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Sunday, June 23, 2024

How Much does Body Language Say?

Can we really hear more than what is being verbally said by studying body language? Yes. The body does express much, through both subtle and obvious cues. However, how accurate we can be when interpreting it is a whole other matter.

Intuitively and instinctively, you might be picking up both signs and their meanings, in and with context that could be elusive. Yet, you might not be able to trust and unpack what you’re absorbing through conscious knowledge. But something could still seem wrong, or right, or both. Perhaps simply off or just on point.

There certainly is much that can and does come through body language. And each and every single thing can be described and explained in detail. The problem arises when we attempt to “understand” it without really being capable of it and therefore reach erroneous conclusions. So should you even try to get into body language? Yes. But please be aware that you might be mistaken when attempting to get it.

In any case, though, aspiring to grasp at least enough of what body language usually communicates is especially advisable if it is relevant to the type of art that you make (or participate in). In any form of acting it is essential to at least be aware and familiar with the basics to incorporate them. How lacking would acting be otherwise?

Normally, it is best get into the shoes of what you’re representing rather than aiming to emulate external expressions while being void of internal processes that would naturally manifest them. But you can check to see what comes easiest for you. For some, it is like being possessed by a person or a state when they get to acting and the rest flows from that.

The more realistic the acting, the more subtleties in body language are present. And they may be overlooked by most, but noticed by those who pay attention. What are they saying when there are no words? How are words contradicting what they are saying without them? You might figure out the plot and get the spoilers upfront because of body language.

Then again, you might want to ask yourself if you’re reading too much into things. Maybe it’s just sloppy acting after all. Or those signs don’t mean what they seem.

CREDIT: AI-Generated Examples done on Leonardo.AI