Every skill, trade and art has their own tools. Painters have their brushes; carpenters have their hammers; stylists have their scissors. While actors do have physical toolkits, they also have three tools at their disposal at all times — no baggage necessary! What are those tools? I’m so glad you asked!
Your Body (including your face)
Actors use their bodies to shape their characters, to move around the space, and to perform skills such as dance choreography, stage combat, tumbling, puppetry and more. Actors use their faces to express the emotions that their character is feeling. Actors’ bodies and faces can be used as canvasses for incredible costumes and gorgeous makeup, or to carry in fabulous props. Bodies can be used in tableau scenes to create atmosphere and transform the stage into a living thing.
An actor’s voice can be used to express their innermost thoughts through monologue, or soar through a gorgeous aria or ballad. Actors can create sound effects and soundscapes through their voices. A whisper or a shout used effectively can pull an audience in and have them eating out of the palm of your hand.
Your Imagination (mind, brain, thoughts, creativity…)
Imagination brings the body and the voice together. As performing artists, we are only limited by our imaginations. I’m betting someone reading this just thought “And budgets!” and to that I say — some of the most incredible performances I’ve seen were nothing more than an actor in an open space, performing their heart out. Imagination trumps budget every time.
Your imagination turns you from just a person to any character you could conceive of. Your imagination can create worlds. Your imagination takes your body and voice and combines (or removes one of them!) to create different kinds of theatre. Take away the body and create a soundscape. Take away the voice and create a mime or tableau scene. Or use all three tools to create something entirely different and fascinating!
What will you create with your actor’s tools?
Share your ideas with me on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below!
Photo Credit: Death to the Stock Photo
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