ACTING

Online Group Lesson Friday 5:45pm

Further and develop your acting skills in this fun and interactive class.

We will be looking at creating a character using body, voice and reviewing circumstances and motivation.

We will be learning about script analysis and developing storylines, stage etiquette and terminology, vocal work and diction, gesture, improvisation and will be doing group and solo work. 

ACTING RESOURCES

Emotional Improvisations using the Meisner Technique


The Meisner Technique was created by Sanford Meisner and is based around the concept of “truthful acting.” Sanford Meisner was an actor and acting teacher at The Neighbourhood Playhouse in New York. Over the years he worked with a diverse range of actors and directors using his method of acting. 

The Meisner technique is one of the most helpful acting techniques for improvisation. It’s all about living truthfully under any given imaginary circumstance. The actor is encouraged to act on their emotional impulses, leading with their heart and not overthinking it. 

In this technique the actor is reacting to their fellow performers and their behaviour. Much of Meisner Acting is based around improvisation, enabling an actor to be spontaneous and respond to live moments as well as rehearsed situations.

“You don't pick up cues, you pick up impulses.”


The Meisner technique helps create a strong emotional connection between you and your scene partner, even when online, as you find everything you need is with the other person. Through repetition exercises you gain an increased awareness of the emotional and physical offers from your scene partner. The idea then is to spontaneously act on impulse with honesty.

The Meisner Technique is useful in improvisation because it means there is no longer a gap between what the improviser is thinking and what the character is thinking. All thoughts, feelings and impulses are put into the scene there and then without any kind of overthinking. 

In this technique we say what we see, what we think, and what we feel in the present moment and without any filter. This creates true and honest acting scenes. 

MIRRORING EXERCISE 

Use the following mirroring exercise with a partner to fully convey emotion through vocal and physical expression. Use the list of emotions below to help with this exercise. 

Actor 1: I am....

Actor 2: You are... 

Actor 1: Yes I am...

Actor 2: I am...too


  • I am excited
  • I am frightened
  • I am worried
  • I am angry
  • I am sad
  • I am shy
  • I am disgusted 
  • I am in love
  • I am thinking
  • I am tired
  • I am moody
  • I am peaceful 
  • I am numb 
  • I am jealous 



Starter sentences for improvisation 


Actor one will act out the following improvisation sentences. Actor two should respond in exactly the same emotion as actor one. 


Emotion - Disgusted 

Uggghhh!! This is the worst meal I have ever eaten! The Fish is tasteless, the chips are soggy and the peas are bland. 


Emotion - Disgusted 

I can’t believe you thought I’d be interested in someone like them. They repulse me. 


Emotion - Excited 

Remember that time we went on the Smiler? It was so much fun! Hey, we could go to Alton Towers tomorrow. What do you think?


Emotion - Excited

Only 152 days to go until I go on holiday. Oh my god, I cannot wait!


Emotion - Scared

Oh my god! Don’t panic but there is a spider the size of my hand sat right above your head. 


Emotion - Scared

Wait, I’ve changed my mind. Is there still time to get off this rollercoaster? Please, get me off this thing!


Emotion - Worried

I can’t believe we’ve only got a week left until our exams start. I really don’t feel prepared. 


Emotion - Angry 

I can’t believe you didn’t stand up for me just then! I thought you were my friend! 


Emotion - Angry 

I’ve told you a million times and the answer is no! Just leave me alone! 


Emotion - Sad 

I tried so hard in that interview but it obviously wasn’t good enough. I really wanted that job!


Emotion - Sad 

I know it sounds stupid but a year ago today my hamster died and I still miss my little friend. 


Emotion - Ashamed 

I need to make a confession. It was me who borrowed your favourite top the other day. I feel so bad. 


Emotion - Jealousy 

I can’t believe they went to the cinema without me. I’m obviously not that important. 


Emotion - Jealousy 

What does she have that I don’t?! She always gets picked for absolutely everything. 


Emotion - Tired

I can’t keep my eyes open. I feel like I haven’t slept for a week! 


Emotion - Tired 

Thank goodness! Only one more shift to go before I get to have a lie in. 


BRECHT 

Brechtian techniques 

  • Breaking down the fourth wall 
  • Topical, news or political stories 
  • Narrator - News Reporter - creating a factual event. Brecht would use topical and political events to educate the audience and to make them think. 
  • Balanced viewpoints 
  • A gruesome story made comical 
  • Audience participation 
  • Large gestures, facial expression 
  • Bright lighting used to highlight the stage to show that it’s not real 
  • Comedic element and audience participation to break the fourth wall 
  • Use of word prompts 
  • Use of gestures 

The Three Little Pigs 

Scene 1 (starts at the end) This tells the audience what is going to happen so that they don’t become emotionally involved. 

Mrs Pig, please tell us your version of events. How are you feeling now that your three boys have returned home safely? 

And is it true that before the unfortunate event, you asked your three sons to leave home? 

And finally what would you like to say to Mr wolf? 


Scene 2 (wolf’s version of events) Creates a balanced view point for the audience 

Now we head over to the local jail where we can speak directly to Mr Wolf. 

Mr Wolf, what do you have to say for yourself about how you destroyed two houses and then attempted to eat the three little pigs?

And what words did you say to the three little pigs Mr Wolf?

Audience participation with gestures - I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down. 


Mrs Wolf, tell us your side of the story, is your son to blame for these crimes? 

Miss Sheep, is it true that Mr Wolf did the same thing to you, blew your house down and tried to eat you? 

I think it’s time we revisited the very place where all of these unfortunate events happened where we can speak to the three little pigs themselves. 


Little pig one, how are you feeling after your ordeal? Can you tell our audience more about the day when Mr Wolf blew your straw house down and attempted to eat you? 

And what words did Mr Wolf say to you?

Audience participation with gestures - I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down. 

And how did you respond? - Not by the hairs of my chinny chin chin. 


Witness 1 (supporter) - And I hear that you were a witness to this terrible crime. Can you tell us what you saw? 

Witness 2 (critic) - And what about you? Do you agree with these version of events? 

Mr Straw Seller, you sold the straw to Little pig 1. Do you feel any guilt about what happened, that your straw wasn’t strong enough to keep the house from collapsing? 

Let’s continue finding out more from this story as we talk directly to Little pig 2. 

Is it true that you built a house of sticks all by yourself? And take us back to that day when Mr Wolf blew your house down, what actually happened? 

And what words did Mr Wolf say to you?

Audience participation with gestures - I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down. 

And how did you respond? - Not by the hairs of my chinny chin chin. 

Mr Stick seller, how do you feel knowing that your sticks fell down so easily? 

Witness 1 (supporter) - And I hear that you were a witness. Can you tell us what you saw? 

Witness 2 (critic) - And what about you? Do you agree with these version of events? 

We now make our way over to the remaining house of bricks where we speak directly to little pig 3. You must be feeling very proud of yourself? Tell us all about the recent events leading up to Mr Wolf’s arrest? 

And can you remind us what words did Mr Wolf say to you?

Audience participation with gestures - I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down. 

And how did you respond? - Not by the hairs of my chinny chin chin. 

Witness 1 (supporter) - And I hear that you were there on the day. Can you tell us what you saw? 

Witness 2 (critic) - And what about you? I hear you’re not a supporter of the three little pigs? 

 

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