Metaphysical Acting Lessons for the Spirited Performer
e-class by N J Howell
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The Empowered Spirit Process (also called the power connection) for Optimal Performance is designed to help actors create believable characters in film, television or stage performance. This Power Connection Process is based on metaphysical principles and supportive of spiritual development as a creative being. Safe behind the character, an actor can try on as many lives as he or she cares to try; try them on full out and with fearless abandon with no fear of negative repercussions in the real world. As such, acting and performance art training can be exciting tools for exploring consciousness!
Power Connection Acting Lessons - Introduction
Featured Acting Program: Develop Your Comedic Skills
Fellow Actor / Creative Spirit: Greetings and welcome to the introduction to the free performance art training I offer.
Why am I calling you an actor when I don't know if you even have any experience? Because we are ALL actors! In every situation, we act in some way that feels in alignment to us but might not feel in alignment to the next person. We put on certain faces with certain people. We are a different person at work, most of us, than we become in front of the tv at night. We shift and change according to who we are with and act differently with strangers than with family. We "act" every moment that we interact with someone else.
Then, there are those of us who decide to consciously perform, in plays or on television and in movies. We decide to become actors. The reasons for pursuing the creative arts varies from person to person. Some become actors because they are wounded and acting gives an emotional outlet to begin the healing process. Some act because they are shy in real life and are able to express more freely in the safe confines of the script. Some of us just do it for money, the satisfaction of creating, and/or fame. Others, myself included, may like whatever fame comes our way and may enjoy spending the money yet we truly act to expand and enhance the full spiritual expression of ourselves as creative souls. Regardless of why you have chosen to explore performance art training, I'm glad you are here and hope you gain something of benefit through this free acting class. Tell your creative and spiritual friends about it!
Elemental Foundation for Good Work:
If there is one element that will improve your work immediately and consistently -- whether that work is currently involved with performance art or not -- it is the realization that what you do is important, even vital. Acting is a noble art, with much to honor: the writer, the audience, the individual point of view, the creative process, the capacity for enlightenment and change. Film, television and theater provide a stimulating and imaginative vacation from the day-to-day existence, entertainment, provocative thought, laughter and fresh perspective. Dramatic performances aer able to present controversial subject matter in a way that allows safe, privtae and unpressured individual consideration and rumination. In the dark of the theatre, no one is judging our thoughts or reactions but we often begin to see ourselves on the screen and to see how our perspective of life is limited.
For the actor, the process of freeing the body, voice and mind may be the single-most liberating event in his or her life. HONOR YOUR CRAFT! Revel in your creativity and in the development of your skills in an actor, and never let anyone strip you of the dignity to which you are entitled, no matter what your current level of commercial success.
What is acting?
If you are new to acting, then it might be important to focus on what your perceptions are about the craft. Consider how many times you have been moved in some way by artistic performance: times you've cried; times you've laughed; times you've been scared out of your wits. By the way, being scared out of your wits may provide an excellent purging of energy and usually a fun way to discharge submerged fears and anger in a positive way. You can feel the fear in a safe way. Same thing with action films and anger. Films with a lot of vigorous fighting may serve to release frustration, anger and even rage. Unfortunately, they may also enhance the need for those feelings if the person watching mires down into the energy instead of utilizing it to release feelings of anger.
In many ways, I consider acting a spiritual tool for development, expansion and growth. If this perception and this kind of connection with performance art is odd or unusual to you, please bear with me. Even if you don't agree with my thoughts on the transformative nature of performance art, you can still enjoy the free acting class because you will also be getting some excellent practical acting training aong with my metaphysical sideline comments!
What is acting, to you?
Why do you have a interest in performing? Why sufficient interest to take a class such as this one? I think if you look deeply enough, you'll see that acting attracts you because of some area of creativity within you that you would like to more fully develop. Acting inspires creativity, increases flexibility, courage, self-confidence and imagination.
Acting teaches. In fact, a realistic performance may make an impact where other forms of teaching may fail. For example, a good film about characters whose lives are slowly destroyed by alcoholism or drugs can teach more vividly than any classroom lecture or parental talk on the subject.
Acting makes real, the unreal moment. Acting is having the courage and temerity to be private in public. Believeable acting is very much about creating. Acting is not learning lines, remembering cues, looking good in front of the camera.
Acting is NOT about saying lines. In fact, what an actor does between the lines is much more persuasive and telling than the words themselves. The emotion infused into the lines is more important than the words. Almost everything is MORE IMPORTANT than the words! If you are brand new to acting, that may surprise you. Read on ... Together, we will explore the development of four principles, or areas of skill, which make up the beginning of performance art training that I call "The Power Connection Process".
The Power Connection Technique is actually a comprehensive metaphysical exploration of the use of all available assets and gifts at an actor's disposal, for creating fresh, vibrant, interesting characters, whether for film, television or stage. In this beginning level class, we will be exploring the four cornerstone qualities for building believeable character: the voice, the body, the emotions and the mind.
Most of the exercises in this free acting class are either common improvs done in acting classes all over the world or adapted from such. The difference is the focus on integrating your full being into the exercise, in a metaphysical (beyond the physical) sense. Certain areas of focus are standard areas of study in any major acting tradition. However, The Power Connection Technique is uniquely designed to develop an intuitive sensing of your craft rather than any "by the book" techniques.
The basic premise for this process:
ACTING IS NOT SOMETHING YOU MUST LEARN;
ACTING IS SOMETHING YOU MUST ALLOW.
The purpose for all the exercises is to reach a point of accessibility where no method is needed. It is a process requiring absolute trust and a willingness not to know the answers. It is much easier to have answers; to make acting choices ahead of time and do them as you planned. That is a mental approach. I've seen actors choose everything from their facial expressions to their vocal tones, ahead of time. I try my best not to choose anything. I play with lots of things but I don't choose, if I can help it, until the camera is rolling.
It can be a frightening way to work, if you are not in the habit of allowing impulses and instincts to direct you, yet it is the most simple, powerful and organic way of acting. (it is also the most simple, powerful and organic way of living and just as fearful at first, to most) Having said that, let me say that research is necessary, as are initial choices. What happens after that beginning phase is where The Power Connection Process may differ greatly from other techniques or methods you have studied.
Truth is, I cannot teach acting; I can only show you ways to open yourself to your own unique, creative essence. You will not be in control of this journey, which is what will make the end result a fresh, spontaneous, exciting and unpredictable performance level. Open your mind to the possibility that you may have been making this work harder than it has to be, or if you've never tried acting before maybe you are imagining it to be harder than it ever really has to be.
Trust that you can do this....and consider the idea that you may not yet be aware of your own creative genius! The full force of your imagination and personal magnetism is like a bank account of millions, from which you have withdrawn only pennies. Ready for more? Lesson Two will be on our most visible tool, the physical body.
To prepare yourself for the acting lessons and assignments to come, journal the following:
What is acting, to you?
What do you hope to gain from this course?
continue with the class........Lesson Two - The Actor's Body