HOW YOU MOVE MATTERS
Gesture and movement in theater has always fascinated me and driven my work. But the honesty and simplicity of the everyday gesture is on my mind as well. As I'm embarking on a three week exploration of impulse and gesture (see my Thursday group class for Actors), I thought I would offer up a self-study experiment in gesture and embodiment. Anyone can try this -- it's not just for actors!
Belinda has been brought on as a Backstage Expert guest writer. Check out her first article on how to stay grounded and not freeze at an audition.
The article was written to help demystify stage fright and provide readers with tools and games to practice on overcoming nerves.
The holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with your family—which, for many of us, brings up mixed emotions. We love our families and we want to see them and spend time with them. But for many of us, family members also have a unique ability to drive us crazy, causing us to fall back into old patterns and making us feel like we never left...
What is AT Motion? "At a certain point the boundaries between acting technique and Alexander technique began to fade...and a stronger sense of teaching a whole person in a dynamic, personal way became clearer to me"....
“The trick to doing this is to stay with emotional distress without tightening into aversion, to let fear soften us rather than harden into resistance.”
I recently shared a quote from the Buddhist monk Pema Chödrön about a practice for developing compassion. She proposes building empathy by imagining ourselves in a distressed person’s shoes, feeling what it’s like to be in dire circumstances. “We can expect to experience our fear of pain,” she reminds us, “Compassion practice is daring.” She invites us to learn to “relax and allow ourselves to move gently toward what scares us.”
Sometimes I crave change. When it's my own choice to change my habits, I look for change. When feeling playful, I might switch things up by instigating a change. At other times I hate change and the feeling of vulnerability that comes with unexpected change. I might then react with resentment or resistance. Change is happening all the time, and these days I often feel at odds with the rapid changes happening from the White House. When change feels out of control, what can I count on? Is there something that I can do to find support through change? How can I re-establish my sense of wholeness and unity so that my vulnerability isn’t a liability, but an aspect of my resiliency?
Let's practice sensing our strength; let's build our ability to be powerful and fierce in our understanding of what calm and ready for action entails. Ferocious equanimity!
Here are some simple grounding steps one can take to reconnect with self and to the present. You may already be using an effective means of coping – bravo – this is meant to encourage and support your personal process. Do as much as feels safe in the place you are in right now – you may be surprised by how much that is!
Cultivating a lively use of tension: the
synergy between acting and the
Teva Bjerken, Belinda Mello and Robin Mello