As an actor, the most important instrument of your expression is your body, and the way it moves in relation to the elements in a scene. It is therefore, vital to discipline the body by following a regimen. This way you as an actor can understand better how your body works. Actors need to condition their bodies through training and discipline as these are related directly to good performances. Maintaining a conditioned body is equally important as it enhance your stage presence and makes you feel confident about yourself
The routine of an actor is very demanding and can drain the actor of energy. Rehearsal sessions, performances almost every day, running around for auditions and fitting them into a busy day’s schedule, are all part of this hectic routine. Such stressful activity can leave the actor feeling exhausted. It is vital for an actor to stay physically fit so that energy levels are always at their peak. Learning the art of relaxation helps an actor deal with mental and physical stress.
Remember the piece on corporal articulation you came across earlier in this lesson? What is Movement in the context of acting? As an actor, do you depend solely on factors such as dialogue, lighting, costume or set design to convey the mood of a scene. What about your body? Your body too is capable of expressing your state of mind. Movement makes you realize this. It makes you aware of your body and has you exploring your body for the purpose of effective communication. Movement is all about body dynamics – the way the elements in a scene cause your body to move or react. Movement urges the actor in you to look beyond the limitations of words. Just like improvisation, movement also adds to the variety of individualistic style and technique. This empowers the actor to communicate without feeling the need for scripted lines.
In fact, movement should be developed as an alternate form of expression. Using movement, the actor can get into the skin of the character or the physicality of a character.
You then reach a position as an actor when you perform a scene using only your body. If you are working with a group of actors, then all of you will learn or need to learn to co-ordinate movement with each other. If you as a group can achieve this, it will be like creating a new language of communication.
As you explore your body and understand more about movement, you learn more about everyday expressions or masks. Movement gives a better understanding of the determining forces at play in a natural or artificially constructed space, and the physical body becomes a first-hand witness of observable phenomena in such situations.
You will then understand how to analyze and discover open spaces and enclosed areas. Open spaces like a railway station, a street, or a public square and enclosed areas like a house a store, etc. The purpose here is to be able to sift the “emotional sediment” from such open spaces and enclosed areas. Emotional sediment here refers to the residue of emotions that we leave on everything that we come into contact with.
The set of exercises, which will be undertaken will include:-
1.Head to toe
8.Follow the leader. Etc
As an actor, you must also try to have an intimate understanding of the character’s personal nature. Abstract movement allows you to do this. Through abstract movement, the actor is afforded the opportunity to view and experience the essential qualities that make his or her character exist. If you have to enact a scene that is ‘outside of the play,’ you will have to imagine how your character will react in the context of a very different situation. In doing so, you are attempting to understand the character in an in-depth way, going beyond the obvious qualities of your character’s personal nature. Such experiment’s help you ‘lock in’ to your character, and you understand better the motive and objective of the character within the play.
Some set of exercises undertaken in this chapter are:
1.Use of space
2.Line and texture
3.Interpretation of physical postures
4.Interpreting abstract terms physically
- Presence on Stage
- Basic Movement Exercises
- Stretching and Flexibility
- Dance and Films
- Indian Dance
- Vibhava (Determinants or Catalysts)
- Choreographers and Costume in Bollywood
- Bollywood Dance
- Bollywood Romantic Numbers and Duets
- Eroticism and Bollywood Dance
- Body Movement for Actors