Truthful Feelings

actor-prepares-cover-200x305-2 A couple of years ago I attended an engaging continuing legal education seminar featuring graduates of  The Gerry Spence Trial College. They discussed the importance of being true to your feelings, of living without pretense, of being spontaneous and natural. At the trial college they practice “psychodrama” to assist in getting to the real self which is essential for trial advocacy.

That evening I went to the book store to find the source of “psychodrama.”  At the book store I did not find anything on “psychodrama,” but I did find works by the great Russian actor, director, and acting teacher- Constantin Stanislavski.  The Stanislavski works caused me to remember an article I read years ago in Litigation Magazine titled “Stanislavski in the Courtroom.

The author discusses Stanislavaki’s concept of Imaging, Emotional Memory, and Commitment to Truth. She discusses how Stanislavski’s theories when practiced lead to a higher form of advocacy.  This led me to study Stanislavski.

From studying  Stanislavaki’s method I see how it applies to more than theatre. It applies to sincerity and the elimination of a plastic persona. It applies to  getting in touch with emotions and living at a higher level. It applies to being able to try cases and perform in any endeavor  at a high level. In the next series of posts we discuss Stanislavaki’s method  as in relates to trial work and beyond. These posts are under the Category “Stanislavski in the Courtroom.”


The first and foremost rule is truthfulness, meaning  honesty at all times. Do away with phoniness, pretense, and the desire to act in a way to please others. Truthful expression comes from the heart. With honest expression there is no doubt. Honest expression causes sincerity in voice, facial expression, and body language. The listener picks this up.

Truth, which is usually simple and straightforward, is inviting to the listener. When truth embraces your whole being it has a way of sinking deeper and deeper into the listener’s mind to the point it reaches the subconscious mind of the listener. This invokes positive emotions in the listener. This creates an unconsciousness bond between speaker and listener.

The opposite occurs when an agenda, pretense, or phoniness is involved- a plastic rehearsed from the mind alone message. Here tone of voice, facial expression and body language tell the listener this is a surface message, a message calculated to convince, and it is not the truth. The listener’s conscious mind quickly picks this up. If the message gets to the listener’s unconscious mind, which is doubtful, a gut reaction against the message occurs. Either way it is processed “this is phony.”

Lesson Number One- An argument built on truth will grow, but one built on pretense will shrivel.

    One Response to “Truthful Feelings”

    1. Marylin Marton says:

      Great post. Thanks!

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