Gestures and Energy

by Alpha Tessema

Our gesture exercises in rehearsal today got me thinking about the way we channel energy for every movement we make on stage as well as our intentionality. In Stanislavski’s, “An Actor Prepares”, he states that every movement we make must have purpose. Even the act of remaining still is an action that has a specific purpose (35).

Having purpose for every action enables us to channel our energy properly. One of the gestures we performed in rehearsals today was looking over our shoulder. When making this gesture, we were instructed to imagine that someone were behind us calling our names. Only after we felt the person appear behind us and heard them calling our names were we to turn our heads and look. The imaginary purpose for looking over our shoulder enabled us to channel our energy into the action in a way that the audience could both see and feel.