Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bringing Our Character to Life: Introduction (Part 1 of 3)

We can bring our character to life by use of simple movements, choice of focal points, intentional word stresses, vocal color changes, and expressive articulation. There are many techniques, both vocally and visually, that can be used to enhance our performances. In addition to the specific techniques we may choose, perfecting our performance means making the most of tools available to us in order to make these choices. By tools, I mean video recordings, audio recordings, and a mirror.  These tools, along with assistance from a private instructor, give us ample assistance in developing our character. When we take the time and energy to prepare using these simple tools to monitor our use of movement, facial expressions, and vocal choices; we will be rewarded with a successful and meaningful performance or audition.

When making choices in movement, we must find our own natural and realistic gestures. With a simple lift of the hand, a touch of our cheek, or a hand to the heart; we can arouse specific feelings in the observer. When these movements are coupled with true intensity and purpose, we create a visual expression which  enhances our performance. Using the mirror and video camera in this regard, assists us in making choices that look natural and give the performance our intended emotion. Often, we think we are being expressive in our facial expressions and gestures, but the mirror and camera will show us differently. It is important to know and see for ourselves what reads to the audience.

Our vocal choices range from a change in color or intensity to stressing a specific word or phrase. By singing with varying dynamics and different articulations, we create an audible representation of our chosen emotions. Binging our character to life through vocal techniques is aided by use of audio recording and feedback from an instructor. We are often convinced that we articulating our words and making every attempt to express our feelings vocally only to find out, upon listening, that they are not actually coming across to our audience.

We can create the best performance possible by choosing appropriate movements and using expressive vocal techniques. By taking advantage of the tools available to us, we make the most of our practice and planning to create a memorable performance. This 3 part series is focused on these aspects of performance.

Watch for Part 2 of Bringing Our Character to Life, which will focus on ways to use movement to express our text and emotion.