Is the coffee hot or are you acting like it's hot?

I remembered a funny incident in my New York studio a number of years ago.  The show we were doing was set in a diner.  We served real food and real coffee, all hot. 

An industry professional, who shall remain nameless, asked me why the actors didn’t act like the coffee was hot.  I replied, “Because it was hot” and left it at that.

I remember being in a sense memory class where we were asked to act like the mug in our hand held hot coffee.  And I remembered what Sandy Meisner used to say, “Why don’t they just put hot coffee in the cup?”

We are sometimes at the mercy of people who have not caught up with the times but I’ll still put my money on just serve it hot and don’t worry about the folks like that industry guy who wanted to see it acted.  If you have to one day fake something like that – or are made to fake something like that – I’m still sure your Meisner training will make you better at it than all the poor folks who are still trying to “feel the snow.”