Acting Technique: Marking The Moment

Marking the moment is a dramatic technique used to highlight a key moment in a scene or improvisation. This can be done in a number of different ways: for example through slow-motion, a freeze-frame, narration, thought-tracking or music. It has a similar effect to using a spotlight to focus attention on one area of the stage at a particular moment during a performance.

Marking the moment can happen when a scene has been created, and the group decides it's a significant moment in the drama, and they want to show this in some way. At times things happen in a scene very quickly - and yet we know these moments can change the whole direction of a drama. This is when something is needed to emphasize the moment.

The actors are to remain in the same groups and replay the scene but they must decide the moment of highest tension in the scene and mark it. There are several possibilities in marking the moment. But to start with, the simplest way to mark the moment is to freeze the scene, then moving on actors could also add a thought track each, use slow motion or deliver a monologue commenting on the action taking place and how they feel about it.


Self-Confidence and the Actor's Inner Voice

The way we talk to ourselves has a big impact on our acting abilities. Self-talk is the name given to the internal dialogue we constantly have with ourselves. When our inner voice is negative, it increases pressure and potential for failure. As actors our inner voices greatly influence our performances.

If our self-talk is damaging and turns into a permanent critic, it will constantly impede our progress. However by increasing concentration we can calm the inner voice down. Yoga, meditation or simple breathing and visualising exercises will quickly show great results. The secret is to incorporate these practices in your daily life so they become part of your being.

Once a state of calm can be reached and maintain periodically, it is time to invite positive thoughts about yourself and your acting capabilities. To start with, remembering big or small achievements on stage or in the rehearsal room, perhaps a drama teacher’s praise or a friend’s encouraging words may inspire you to find your own reasons to feel confident in yourself as an actor.

Little by little you will notice changes. Firstly, less stress will make your enjoy much more the performing experience. Then, this new confidence will allow you to step into new territories and therefore develop your drama skills: you'll become a better actor. With repeated effort and increased awareness the inner voice will become gentle and will provide support and motivation when faced with the next obstacle.

350 Actors To Showcase Regional Theatre In BAC Festival

More than 350 performers who have tirelessly taken acting classes in London to hone their skills will take part in a festival pioneered by Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) to showcase the talents of regional theatre.

A Nation’s Theatre will launch on March 29th and continue for two months, with production companies across the capital joining forces to reveal their most gifted stars and celebrate the skills and ideas of smaller theatre companies around the country.

Some 17 venues will be involved in the event, including Leicester’s Curve, Norwich Puppet Theatre, Camden People’s Theatre, and the Young Vic.

Speaking to The Stage, Curve associate director Suba Das said there is still suspicion when it comes to regional theatre, with many people thinking it means ”amateur, ‘on the cheap’, ‘half-done’”.

However, artistic director for BAC David Jubb told the news provider the “best” theatre is frequently created outside of London, despite what people think.

“As a group of theatres and artists, we thought it would be fun to reverse the stream: to encourage more partnerships between those based in London and those around the UK, as well as shine a light on where this already happens,” Mr Jubb was reported as saying.

More than 60 shows will take place during the two-month festival to encourage more celebration and enthusiasm about regional acting.

 Theatre companies in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the East Midlands, the north-west, the south-west, the north-east, East Anglia, the West Midlands, Yorkshire and London are taking part in A Nation’s Theatre.

Sport And Theatre: The Perfect match?

When it comes to finding a new hobby, joining a sports team and attending one of the most enjoyable drama schools London has to offer seem like two very different choices – however, as the UK’s theatre scene is proving at the moment, there are some great parallels between the worlds of sport and drama.

In fact, according to the Guardian, plays and dramatic pieces inspired by sports are the next big thing. Not only is sport an always prominent undercurrent to our daily lives, which is perhaps guilty of being underexplored in the past, it has been given an even bigger profile with huge starring roles within British culture since the 2012 Olympics.

In terms of attracting a different audience to the theatre, it might just be the perfect ticket – with the Guardian presenting some new and recent productions for consideration by would-be theatre fans. The Nap, a play about snooker, is currently being held at the Sheffield Crucible; The Man With The Hammer and Beryl, two plays about cycling, are also two new premieres in Plymouth and London respectively; while at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, an adaptation of David Pearce’s The Damned United, a football drama, has just been unveiled.

However, the article also noted that as many people who might be attracted by the sporting nature are also put off by it, with ticket sales of previous productions of Bend It Like Beckham and The Red Lion underperforming somewhat.

We hope that this new spate of sporty theatre performances will attract more people to these productions though, and with it, bring new interest and passion for acting and the theatre.

Acting Classes To Help Doctors Improve Bedside Manner?

While taking the most enjoyable acting classes London has to offer is great for those with a passion for acting itself, these classes have long been seen as a tool to help people from all walks of life improve their communication skills. There’s no more glowing indictment of this than news that doctors in London are being sent to acting classes as part of communication training to improve their bedside manner.

