Gael Garcia Bernal
I was in Berlin a couple of weeks ago for a series of lectures from some the world’s most exciting and challenging film makers. Here is a small piece of advice from a celebrated actor.

You may know Gael Garcia Bernal as playing Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara in The Motorcycle Diaries or perhaps as the headstrong nephew in the mexican portion of this year’s Oscar nominated film Babel.

Gael talked about rehearsal. He is a world class actor. He is good at what he does. But he never just walks onto the film set and acts. How can he? He always rehearses. But this doesn’t mean his thinking becomes rigid or locked down. Rehearsal, he says, builds up a musculature memory. That means you do can a lot of things automatically, without conscious effort or thinking. This frees your mind to live in the moment and react to an ever changing and dynamic scene.

But how often do we rehearse? How often do we practice until we cannot get it wrong? How often do we build that musculature memory?

Or do we walk onto the set and hope we can just do it.

Of course it is easy to say that actor’s just find time to rehearse. But they don’t have to. Gael finds the time, he makes the time. Its built into his work method, into his business model if you like.

And that self-rehearsal time is what makes him successful.

Image taken from the official talent campus site. You can read their account of the interview here.