Initially, Irons had two separate dressing rooms for each character, both with their own wardrobe, but he soon realized that “the whole point of the story is you should sometimes be confused as to which is which.” From that point onwards, he used a single dressing room and mixed the wardrobes together, finding an “internal way” to play each character differently. Irons cites the Alexander technique as the reason he was able to give the characters “different energy points”, weighting one brother on the balls of his feet and the other on his heels. He developed different postures and voice modulations for each as well.
Friday 11 March is the deadline for applying for One Body One Career 2016 in Melbourne.
Due to the limited number of places, candidates are asked to submit a personal motivation statement and CV for consideration in PDF format and not exceeding 3 pages. An additional online show reel is recommended. Returning participants do not need to submit a motivation statement.
For full details and a downloadable application form, check out the Chunky Move website. This program is very popular and space is limited, so don’t wait till the last minute!
Rickman has spoken of how he used the Alexander Technique — pioneered by Shakespearean orator Frederick Matthias Alexander in the late 1800s — to create a “balanced sense of tension rather than relying on creating tension to do something in order to produce a sound or an act that is preconceived.”
Rest in peace, Mr. Rickman. At least we can still hear you in film.
In a recent interview for the Daily Telegraph, John Cleese reveals his "secret ritual" for preparing to perform: the same "constructive rest" Alexander Technique procedure I teach all my students.
“I lie on the floor with a book under my head, my knees up and my feet flat on the floor, very, very quiet for about half an hour.” ... “If I do that then I always go on stage feeling good. It is one of the reasons I am not terribly keen on having people visiting me before the show, I like that period of absolute quiet to get completely relaxed. Then when I go on stage I am going to be much funnier if I’m relaxed than if I’m still a bit wound up.”
Another fine actor uses the Alexander Technique to discover how his character should move.
Jonathan Tucker, on preparing for his role of Boon in the final season of Justified:
To take on the role of Boon, Tucker used the Alexander Technique, which puts a premium on the physical aspects of a character. “It puts you into a physical place from which the rest of your choices are informed,” he says. “Everybody walks differently and talks differently. It’s important to incorporate that. Teaching actors how to find their neutral spine allows them to make choices from there.” http://www.ew.com/article/2015/12/10/jonathan-tucker-kingdom-hannibal-roles
Today my thoughts go to Warren Ebel, Steven Schumacher, Brian Maugh, Kevin Kehoe, and Kevin Oldham, all dearly loved by me and all dead from AIDS. They all died before the medical breakthrough in 1996 that now allows people to live a normal life with HIV and not fear the horrible deaths caused by AIDS. And now you can even prevent yourself from getting infected by a simple pill taken every day. I urge all who are HIV negative to ask your doctor about PrEP. It can keep you safe in ways condoms cannot. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/prep.html
RIP Warren, Steven, Brian, Kevin and Kevin. I still miss you and always will.
The results of a new study on chronic neck pain (more than 3 months) has just been published. The short version: both Alexander Technique and acupuncture decreased pain by about 30% even after 1 year, which is significantly better than standard medical care which included prescription pain medication, doctors visits and physical therapy. The subjects who took lessons in Alexander Technique took on average only 14 lessons, less than the recommended 20.
The full study is published at the Annals of Internal Medicine from the American College of Physicians but is protected by a paywall: http://ift.tt/1WvLtXf
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My recent trip to the reunion of the Frankfurt Ballet reminded me just how much I love working with dancers, musicians and other performing artists. I have therefore decided to offer students and young professionals a chance to study with me at a very low price of just €25 for a full, 30 minute lesson.
At the bottom you will see some tips from “the experts”. Approach these with caution! Sitting on a large ball as recommended is no guarantee that you will not slump and slouch into the same habitual position as in a chair. And the benefit of any exercise is completely dependent on how you do it, but there are no instructions provided regarding the how, nor are there any warnings regarding the possible hazards of doing them in a harmful way.
Instructions for how to do exercises are frequently incomplete in that they just assume if you are told what to do, you will know how to do it in a healthy, coordinated way. That is really just magical thinking and not at all true. For example, very few people will be able to perform a hip flexor stretch as shown in the article in a way that maintains the easy balance of the torso. While stretching the flexors of the right hip they will unconsciously pull down the left side of the torso, resulting in a tightening of the hip flexors of the left leg. This is like taking one step forward and one step back, resulting in getting nowhere fast!
It is of course possible to do all the exercises shown in a manner that is not counterproductive. But if you can do that, you probably do not sit in such a counterproductive manner that you need to do the exercises in the first place. Want proof? Book a lesson with me and I’ll show you. It’s easier in the long run to prevent the bad sitting than it is to repair the damage it does.