Acting (Actors) – Orders of Allowance in the Alexander Technique (Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Posture)(Psychology)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on May 21, 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 performance.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. (MOVEMENT THERAPY)

I coined the phrase ORDERS OF ALLOWANCE. It grew out of what F. M. Alexander, the founder of the Alexander Technique, simply called ORDERS. Orders are telling your body what you want it to do. If you say out loud or in your thoughts, “My neck is free, my head leading a lengthening spine, as I act”, and if you do this enough times with faith, you will establish a new habit.

Actually, as you’re about to act, all you need to say before you speak/act, and whenever you notice your neck has locked up as you’re acting is, “My neck is free, my head leading a lengthening spine”.

I expanded F. M. Alexander’s orders to order(s) of allowance, because I felt that order(s) of allowance was a statement that told your body what you wanted and allowed it to act/speak/move with kindness. The word orders by itself connotes a demand, rather than a loving direction to do something.

In truth, we give our bodies orders all of the time, from loving to harsh. Let me explain. Every time you do an acting role that may be hard on your body posturally, and you don’t harm your body, you have given orders of allowance to your body, when you act with kind intentions. We live by orders to our bodies 24/7, but since they are sent so quickly, we don’t usually register the instantaneous intention and thought.

So, when you act playing an old bent over person, the intention, thought, and bent over posture of the torso has come and gone so quickly, that your torso seems to do the role itself.

When you stop and consciously give an order of allowance, you have chosen to do something few actors do. Let me explain. You have truly brought to full consciousness the fact that you are always telling your body what you want from it, but like I said, you usually do it so quickly, that it seems to do itself.

In a sense it does do it to itself, because when you act as you’ve always acted, then whenever you do something as you act you’ve done thousands of times, you will do it the same way – consistently habitually good or habitually bad.

The genius behind Alexander’s order of allowance is to consciously tell your body what you want, and that what you order it to do consciously is something new and healing for the body. So, when you order your neck to release before you play a bent over old person, and as you repeat this order of allowance as you’re acting, then you are doing something very new in your acting technique.

You’re acting with a free neck, and this will, in a very short period of time, become a new established part of your acting technique (if you remember to give this order of allowance).

Here’s why the concept of orders of allowance can be challenging for some actors. When you think the order of allowance, “My neck is free”, you are asking for a change in your body that is pretty invisible, except to an Alexander Technique teacher.

But, when you tell an arm to bend, it is very clear that your thought has a powerful effect. YOU BEND YOUR ARM! When you order your neck to release, you may not experience the release the first 30 or 40 times you send the order. But, what will happen is, if have faith in the process, you will begin to experience the releases in your neck as you continue to order it to be free, as you act.

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