Transformation between Imagined Objects

Transformation between Imagined Objects

Transformation between Imagined Objects, Acting, Acting Basics, Imitation and Acting, Some Acting Basics, Creative Imagination, Imaginary Objects, Imagination Activities, Self-Image,As an actor, you must understand the difference between working with two different imagined objects and a seamless transformation of imagined objects. Imagining eating a sandwich and then drinking a glass of water is like working with two different imagined objects. This cannot be understood as a seamless transformation of imaginative connections. What we are talking about here is that connection between the imagination and body, which results in such a flow of gestures that although you are performing different actions, each subsequent action flows from the earlier one. Lack of coordination between imagination and movements of hands will make all actions look like jerks in continuity.

An often referred to example is the exercise of throwing one imaginary object in the air and catching another on the way down. You may get a few laughs when performing this but remember that for seamless transformation between actions you will be required to use your body instead of searching your mind. In other words, good coordination between your imagination and movements of hands is required to make every action look like an extension of the previous one, thus making it look like one continuous flowing movement. For this, the actor should focus more on working the imagined object.
Moving into the next stage of imagining with imaginary objects requires the actors to move out of the demonstrational mode i.e. no longer perform such imaginary exercises in front of their colleagues. This next stage sees the actors moving into an atmosphere that slowly fills up with imaginary objects to be used and remembered. You as an actor will need to undergo a change of dimension. You are moving from a fairly limited world of objects you manipulate with your hands into a world where objects spring from your imagination and fill the space around you. As an actor, you are afforded a view of how your imagination works and how it responds to a suggestion and translates into gestures.

The exercise that follows is inspired by Johnstone and it involves working or creating a series of imaginary objects:

This exercise will require an actor and a person to lead. The person leading or the leader will stand outside the performing space and suggest to the actor a number of imaginary objects the actor has to deal with. Initially, the leading may be done by an instructor but later the actor students should work in pairs. Taking the role of the leader is equally challenging as the leader not only has to remember everything the actor does but also has to provide inputs to keep pushing the actor’s imagination so that the stream of images in the context of the object being imagined or worked continues to flow. As an imaginary object created once cannot be ignored, the leader and performer have to keep in mind all the objects created.


  • Go and have a look at any classical form of different style, study them follow their lines, forms, dimensions, try to experience its weight, the interplay of the powers of gravity in them. Study the connections between separate parts; guess their functions, what’s the character of it? You will have numerous questions about this…try to find answers for all.
  • Read a text and after reading ask yourself some basic questions concerning the text’s plot. For instance, think if the protagonist turns into antagonist or vice versa, if the lead female actor does the opposite of what she did in the story… and many more questions.
  • Read and recreate a fairytale. The images and events will have their own power of choosing as per your creative subconscious.
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