How does AT factor into the very intimate and imaginative (sometimes magical) experience of embodying a character?
First know thyself! This comes with practicing lively awareness: emotional, physical, social. Awareness of self in the present place and moment. When we develop our interactive and personal awareness, extra habits and tensions can be paired away. Release of this “extra stuff” clears the way for more creative choice. We can deepen our sensing and gather more specific knowledge -- knowledge becomes tools.
Making Choices means knowing you have choices! Once you have a strong inner communication going, once you are consciously making choices about yourself, then working within the particular tendencies and limits of a character makes sense. This is when you can play! Practicing AT means practicing being clear enough to see the options. The story often gets clearer when we see the pathways laid out in the text. The fun increases!
Try this at home:
To highlight noticing you have choice, use this “classic” Alexander Technique etude:
Begin by resting your back on a wall, with your feet 6-8 inches off the wall. Each of us is formed slightly differently, but it’s likely that your pelvis and ribs are making contact. No need to flatten your back or put your head back on the wall.
Rest back on the wall -- receive the support. See what is going on around you, and decide just to stay there.
Next decide to experiment with using your legs to slide down and then up the wall. Place your hands lightly on your neck (SCM muscles) and notice what happens when you slide down, then slide up. Are you surprised by what you notice? If you tensed your neck or dropped your head, whatever the extra “thing’ is, decide to let that go.
Decide you could just wait and not not do that “thing” (tensing). Give yourself full permission not to do it. Look around the room instead. Notice how you feel - what emotions or lack of emotions come up?
Try this workshop:
Blood / Bone / Breath - Character Transformation Technique with myself and Witold Fitz-Simon.
Explore. Imagine. Transform.
Discover how your own structure: your blood, bone and breath, can spark your imagination for embodied character. Similar to animal work and mask, this technique is elemental to the creative process of character transformation but approaches transformation from a new perspective. We have so much to work with as actors -- how can you use your bones, blood, and breath to transform? Stop by and find out. Registration is open at ATMotionCenterforActors.com/Classes Come prepared to explore a character of your choice.