For my practitioner workshop, I taught the class Stanislavski’s emotional recall technique. Stanislavski’s technique meant that when performing on stage and you needed to act a particular emotion e.g, Sadness, fury/anger or happiness, you could remember a specific event that matched the emotion you needed to act and remember it in order to make you feel the way the character needs to feel.
The purpose of this class was to get people to recall a certain memory that made them upset. This is a good technique to use on stage when the character needs to cry, I asked everybody to close their eyes and take themselves back to a time when they were most upset, I then asked them to think of a time they were at their happiest.
I chose two contrasting emotions to see how quickly people could switch their feelings from one to another. Which is a good skill to have as a performer, it can make performances seem much more realistic and natural.
Here is my feedback video:
Overall, I think that the workshop went successfully, I achieved the aim I set out to and believe I portrayed Stanislavski’s technique well. I enjoyed teaching the workshop however before hand I felt very nervous because asking people to remember sad memories can be a huge gamble, especially as rekindling those emotions can affect people in a variety of different ways. I felt that all of my peers participated well and some responded extremely well, a few people cried and that was the aim of the technique however, others felt that they weren’t given enough time to get into the mid frame in order to get the fullest out of the task. I was surprised to see how many people switched from one emotion to another. After I asked everybody to think of a happy memory, a lot of people related more than to the sadness emotion. A lot of people also said that there wasn’t enough time between switching emotions, and they felt that they couldn’t set their head back into ‘happiness mode’ afterwards due to their being so little time given.
If I was to do this task again, I would definitely leave more time for people to recall their memories. I think that this was a massive issue in my workshop as only a few people could get the most out of the method. I would also ask people to recall their happiest memory first as I was given the feedback that people found it easier to go from happy to sad than from sad to happy. It would be interesting to see if this was the case for everybody.
Below are a some analysis’ of the other workshops I partook in:
Zoe Mills – Isadora Duncan…
Overall, I really enjoyed Zoe’s workshop, I thought that she put across Duncan’s technique beautifully. She told us that Isadora Duncan used to believe that her soul came from her diaphragm, Zoe focused on this and asked us to contact and release our rib cage. I found this very relaxing and good for breath control, this could also be used in singing warm ups also to release air and breath deeply. I did however think that the workshop was a little short and would have liked a little more time to do some more exercises in the Isadora style.
Tom Barber- Uta Hagen
I enjoyed Tom’s workshop and feel that it will help me in the future to analyse my monologues better, the idea of his workshop was to help us create a bit of background for our pieces, this would then make our monologues seem more natural and give us some context to work with.
I did think that the discussion was a little too long as I started to lose interest towards the end, nonetheless, it was extremely helpful for future references. Tom then sent us a copy of what he had said in the session so that we could apply the teachings as and when we wanted to.
1. WHO AM I? (All the details about your character including name, age, address, relatives, likes, dislikes, hobbies, career, description of physical traits, opinions, beliefs, religion, education, origins, enemies, loved ones, sociological influences, etc.)
2. WHAT TIME IS IT? ( Century, season, year, day, minute, significance of time)
3. WHERE AM I? (Country, city, neighbourhood, home, room, area of room)
4. WHAT SURROUNDS ME? (Animate and inanimate objects-complete details of environment)
5. WHAT ARE THE GIVEN CIRCUMSTANCES? (Past, present, future and all of the events)
6. WHAT IS MY RELATIONSHIP? (Relation to total events, other characters, and to things) 7. WHAT DO I WANT? (Character’s need. The immediate and main objective)
8. WHAT IS IN MY WAY? (The obstacles which prevent character from getting his/her need)
9. WHAT DO I DO TO GET WHAT I WANT? (The action: physical and verbal, also-action verbs)
I think that Tom researched in practitioner thoroughly and displayed a high amount of patience going through and analysing everybody’s monologue personally. I also really enjoyed the fact it was a personal 1:1 with him so it was easier to go through and understand how to apply the technique to our work, I think he did a good job making sure everybody could understand what was going on and what he was trying to teach. It was extremely clear he was passionate about his practitioner, I think this is key as you need to know exactly what to do before telling somebody else to do it.
James Ingram- Stanislavski:
I thought James did well taking on and teaching a big class, however I didn’t fully understand the task ow how it linked to his practioner’s method. We had to choose two lines, a line that was a place and a piece of text, then create a scene based on what we had chosen. I felt that only giving us 5 minutes to devise a scene was little too shot and his workshop was fully explained clearly. For me I would have given longer devising time and explained how the method linked to workshop and what the purpose was as I spent a lot of the time a little confused.
Overall, I though Leah explained her method and task very well. I thought that usuing the method of physicalizing a script really helped me to understand my own work and appreciate just how difficult it is to put actions to words. I understood the task however didn’t get the change to actually perform due to there only being 4 parts and 6 of us in our group. I feel I didn’t fully benefit from the workshop like I should have, however it was really interesting to see everybody else’s interpretation of the script and the different scenes they all put together using the same words.
Beth Easdown-Frederick Alexander:
I enjoyed Beth’s workshop however I felt that it was just one big presentation. i understand that she is not trained in the Alexander Technique which made things harder for her as we could get a true feel for what the method was all about. From the physical work that we actually did, I found it quite relaxing however I would have liked a longer time period for relaxation and a live demonstration to engage people better.
All in all, i thought all of the workshops were good and I learned a lot about practitioners and what the purpose of their methods were, I think with all of them, they could all be used to aid our performances in singing, dancing and acting, i also feel using these techniques could potentially improve my work greatly.