By Charles McGaw, Kenneth L. Stilson, Larry D. Clark
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Extra info for Acting is Believing (tenth edition)
If you are absorbed in your activity, your personal tension will disappear. After the performance has ended, however, you must immediately and objectively evaluate your own work. Otherwise, you will never grow as an artist. Like the athlete, self-assessment is a primary means to improve your next performance. Other emotional inhibitions can also be tremendous obstacles for an actor. An honest portrayal of King Lear’s descent into madness or Blanche DuBois’ painful deterioration requires great depth of feeling.
Different people reveal tensions in different ways, some by contracted muscles, and others by random movements. Among the most common movements are shaking the head, pursing the lips, frowning, snapping the ﬁngers, and raising the shoulders. Make an inventory of your personal signs of tension, and focus on ridding yourself of them. To release excess tension, we begin by creating it deliberately and then letting it go. As each area is named, isolate and tense the muscles associated with that part of your body for approximately ﬁfteen seconds, while keeping the rest of your body relaxed.
A makes an abstract shape (like a statue). B makes a different shape, and places it in relation to A’s shape. After B has assumed a shape, A steps out of the original shape and reshapes in relation to B’s shape, and so on. Fill the negative space without Chapter 2 Approaching the Creative State 33 touching. Move slowly and smoothly. Think creatively using your whole body. As you do this, consider the following suggestions with regard to your shapes. ✦ circular ✦ angular ✦ spacious ✦ twisted ✦ complex ✦ arched Now consider the following images, and design your shapes/reshapes accordingly.