The Alexander Technique
“The Alexander Technique promotes a state of energized alertness which is fundamental for actors. This state helps performers to access and maintain the necessary fluidity and response in their acting.”
The Alexander Technique provides a template of skills which, for the actor, sits below their other acting processes. The Alexander Technique heightens your awareness and sensitivity of physical habits and allows you to re-direct your thinking and energy in order to make empowering choices.
It works on two levels:
1. Firstly on yourself.
It allows you to get rid of your tension and open your body and therefore yourself through an improved use of yourself.
2. As a result it enables you to take that improved use into your performance. You find yourself able to;
- connect with your instrument with great clarity, focus and presence;
- find truth and integrity in your character –their physicality, voice and accent, emotion, presence and spontaneity;
- work safely within your craft.
- being mindful of your physical co-ordination when faced with performance issues such as wearing uncomfortable costumes or executing risky movements.
- maintaining energy, stamina and body and vocal health over long seasons.
Leading Institutions teaching The Alexander Technique:
|Royal Shakespeare Company||Julliard School|
|London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art||New York University|
|Royal Academy of Dramatic Art||Metropolitan Opera|
|Royal National Theatre||The Actors Studio|
|Royal Academy of Music||UCLA|
|Royal College of Music||University of Washington School of Drama
Yale Drama School
Benefits of the Alexander Technique for Performers
|allow efficient breathing||release physical emotional & Intellectual tension|
|allow your voice to drop in||allow an honest & truthful portrayal of character|
|allow your voice to resonate||allow a connection to your audience which comes from a place of truth|
|allow emotional spontaneity||allow a functionally free and correct use of the joints in order to prevent injury|
|allow muscular-skeletal efficiency||allow you to sit, stand or still yourself comfortably for long periods of time|
|allow free and spontaneous movement||allow you to be at one with your instrument|
|allow clear and focused thought process||allow you to establish an easy rapport with your ensemble|
|allow accessibility to lines||allow you to maintain and conserve energy|
|allow presence||allow “non doing” as apposed to “doing”|
What people are saying:
“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
“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
“Without The Alexander Technique it is very difficult to become a first rate Actor”Larry Moss