That is why you have to be veeerryyy good at this first before going to put any emotion for the character. It's probably gonna take a very long time before I finally perfected my craft. But patience is the key here.. One key lesson that I learned is, no matter how bad you want to do acting performance for your piece, you cannot do any dialogue shot for the character before you understand the basic of the body language for the character.
That is the tiny little details that will sell your animation to the audience or any potential employers. Forget about acting or emotion for the character (it helps if you're already in advanced level) , it's the BODY LANGUAGE of the character that's telling the story and your idea for the shot. Just look at this film REACH by Luke Randall, it's a perfect example. It has no dialogue at all, but the emotion of the character is shown through the body language. You can get what the story is about and understand how the character feels without hearing any dialogue at all.
To tell you the truth, from my past experience with the employers in this industry, just ONE shot without any dialogue/acting but have a good body mechanics on it can get you a job, rather than a diverse acting shot but with a crappy body mechanics.
That is why you have to master this timing, weight and body mechanic first before doing any other stuff you want to make. That's the key.
I will post up some of my progress here soon, so you can join me and we can learn together and share our knowledge in the journey to become a better animator =)
Just drop me a mail if you have any question, or if you want any suggestion or reference material for your animation. I'll be happy to answer them.
Have FUN animating! =)