We all dream of the perfect partner. Emotionally you connect and the energy is passed back and forth on stage as if you were soulmates. The reality, however, is much different. Instead of instant clicking, there’s a lot of awkward fumbling and dropped lines. As for the emotional connection, it’s even more of a mythological tale. Even still, there are things you can do to force a connection on stage when all else feels lost.
Don’t Try Too Hard
If you’re getting upset over the lack of connection with your scene partner, you’re building up emotional walls that will only make your acting worse. Instead of focusing your rage on them, take it as a positive. You, lucky actor that you are, have been given the immense challenge of making the impossible possible. Should you be a good enough actor, you could do it.
Listen to their lines and the delivery. Watch their movements or lack thereof. What are they giving you to work with? Even if it seems they’ve got nothing to offer, you can still salvage the scene. Maybe the person has a nervous tick you can work into the scene. Maybe they have a way of saying something you can turn into a characterization for your role. Even the smallest hint of connection can lead to something greater.
In the end, maybe they simply can’t connect with your delivery. Test out different ways to say your lines to see if you can elicit a reaction. Maybe they need you to be angrier but have a hard time expressing it. While the change may not lead in the direction you had in mind, any kind of common ground with your partner is enough to make the scene that much better.