Presentation on theme: "Directing Your Attention Advanced Drama Fall 2003."— Presentation transcript:
Directing Your Attention Advanced Drama Fall 2003
Concentration Concentration helps the actor to relax by properly channeling his energies toward the accomplishment of his purpose. It is the principal means of commanding the attention of the audience. The audience is likely to be interested in whatever interests the actor—Attention demands attention.
Maximum concentration Successful actors find ways to control their attention in spite of: The pressure of the audience The distraction of backstage activities The mechanical demands of the role The ability to concentrate is a specific skill and can be attained only through hard work.
Let’s try it Any activity that requires concentration, especially in the presence of distracting influences, is excellent discipline for the actor. A person training for the stage needs to develop his power of attention through increasingly complicated exercises. Their value is derivedr only when they are practiced regularly over a period of time. No exercise has served its purpose until it can be done satisfactorily with a minimum of effort.
Stanislavski’s exercises Read expository material in the presence of a group that constantly tries to interrupt or distract you. Hold yourself responsible for remembering each detail you have read. Solve mathematical problems under the same conditions. Memorize a passage of prose under the same conditions.
More exercises With a group sitting in a circle, one person says any word that comes into their head. The second repeats the word and adds another than has no logical relation. The next person repeats the two words and adds a third. The process continues around and around the circle until no one is able to repeat the entire series. Anyone who fails is eliminated. The exercise provides training in both concentration and memory.
More exercises Under similar circumstances, play a game of numbers. The numbers may be unrelated, or you may progress by having each person add four or seven, eleven or nineteen. The game can become quite challenging.
Rapoport’s Mirror Exercise Two people stand opposite each other; one makes a movement and the other copies him exactly as in the mirror. Begin with abstract, nonrepresentational movements. Then do it performing realistic tasks. The director indicates that the initiator and the mirror image should change roles. The participants should not break the movement when the change occurs. After some practice, neither will seem to initiate the movement. They will feel they are moving simultaneously under the direction of some inner impulse.
Coordination With the left arm fully extended, continue making a large circle in the air. With the right arm, continue making a square by extending it straight out from the shoulder, then up, and then to the side. Once coordination is established, reverse the arms, making the circle with the right and the square with the left.
Copy exercise One person in the group performs a sequence of simple actions such as entering a room, removing a coat, getting something to eat from the refrigerator and sitting down to read. Other concentrate on watching and then repeat the movements in exact detail with the same temp and rhythms.