‘Feldenkrais for Actors’ – my book is out

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My book ‘Feldenkrais for Actors’ or ‘How To Do Less and Discover More‘ published by Nick Hern books book-coveris out now. The Actors Centre, where i am doing some workshops based on it (see schedule page) asked me to write a blog for them, so I did. I thought I would post it here too:

To explain how The Feldenkrais Method© helps actors is a big job. Indeed, it’s just taken me a whole book – and even that’s just an introduction as it opens up an enormous area of study. Presence, posture, voice, breath, spontaneity, sensitivity, versatility, flexibility are all addressed by this very profound and fundamental method. Let’s just take one corner of it here:

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Teaching Feldenkrais in Vocational Drama Schools

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This was my (uncut!) talk at the ‘(Re)storing Performance’ seminar on Feldenkrais for Performance, organised by Thomas Kampe at Bath Spa University back in June. Obviously I didn’t get to say all this in the time so here it is uncut. I have many more thoughts to share about Feldenkrais for actors and acting in the book I am writing (due out in the spring): this is a little piece and is specifically about teaching in drama schools. The audience consisted mostly of teachers of either Feldenkrais, dance or performance, some professors, some performers and even the odd student! Its quite long for a blog post and has no pictures, so its really for the hard core! Continue reading

All About Difference

I know. I haven’t written a blog in ages. But I have a very good reason. Nick Hern publishers have commissioned me to write a book on Feldenkrais for actors and as I have to write it in between my public Feldenkrais practice, drama school teaching, running and karate training and attempting to be a half decent mother/spouse/sibling/friend to various different people, the book takes up all other available corners in my life.

So this will be short. Continue reading

No, that actor is not on drugs: they’ve just had a Feldenkrais lesson

The wonderful thing about doing an FI (Functional Integration session: hands-on one-to-one) for an actor is that they are usually already half way there. If they are a student they are hungry to learn so they come really ready to learn something. If they are a seasoned professional they probably only come when they are in pain unless they already know the value of this work – but if they are open they simply can’t help learning something more along the way. I defy any truly curious actor not to get interested when they start to feel in vivid detail more of what they are doing and get a sniff of what else they could do as well. Continue reading

Feldenkrais, movement and creativity.

Someone recently asked me about the relationship of movement to creativity. She had chosen to write something about it for a course. Interesting question. It has stayed with me for quite a while and there are so many ways you can think about it. Here are a few that came to mind and how Feldenkrais relates to them. Continue reading

Link

I put this up on my Facebook page a while ago but it needs to be here on this blog too. I think it is a fabulous piece – so important, and in its difference to prevalent ideas about correcting and ‘getting it right’.  Sheryl Field is so beautifully eloquent on this point . Crucial for everyone I have had to put it up on both general and acting and performance – but of course it would be a truly radical idea for sports!  ‘to correct is incorrect’

Finding Neutral

The other day an acting student asked if Feldenkrais helps by enabling you to find ‘neutral’ and then whether you could use Feldenkrais for character work too.  In a sense the answer is simply ‘yes’ and ‘yes’ but there was something in the question itself that brought me up short. I am not sure this is really what he meant, but underneath the question I felt an assumption that the job was finding neutral and then finding a character from there. Its an assumption I have noticed before and would like to challenge. Continue reading