A spontaneous performance is the goal we are working towards. Like the exceptional person who is able to flow with life, the exceptional actor flows with the scene. Spontaneity in each moment.
Spontaneity does not live and is not accessed, in the intellectual sphere. It lives in the world of feelings.
In Foundations, in Expression and in Preparation & Imagination, we work to access spontaneity in the actor themselves, in the person – the actor’s instrument. In all of the Actor’s Instrument classes, we train with feelings.
We train with feelings because that is how the deepest spontaneity is reached. When we are fully aware of our feelings and there is no confusion or ignorance over what we are experiencing, we are no longer hiding. When we are truthful to the experience of the feelings that arise, receiving them with our eyes wide open, we are aware of who we are.
With that clear awareness, we flow with feelings as they are experienced without being overwhelmed or taken over by them, or, in any way ignoring, minimizing or repressing them. When feelings are experienced right in the middle of those two places, the instrument is open, fluid, expressive, and free to move in any direction.
That is the fully developed actor’s instrument, and that is our goal.
We work on the depth of spontaneity by freeing up our feelings, but we also work on spontaneity by going directly for the goal of spontaneity itself. We can jump in and startle ourselves as we experience the ‘repercussions’ of our momentary leaps into the unknown. And in this safe space of a class, where we support one another, we learn to flow with the feelings that arise, without being inhibited by regret, guilt or fear. We discover the safety of spontaneity through the planned execution and we continually develop the actor’s instrument as we push ourselves repeatedly into the unknown.
That’s what we are working on this month, folks! Accessing spontaneity from both directions. Spontaneity, with all the fullness and all the depth that is you.
October Foundations Classes:
Class 1: WHY An Actor Studies Feelings
It can be counterintuitive to think that taking a deep dive into studying our feelings would allow for spontaneity. But spontaneity is what is accessed, when, as a result of the thorough study of our feelings, we find we can freely move into the next moment. When feelings are no longer in charge, when feelings no longer restrict us, we are then free to be spontaneous.
Class 2: HOW An Actor Studies Feelings
The study of feelings is active. We study feeling with feeling. Our body studies our body. We may reflect afterwards with our thinking mind, but we get to know our feelings via our feelings. The only way to do this sort of study is to ‘allow’. You allow the subject that is being studied to arise. You allow the feelings to be experienced, to be felt. We never stop allowing.
Class 3: Choosing to be Spontaneous
You can choose to be spontaneous, just like you can choose to not be spontaneous. It is up to you. When you choose to be spontaneous, you choose to discover the next moment, rather than to create the next moment.
Class 4: Bouncing Around in the Unknown
Once you start moving spontaneously, you find that each spontaneous moment supports the next spontaneous moment. Spontaneity is strengthened by spontaneity. The initial challenges disappear. You find yourself bouncing around in the unknown, and it feels like you were always meant to be there.