The Importance of Disengaging

Trying an emotional case is like an actor who lands a demanding role that requires personal introspective work to mine the mind of a complicated character. Actors recognize how important it is to disengage themselves from their own work.

With all of the stress and the heightened level of concentration that is demanded of trial lawyers, it’s a good idea to heed this advice and take some personal time away from the courtroom to recharge our batteries. This will help to stave off burnout.

Acting instructor Deborah Moller Kareman said,

“In life we have a lot of facades – and we need them because we can’t be as vulnerable, and penetrable, and open in life as we must be onstage or in front of a camera. In art you have to be responsive. Things have to get in so that [feelings] can get out, and you can’t live the way you do your art or you’d be wounded every second.”

This is echoed by Naomi Lorrain, an alumnus of the MFA Graduate Acting Program at NYU:

“I can’t do a really intense role and then snap out of it. Mine is a slower progression out of a character, but I’m learning a lot of physical things that help me shake it off. I’ve learned to develop a ritual, whether a vocal exercise or yoga, to bring me back to my center. I think having an outside supporting system is crucial for this work.”

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