some of the categories. Some of the contents of categories will cross over with each other.
For example, Bible Studies will have examples that might fit the theme of an article about Acting or Writing Advice.
How to be Decisive
Bible Study: The Greatest Commandment
Bible Study: Heart of God
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