The acting study
Acting is like a muscle that needs to be trained. An athlete provides stamina, strength, flexibility and beauty. A musician practices his instrument daily. In education, the drama student must first get to know and then use his / her "instrument". Body, mind, soul, feelings, expression and language are of course already known to the student. But he and she do not know how to play with it, or use it specifically and work with it.
We are all different. There are different histories and varied life concepts and goals. Physique and physiognomy are different. That's why I first want to get to know the students. I want to help. I use games and improvisations to recognize strengths and weaknesses. I watch the students closely. I try to support the pronounced, strong sides, and to offer help in the weak moments. It's all a process that the student needs to be ready for, and it takes time to get to know and implement what they have learned.
The students are mostly unaware of their own body and personal effects. The individual expression, language and body language are not perceived realistically, but mainly drawn from a spiritual idea of the self. It is therefore important in education to design possibilities, to get to know oneself in order to be able to deal more consciously and purposefully with oneself and to be like a puppeteer in the position to lead the "puppet", but also for them to think and to feel.
In general, it is my greatest concern that the student comes from the head into the body. I like to use Michael Chekhov's exercises on the "Imaginary Center" and the various "characters" he designed. The method has evolved, and there are even more possibilities than Chekhov has described. It offers a lot of tools to physically approximate a figure. And only through the concentration and imagination physical and mental states can be represented that might otherwise not be available to the actor.
Also the Source Tuning invented by Jens Roth is very effective. After a short time, it becomes clear that the body memory is infinitely large, and that one should necessarily get involved in the own body and should listen to him. Power and energy are set free and can be used wonderfully for the work.
In the work on piece or screenplay, the actor, like a director or dramaturge, was to find out the goal of his character. Of course this is difficult, as the actor, of course, looks at the whole story subjectively from the perspective of his character and loses a healthy objectivity. To recognize the goals and needs of the characters, I use the methods of American drama teacher Ivana Chubbuck and my esteemed teacher Eric Morris. When this happens, you can define the goal of the character for each scene. In doing so, I help the student to find interesting, exciting but also realistic solutions. We also have a wealth of experience with us as a young person who needs to be learned as a budding actor. Mostly, students develop complex CVs and life goals for the characters. They are often not playable. It is the task of the teacher with the student to find concrete, goal-oriented, simple goals and tasks for the character to be played, with which the student can identify and connect emotionally and sensually.
One of my most important tools is the subpersonalities. C.G. Jung has already described that man consists of part personalities. Psychologists Hal & Sidra Stone have developed a method to connect with the subpersonalities through a conversation (they call it voice dialogue). There is the protector, the controller, the desire. They are a part of us and offer great opportunities in the psychological game in front of the camera.
The acting teacher and author Eric Morris has said to me: The actor needs a safe place to experiment. I try to do that again and again. For three years now, I've been leading a training group for educated and in-training, because I think it's so important to train, try out and learn new things. It is very important to me, as in my lessons how to deal with each other. In the theater and the film we are an ensemble and only together we are good. In the criticism, I always try to find the positive first, and then later perhaps by asking questions with the student find out where there is still potential for more. As a director, I've learned that it does not help the product to have an insecure, nervous actor.
Finally, I find it next to the craft crucial as it is the personal attitude is ordered. Of course, a negative personality will always be completely in the way. That's why getting to know each other is so important to me. Of course you can not force anyone to his luck. But I am sure that you can try to help the rider on the horse. Changing your personal situation positively will also have a positive impact on your acting success. Problems with acting are often problems in one's own life.
Teaching and training
I begin a group lesson with a warm-up. For example, we are in a circle to get warm and warm through body exercises and speaking, head, mind, soul, body and voice. Or we start with the "personal inventory" - a quiet exercise to sharpen the five senses - and at the end you ask yourself several times "how do I feel" to gain clarity about your own current state of affairs Everybody is nervous or may have had some stress or trouble that day somewhere and needs time and concentration to transform into a concentrated sample, so maybe I'll start with a Meisner exercise or something else I also like to use, for example, the so-called "knocking".
I decide that depending on what I believe, what the group needs right now.
The second point is an exercise, on the one hand acting tools. We do exercises to Chekhov's "Imaginary Center" and try to improvise. It is important for the student to be able to experience without being under the obligation to succeed. The students always want to be good and have success. It takes time to stay open to learning and to take the moments and circumstances as experiences. For example, I give an improvisation with different "imaginary centers". I see a schoolgirl busy with how the scene is going and the audience responding. Then I interrupt, and ask her to concentrate only on the task I have given her, to stay in her concentration and imagine bright, colorful sparks spraying from her skull. If she does, she will eventually have learned something, or at least be at the beginning of a path or experience.
Then I start rehearsing. Everyone should always watch as much can be learned. I see myself as a helping and supporting force. I try to help the student and the student in their developments.
When it comes to making a whole piece or a movie, I find it most important to find out what the goal of the characters is. Once you have discovered that, everything else is almost self-evident. Mostly, it takes time to really know it.
Next, determine what the target of the character is in each scene. Then it should be rehearsed and played. Based on the problems that arise, I try to find solutions that help the students to understand and master the situation.
The individual work I always start with a conversation. I place two chairs in the middle of the room so that you are sitting two meters apart. Feet on the ground and legs open and parallel. A good empathic mood and attitude is very important to me, because in this conversation I learn a great deal what is important for further work. The individual personal experiences and stories always help to approximate figures and characters to be played. Of course, I also like to test. But experience has shown me that there is a lot to explore in the conversation.
I then like to use "source tuning" to get to know unconscious body experience and give room to body memory. It's a method that polls the body's energies, and I really appreciate that. And if I already know students and think that it is right for them, I ask their "subpersonalities". This is often a very intense experience, so I usually use it in an unnoticeable way, so the students do not get it. I myself have already learned a lot about myself and appreciate it very much. The method is based on C.G. Jung's idea for the superego and subpersonalities such as the "observer".
In the play and the performance, the actor must forget all preliminary exercises, be present at the moment and get involved in the situation. That's the ideal condition. The "watcher" within us is watching and helping to stay in the right direction and to stay in control of the game. In situations of uncertainty, reorientation or the like, however, the used sample tool can be used at any time. When it comes to pychological play, it should be as if it had come into existence and is real at the moment. Of course, there are different formats such as film, theater, radio play, Kömödie, classics, French, English, German, American theater and literature, Shakespeare, Brecht and much more, which must be served differently. Each form will have to be redone and differently approached to find an implementation.
Finally, I'll do a discussion. There, learning should be passed on, misunderstandings created from the world, annoyance eliminated and joy shared. Questions, problems or annoyance can then be clarified, or I can think of something for the next time. I still feel myself as a student, and I am very grateful to be able to teach because I learn so much myself.
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Sonja Sommer (ZAV): +4930 555599 - 6834
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