Acting (Actors) – Inhibition in the Alexander Technique (Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Posture)(Psychology)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on May 25, 2012

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Acting (Actors’) Technique, is published on this website in a PDF format. It is very detailed and practical. It will give you the physical tools you need to take the limits off of your ability to create an extraordinarily acted play.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. (MOVEMENT THERAPY)

INHIBITION is one of the most powerful tools in the Alexander Technique. It gives the actor a tool to change any aspect of her acting technique and posture that doesn’t work with what works. Inhibition helps the actor identify what is interfering with the actor creating the most user friendly acting technique and posture possible, and then to be able to change what isn’t working.

INHIBITION ALLOWS THE ACTOR TO LET GO OF WHAT ISN’T WORKING, AND TO REPLACE IT WITH WHAT DOES WORK IN ACTING.

Inhibition is what you do after you’ve identified what is not working in your acting technique. Let me explain. By the time an actor has discovered, after years of acting, that there are aspects of the actor’s technique and posture that are interfering with the actor’s ability to do whatever role she would like, these destructive habits are as central to the actor’s technique as the productive ones are.

So, how do you throw out the bath water, without throwing out the baby? You identify and list what is compromising your acting, and you also make a second list of what it is that works in your acting technique, and you only keep the good list.

There are the typical big postural problems – slumped or over-arched posture, obvious tension throughout the body, from hands to legs. Then there are the much more subtle problems, which may be a matter of degree. What I mean, is there may be postural and technique things that you do that are not obvious to anyone but an Alexander Technique teacher.

Ex: If right before the actor moves, she locks her neck, then this can be pretty invisible to most people. If right before the actor speaks, she locks her neck, this can be almost undetectable. If the actor is playing a role that can be very hard on her body (an elderly person), and she shortens her spine, this can put pressure on the nerves that originate at the spinal cord.

So, what is the act of inhibition or inhibiting? If right before you do what you have always done when you act, just before you act, you stop and choose to do something new, then you have just inhibited what isn’t serving you.

Ex: Just as the actor is about to speak, she notices she is locking her neck. The actor stops – doesn’t speak. She now chooses not to lock her neck, and right after that new choice, she then speaks.

What I have just described is inhibition or inhibiting a habit. It very subtle and very powerful, because for the first time, the actor has chosen not to initiate acting with an unconscious bad habit.

She has chosen to act/speak without unconscious tension and compression of the neck/spine. Bringing this into the actor’s awareness is moving acting away from being something you fix, to being something where you are truly experiencing all of your subtle habits, good and bad, you have acted with. Now you have the tool, INHIBITION, that will allow you to perceive and choose which habits you want to keep or release.

THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE DOES TWO EXTRAORDINARY THINGS. IT TRULY RAISES YOUR AWARENESS OF WHAT YOU ARE DOING WHEN YOU ACT TO A LEVEL THAT SHOWS YOU HOW YOU COMPROMISE YOUR TALENT, AND IT GIVES YOU THE TOOLS TO STOP DOING THIS.

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