Young actors often times think of tension as intensity. So if something is intense they feel like they respond to it with tension in their body. It is just something that starts to happen. When in fact what we need to do is to begin to have sense of ease through the more intense moments or larger experiences on stage. So if you never look at a sense of comfort in the discomfort then you are not going to find that magical thing that we call stage presence for being so grounded. So these actors come in and they feel like they need to apologize for in their body or that it gets really really intense. The shoulders come up to the ears, when a big moment happens and they don’t know how to deal with it. So then they get overwhelmed by the idea that one could experience without the other and think that the more interesting or more exciting the scene is the more tension it provides. Which is not the case. You need to first look at when that happens to you and we do that in the level one of the movement work. You need to identify what happens in your body. If you have a pattern of a certain kind of tension, be it the shoulders, jutting your head forward holding your breath. It is something that is distracting from the actual moment. So the audience member can experience what is really going on and when you begin to solve those through first becoming aware of it and giving your self permission to accept that it is there and acknowledge it. Once you solve that then you can give the audience member or who ever is watching casting director (right?) or hopefully someone giving you a job a sense of an experience themselves and that ease is what is going to ultimately give you the biggest sense of stage presence for someone that they want to watch.
For more information about the movement classes that Briana teaches at the Maggie Flanigan Studio in New York, visit the studio online or call 917-789-1599.
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