Thursday, August 27, 2015

Basics to Acting (Relaxation)

Hello all

I wanted to share with you some basics of acting that really help you with creating a believable performance as an actor. I'm actually going to break this up into three parts. So today, we'll be talking about relaxation which is the foundation of great acting.

Think about it. If you're worried about the camera crew or the audience or even making your performance believable while on stage, how is that going to reflect on your acting? Not well. But Gabby how am I supposed to get out of my head?

Now, this is easier said then done however it does take a lot of practice. So, ideally, we want to do this exercise every day as much as possible. The enemy of the actor is tension. The purpose of these relaxation exercises is to train yourself in identifying tension and learning how to get rid of it easily. This is so that when you're on stage and in front of the camera, it makes it easier for you to get out of your head and get rid of that nervous energy to stay in character. It also makes you more aware of your physicality that doesn't align with your character. Now, there's a wide range of relaxation exercises:

You can do the Alexander Technique (my favourite)
More Alexander

Just to name a few... because those are the only ones I know lol.
Anywho I interchange between the Alexander Technique and Strasberg's method, in terms of relaxation exercises. One might work better than the other on any given day but both help you get into character and concentrate. Which is also super important and a whole other post all together so come back in a few days for that. But now we know, the foundation to great acting is relaxation and as we practice more and more often it will be so much easier for us to become relaxed into our roles.

I had an acting coach once, her name is Jane Kelly, she had this metaphor for what acting was when you're not relaxed. I can't quote her word for word but it was something along the lines of: imagine there's a chair and you and your character are both waiting in the wings for you to go on stage. You go on stage and your character is left in the wings, and he or she says, "I'll wait." You went on stage. Not your character. The point of this all is basically honoring your character. As an actor we are meant to honor a bunch of things. We represent so much to humanity and to individuals but when acting, our main focus is to honor the character. Only then can we honor the writer. Only then can we hold a mirror to the audience, so to speak, and reveal to them the human condition. Honoring the character is the most important thing when it comes to acting and if we can't be relaxed enough to do that, then we cannot become great actors.

Now, this is not to say, relaxation is all there is to acting. The second key to acting is emotions. Real emotions. How do we get those real emotions? Well I can tell you it's not easy and like relaxation it is going to take A LOT of practice. This is the next thing I will discuss in this three part Basics to Acting post.

No comments:

Post a Comment