Wednesday, March 21, 2012

An Actor's Work, Part I -- Breathing

One of the hallmarks of great acting is the ability to make acting look effortless.  Minions of youngsters have been attracted to acting just because their idol looks like he's just breezing through his work, having a ball as he goes.

Acting is, however, hard work.  It's physically, intellectually, and emotionally draining, and Shakespearean acting is the hardest work there is.  Much preparation is required to be ready to tackle the material, from acting classes to literature classes to vocal training, to physical conditioning.

Even breathing is hard work.  An actor's instrument is his/her voice, and breathing is the basis of strength in the voice.  Here's a typical warm-up at the RSC for Shakespearean actors about to go onstage.

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