Manage surprises

As a performer you have secrets. Your secrets are all the things that are going to happen to your character in the story. As a performer you have power over this. You can manage how you reveal them. Use them to surprise the audience. Think about what you do to make a kid jump. You draw them in by pretending to do one thing, and surprise them with a sudden change. You can use that in performance. You need to do it like that because your audience is scouring the stage for clues, trying to guess what is going to happen. Even when they don't think they are, they are. They have nothing else to do! So you need to manage your reveals. The way to do that is to draw them the wrong way before giving h

FISH5: What is pace?

Pace could be seen as how the audience thinks. In the fish exercise (see Fish1-4) I ask half the group to become audience and to clap whenever they want the leader to change. The shoal of fish have to change direction, change leader, on the clap. There is no doubt when the audience want to clap. Everyone wants to clap at the same moment. There is a moment when it is too early and a moment when it is too late. After that the audience will begin to distrust you, and then become bored. The performers' goal is to internalise the clap so that as a they feel the moment and change leader on or momentarily before the clap. Audiences is ruthless. They are torturers. They enjoy clapping. They enjoy tr

Who is the audience?

People are always performing. And they have their ways of making you, and others, their audience. Maybe they look at you, or maybe they look away from you, or they point at you, or they put a hand on your shoulder, or they ask you to wait, or tell you to watch or whatever. But they are doing it to get your attention. To keep your attention. They make you their audience. The simplest version of course is "look at me Mummy!" "Watch this Dad!" This is the key to who the audience is when you are performing. When you go on stage in character you need to know who the audience would be in the character's life, at that moment. How your character makes people into their audience. Nearly always, consc

Preparing to perform

Warming up. Getting ready. Preparing to perform. The main task in preparing to do a performance is, I think, a mental one. You are preparing to submit to the task of performing. The fear, the boredom, the elation, the physical work, the concentration, the agility, great success, and failure. Rehearsal is about mastering the skills necessary for the performance. Rehearsal is a physical process. It is about getting in control. Of the character, the lines, the plot, the physical tasks. Performing is about letting go. Maybe even losing control. Giving it up to the audience. It's really important not to confuse the two. Performing is about energy and focus, rehearsing is about analysis and repeti

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