Friday, August 3, 2012
Training is deeply personal. In movement class the actor's first job often is to find a place of physical neutral with feet planted on the floor, spine straight and fluid and arms and hands relaxed at the side. Early on in voice class actors are encouraged to find a place of vocal open-ness and are given techniques to speak a standard American English free of regionalisms. In improvisation the mind must be free and nimble and the voice and body responsive. In technique the actor must train their mind to be active, engaged, alert and explorative. These teachings often bring young artists to a place of personal conflict or confusion. Perhaps they thought they were more open to the world than they find themselves in class to be. Perhaps they learn about physical or vocal habits that are surprising or jarring. The object of training is not to change an actor. The object of training is to bring the actor into a deeper sense of awareness of their instrument. Once that happens an actor is free to begin to acquire craft and tools that will help them further their storytelling and communicative skills onstage so that the audience receives the message of the play through them.