uses Time and Motion to simplify the most important elements of acting to produce genuine, touching moments on stage.
When I first directed in community theater, it was instantly clear that the untrained actors I worked with had no idea how to use Space — that is, Time and Motion — to create entertaining, believable theater. Even the experienced actors were terrified of both. Helping them to use Space was surprisingly easy; few could identify that some actors in my casts had never been on stage before.
If you don’t make room for your feelings, your audience will not be moved. If you don’t expand your perspective so you can make more creative choices, your performance will be trite. If you don’t employ the action that is the root of acting, your performance will be dull. And if you don’t translate emotions to verbs to escalate a scene’s drama, your performance will lack power and believability.
Make Space for all these things, and you’ll be amazed at what happens and how quickly! It’s technique class in the context of scene study work.
Spacious Acting™ flips commonly accepted acting myths on their heads, myths that are keeping you from being the best actor you can be. Stop subscribing to the myths and you’ll still have work to do, but you’ll know you’re traveling on the right path, and you’ll progress much faster.
Spacious Acting™ helps you to
- Experience what great acting feels like in just one night
- Really receive what your scene partner is sending you
- Play verbs instead of adjectives and adverbs, and get to the heart of the subtext
- Use physical movement to create more interesting characters
- Analyze characters and scenes in ways that honor the playwright’s vision
- Make unexpected, creative choices for your characters
- Give your performances clarity and power, so they aren’t “muddy”
- Think of acting as storytelling, maximizing the dramatic impact on the audience
- Understand what is keeping you from doing all of the above!
Translating an in-class experience into the written word so you can figure it out on your own is tricky. This blog isn’t for everyone. If you can take advantage of it, it’s the best substitute for in-person acting classes I know of.
I try to make everything as practical as possible, only digressing into theory when I want to jolt you from the “myths” to a perspective that IS useful. I do my best to make it something you can relate to. If you’ve read other acting texts, you’ll see that I steer away from some common terminology. I use standard terms only when I find them expressive. Otherwise, I avoid anything that turns you into an English Lit student instead of an actor!
Most of the exercises I use take more space than a blog post permits, but there’s plenty of content here to help improve your skills. However, I do offer a weekend acting workshop called (surprise, surprise!) Spacious Acting™ that gives you the “great acting” experiences I give my students, and you can arrange for your theater or school to host one. Also available are a number of shorter acting and directing workshops that can be given separately or together. More information on them can be found under the Workshops tab.
So read. Enjoy. Ask questions. And get just a little bit better at this thing called acting than you were yesterday . . .