5 CHARACTERISTICS OF AMAZING PERFORMERS AND ACTORS
What are some of the qualities that characterize amazing performers? Here are five qualities I, consistently observe in the most evolved creative performance artists.
1. Great performers have a feeling of ease in their work.
Great performances look effortless. And often, when things go right, they feel effortless. Of course, this is an illusion. Great performing is a result of a great deal of work. Part of how you achieve a feeling of ease in your work is by regularly engaging in some form of relaxation training. The opposite of a feeling of ease is being filled with tension. Tension is, quite simply, blocked talent. Put another way, tension is the manifestation of blocked parts of your personality -- physically and vocally. The more tense you are, the less expressed you are, the less performing jobs you get. Ways to release tension and achieve a feeling of ease in your body and voice include deep tissue massage, guided relaxation audio programs, yoga, and various methods of voice and breath work. Life is always happening to you. That means, tension arises, again and again. Therefore, engaging in relaxation practices must occur for your entire life as a performer.
2. Great performers are energetically released and expressive.
Great actors are energy masters. Everything radiates an energy vibration. Being a great performer is significantly about harnessing and radiating specific and profound kinds of energies. Saying great performers are emotionally expressive doesn't go far enough. Some powerful energies are not emotional. Speaking in terms of radiating energy is a more accurate and expansive view of creative expression. Energies can be categorized into fundamental "states-of-being" -- Archetypes. Examples of Archetypes include Evil, The Magical Child, The Wounded Child, Spiritual Energy, Silliness, The Messiah, Sexuality, and on and on.
These energies are very real and they alter the way you think, feel, speak and move, depending on which one, or several at once, you access.
As we grow up, we lose access to many Archetypes as we are socialized out of them. Each of us have some Archetypes that are easy to access, and others we have forgotten how to access. Great performers are in touch with, and able to fully and profoundly express, a very wide range of Archetypes.
Experiencing pure evil, or pure vulnerability, or pure magical energy (etc.) is intense and mind-altering. Great performances are mind-altering. And great performers report feeling like they are in an altered state-of-consciousness when everything comes together. They are! And you can learn to expand your access to all kinds of energies. And the way we do it is safe and super fun (Some approaches to getting “deep” in various acting methods are not safe or fun for many people.).
3. Great performers are highly imaginative and fully committed.
The old-fashioned view of things, in many acting methods, is that there is a giant wall between your personal "truth" and memories and your "imagination." Modern psychologists will tell you it is false to think this giant separation exists. Memories are often not accurate and are totally subjective -- with a high level of fantasy contained in them. And your imagination is not "fake" or "not real." In fact, your fantasy life virtually determines all the actions you take during the day! Amazing, huh? For example, my fantasy of winning an Academy-award may cause me to go to the gym, take an acting class, go to auditions, etc.
So, while it gets useful results to coach some actors to be "simple, truthful and real," there is a more sophisticated approach. To an audience, anything will look "real" if what you are doing and radiating is fully committed and imaginative. And frankly, nothing bores audiences more than naturalism, for the most part. Great performances are wildly imaginative and fully committed, not simple and real. It can just look “simple and real” to the audience. Your work as a performer is to continually make sure you can go too far! Pulling back and doing less sometimes definitely needs to occur, and this isn't nearly as challenging as being wildly imaginative and fully committed. You need options.
Many of us have had our imaginations taken away from us as we grew up. We were told our imaginations are not real, or that our fantasies are ridiculous. We were shamed out of being in touch with the infinite expanse of the imaginative realm. But, you can reclaim it. And great performers are working on expanding their imaginations constantly. There are many exercises in modern training that can dramatically expand your imagination and increase your ability to express yourself from there -- with full commitment. And, I'll say it again, when you liberate your imagination and express yourself in this manner, it is life-changing. And it never ends. Great performers report there is an infinite imaginative world, or worlds, to explore. It goes on your entire career, if you do your work.
Finally, you can be highly imaginative and fully committed and also calibrated for a close-up on film. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. Highly imaginative and fully committed does not equate to being “big.” What is being discussed applies equally to theater, television and film. There is plenty of room for nuance.
continue reading the 4th and 5th characters here >> 5 CHARACTERISTICS OF AMAZING PERFORMERS AND ACTORS:PART 2