In your first few moments in the room of an audition or a casting can you:
- let go
- find your authentic self
- be in the Now
- give yourself permission to play
If you have done your preparation then a racing heart, racing thoughts, a dry mouth, stumbling on your lines or any of the other symptoms of performance anxiety are physiological.
Once you become aware of the symptoms your work as a performer is to notice – inhibit and direct (all processes of The Alexander Technique). You will be surprised how easily the nervous energy is converted into creative energy for your performance. Own it and use it!
The Alexander Technique teaches you how to keep the muscular-skeletal system long, wide and soft allowing the body and in particular the voice resonating centres and the respiratory system to remain relaxed and operating efficiently. You will feel ease, calmness and composure.
As a performer you have two things to focus on:
- am I breathing?
- am I taking hold of the ground with my feet?
When you don’t breathe efficiently, oxygen doesn’t get to the brain. It’s all about having the kinaesthetic awareness to be in your body and to remain as the conductor of your own instrument. When your whole body shows up to do the work, performance anxiety is not an issue. It is about focusing your attention to release self criticism and self consciousness. Emotion is energy and the work of any performer is to channel that into your creativity.
The Alexander Technique allows you to:
- remain in command;
- remain grounded;
- be clear around your decisions;
- enjoy greater self confidence;
- enjoy a calmer and focused approach;
- release creativity;
- free the senses so that you can look and listen to your full capacity; and
- enjoy a balance of energy, sense of direction and inner strength.
The body and the voice will take care of themselves when you find composure, ease and freedom. Find that place of “non-doing.” It is stillness inside and out. Stay loose! Inhibit.
Repeat quietly to yourself, “I have time.”
Hear testimony from Belinda Wollaston (currently playing Judy Garland on West End) on how The Alexander Technique has influenced her work.
If you would like to feel more confident, calm and focused during
What people are saying:
“I find The AlexanderTtechnique very helpful in my work. Things happen without you trying. Movement becomes light and relaxed.”John Cleese
“For all of us, not just actors, life puts great stress and strain on our bodies. The Alexander Technique has given me a self help method by teaching me to relax and adjust my posture so that my body, which for an actor is an instrument can work as well as possible.”Jeremy Irons
“Once freed from the habitual tensions (so common place they are often not even recognised by the actor and singer) then the body can release into a greater range of expression with freedom, power and confidence.”Brett Wood
“The Alexander Technique doesn’t teach you something new to do. It teaches you how to bring more practical intelligence into what you are already doing; how to eliminate stereo-typed responses; how to deal with habit and change. It leaves you free to choose your own goal but gives you a better use of yourself while you work towards it.”Dr. Frank Pierce Jones
“Barbara’s work is an essential addition to the actor’s toolbox. Letting go of habits on all levels gives the actor the freedom to explore without tension and judgement. No actor should be without the freedom created by understanding how their body and their mind are released simply by aligning their physical self.”Adrian Barnes