You’ve heard me talk about stillness before and how it is one of the key skills all actors and performers need to develop. Well, this cat video is a perfect example of stillness – (OK, that and an excuse to post a cat video to my blog) – BUT – what’s going on here is an incredible display of focus and concentration. So, despite what is actually going on internally for this cat, externally he/she is presenting an incredible level of commitment, focus and concentration – which is exactly what you should be aiming for in your training and performance. Take in information, but don’t let your concentration falter!
So how can you learn these crucial performance skills? By dedicated, Suzuki-based training!
The last five week Integrated Actor Training course for 2017 commences Tue, 14 November.
BOOK NOW via the Classes page so you can learn to be as still and focussed as kitty!
Video credit: Cat Planet (Facebook Group)
Big shout out to the August class who were really committed to the work each week. I greatly appreciated your focus and concentration. Thank you to Jack M, Jack Z, Amelia, Aubrey, Chandler, Helen, Mieke, Brooke, Jess, Alfred and Sanjay!
Places for the October classes commencing Tuesday, 3 October are now open! Book via the Classes page now for your Early Bird Discount!
Being a massive (understatement) Kate Bush fan I have dutifully attended Melbourne’s The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever for the past two years. I have learnt the dance–as per the film clip, of course! Though because Kate is particularly short and incredibly bendy (of which I am neither) I could only emulate her so far. This year my wonderful friend Ahmarnya Price filmed this glorious event and this is the result…Enjoy my commitment to Kate!
“Mastering any physical skill…takes practice!”
One week out from the August classes, here’s an inspirational Ted Ed video by Annie Bosler and Don Greene about ‘How to practice effectively…for just about anything…’
“Mastery isn’t just about the amount of hours of practice, it’s also the quality and effectiveness of that practice. Effective practice is consistent, intensely focused and targets content or weaknesses that lie at the edge of one’s current abilities.”
So act on your axons people and hardwire your neural pathways to improve your performance skills!
See you on the floor!
Oozing glamour, parody, schmooze and dysfunction, The Brides of Frank were a dynamic ensemble of artists, dancers and actors who created satirical comedy performances strongly influenced by popular culture, music and personae; a genre aptly described as ‘precision-camp’.
Throughout the 2000’s, The Brides became one of Queensland’s most significant independent theatre companies.
Neridah Waters, Leah Shelton, Lisa O’Neill, Caroline Dunphy and Emma Louise Pursey met through their work with Frank Theatre and engaged the intensity of their Suzuki training and strong ensemble-based work ethic to create dynamic, physical-based comedy performances designed to subvert and satirize pop culture.
The Brides are currently on hiatus while each member pursues their independent work across the globe.
Here are a few Brides videos with exerpts from their full length show ‘Til Death Do Us Part
The Brides of Frank Montage:
Smash Up The Fifties:
Video editing credit: Jackie Ryan (aka creator of Burgerforce)
Hi all! This article by Penelope Trunk from Business Insider covers an important issue when it comes to regular training. Trunk states that “boredom in practice comes from a lack of engagement” and provides suggestions on how to remedy disengagement through developing the art of practicing.
When you are engaged with training that requires repetition, as most training does, it’s important to find ways of engaging anew with each practice session; to be in the moment and explore the profound meaning inherent in the work.
As time goes on your engagement will become more sophisticated and rewarding, but this only comes through dedication and discipline, qualities that can only come from yourself. I can give you the tools to learn, I can teach you how to do things, but I cannot provide the inner fire that motivates you to learn. Those are qualities you need to find yourself.
The process of learning holds great rewards for those who dedicate themselves to that process, rather than just the end goals.
“Take joy in the process itself.”
There is a book by theatre academic, Paul Allain called The Art of Stillness: The Theatre Practice of Tadashi Suzuki. Indeed, learning stillness as an actor is an art, and it requires dedicated practice.
Performatively there is a real power to stillness. As noted in the review above: “it brings you in”. Never underestimate the effect it can have on an audience. Less is often more–but but only if it’s a concentrated, powerful, energised stillness designed to affect the audience in a profound way.
It is an essential tool for any actor to have within any performative context.
The importance of stillness isn’t exclusive to the teaching practices of physically-based methodologies. In fact, renowned acting teacher Howard Fine privileges stillness as one of the most important habits an actor should focus on in their daily practice:
“Start with stillness. To be able to make yourself absolutely still—including your body—for any period of time, means that physically what you will do will be by choice, not by habit.”
Integrated Actor Training provides a rigorous methodology for developing and practicing stillness and allows actors to clearly identify habits within the body. Once you are able to find stillness, and build that within your body-knowledge, you are so much freer to make clear and authentic choices for your character.