Actors, Directors, Designers, Playwrights, Puppeteers
“We act according to our self-image.”
Feldenkrais wrote this line for everyone, but it’s particularly profound for actors. The Feldenkrais Method allows us to have a greater, more expansive and flexible self-image, which allows us more choices in how we play a character or simply stand on a stage with presence. And it probably goes without saying that we can always use more physical awareness and flexibility.
On a personal level, the Feldenkrais Method has made me a better actor. I am more imaginative, less inhibited and can do many many things with my body than I ever could before.
“Tout Bouge.” (Everything moves.) – Jacques Lecoq
You probably forgot you had a body, right? While directing a show, worrying about everyone else, directors often can lose sight of themselves.
I think I spent most of my student loan money on bodywork while I was getting that Directing MFA. Thai massage, acupuncture, massage massage, cupping, nothing took care of that shoulder problem I managed to give myself while directing. I thought I’d never be rid of it. A year later, after my very first experience with the FI (hands-on) part of the Method, I said goodbye to it and haven’t seen it since.
The designers I’ve collaborated with are tough, hard-working, incredibly busy and they put their bodies through a lot. I know you probably don’t have time to lie on the floor or on a table for an hour with me or any other Feldenkrais practitioner but if you could find one, it would probably help.
It’s easy to forget about your own body while you’re busy trying to operate someone else’s. From horse legs, to Object theatre, everything you do is embodied and you do a lot of repetitive motion. Your puppets can be limited by your own physical limitations. It’s hard to get that bird puppet to fly if your arm won’t go over your head the way it used to!