One of the main goals for actors is the ability to embody the character they’re playing. To achieve this goal, actors will spend much of their time on character development, on diction, vocal expression, and gestures.
My teachings of The Alexander Technique present a different path towards this goal. Alexander’s directions will offer you a new way of playing “through” your body – a way of integrating your intention and your action.
Learning these new directions can be described in the following stages.
- The new directions create mental clarity which allows you to bring new meaning to the role you’re playing.
- The opposing directions will generate a new strength and will allow you to play tragic, dramatic, and even comical roles with more power and conviction.
- Finally, at the third stage you will start to truly embody the character you’re playing. This is achieved as the body becomes more unified in movement when thought and action merge, intention and spontaneity become one.
This approach offers a way out of a quandary that many actors are familiar with. The more you have developed your character and memorized your lines and gestures, the more mechanical your performance becomes, as you lose the “newness” and “freshness” of your role. But as your body forms itself and becomes the character, the gestures, expressions, movements, and voice seem to emerge spontaneously; fresh nuances arise as you perform, and you will find yourself improvising effortlessly.