For a profession that is becoming all the more stressful as years go by, this offers them not only a chance to blow off some steam, but also to try to see the world through their patients' eyes. Running activities that put them in a vulnerable position is a great way to start to ensure empathy is present for all their patients, who are of course in a very vulnerable situation themselves in the hospital.

While some in the medical profession believe these classes to be too touchy-feely for the industry, Dr Andrew Goddard, consultant gastroenterologist and spokesman for the Royal College of Physicians, told the Daily Mail: “Anything that can improve how doctors, nurses and patients interact has got to be a good thing.” In our opinion, one of those two viewpoints seems to have a better bedside manner than the other!

Communication workshops can be tailored to whatever the needs of your business and its employees are. Role-playing in an open environment with positive energy is a great way to improve skills such as customer service, interpersonal relationships within an office and even sales techniques.

Wicked Musical Plans Autism-Friendly Show

For many actors, it has been been the love of a good musical theatre show that inspired them to seek out the most enjoyable acting classes London has to offer, so we love this bit of news that’s sure to inspire a whole new audience which, until now, has been excluded from enjoying it for themselves.

The West End musical production of Wicked has announced a partnership with the National Autistic Society to produce a special ‘autism-friendly’ performance, according to Official Theatre London

The popular show, which tells the origin story of the witches from The Wizard of Oz, has been specially designed to be as welcoming for autistic people as possible. This includes adjustments to the sound and lighting of the show, as many people affected by autism are more sensitive to sights and sounds.

There will also be staff on hand who are specially trained in helping autistic people, as well as dedicated chill out spaces if anyone in the audience needs a break from the action. 

Michael McCabe, Wicked’s executive producer, said: “We’re delighted to be able to welcome fans of Wicked who wouldn’t normally be able to attend a standard performance and look forward to what promises to be an inspiring experience for us all.”

Tickets for the show are available now from the Wicked website and are recommended for ages from seven up. If you know any aspiring actors who just so happen to also be affected by autism, then this might just be the perfect chance to enjoy a West End show.

Donmar Theatre Front Row Budget tickets

Did you know the Donmar Theatre release Front Row £10 tickets on Monday mornings 10am? A great opportunity to see great plays and brilliant actors on a budget!

On Monday 8 February tickets for Welcome Home Captain Fox! performances 18-27 February will be available to buy online http://barclaysfrontrow.donmarwarehouse.com.

Welcome Home Captain Fox! is a new version of Jean Anouilh's hit 1937 play Le voyageur sans bagages by Anthony Weigh.


Inspiring Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio

It's certainly worth looking at the careers of some of the biggest names in the movie business to seek inspiration and pick up a few tips for your next acting classes in London. To help, we thought we'd start a series of some of the most inspiring actors of our time, starting with the one and only Leonardo DiCaprio.

If you're looking for someone who's enjoyed an incredibly diverse career, you need look no further than DiCaprio, who started off his time in the movie biz as a cast member of sitcom Growing Pains and taking roles in low budget movies like Critters 3.

No doubt many were surprised when he seamlessly transitioned to become one of the most desirable commodities in Hollywood and then into one of the major heartthrobs for teenage girls everywhere during the 1990s. But that's exactly what's happened and he's gone on to enjoy what can only be described as a glittering career, with roles in films like Romeo + Juliet, Titanic, Inception, The Departed, Gangs of New York and most recently The Revenant.

He's just been nominated for an Oscar for his role in The Revenant, in fact, although having been nominated many times in the past and never actually winning has led many to suggest that there's something of a DiCaprio curse where Academy Awards are concerned.

Not only is DiCaprio known for his movie-making, he's also a renowned philanthropist. He's donated $1 million to earthquake relief efforts and a further $1 million to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Homework: To see some of DiCaprio's finest work, watch What's Eating Gilbert Grape this weekend.

Top Tips For Budding Actors & Actresses

The start of a new year is the perfect time to learn a new skill or foster a new interest, so with this in mind why don’t you consider signing up for some acting classes in London. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your new hobby.

Go to the theatre

If you want to learn more about acting and how you can become good at it yourself, it makes perfect sense to go to as many theatre productions as you can so you can see how the professionals do it. You’re sure to pick up lots of brilliant ideas that you can then taking to your acting classes with you.

Amateur dramatics

If you want to put the skills you’re learning to the test, why not bite the bullet after you’ve had a couple of classes and sign up for a part with your local amateur dramatics society. You may only get a bit part to start but the more you practice and the more classes you go to, the better you’ll get.

Be confident

There’s no place for nerves and low self-esteem when you’re on the stage. You have to have confidence in yourself in order to be able to stand up and act out a part, so work on letting go and being more free and open within yourself.

For further advice and information on the different types of acting classes we have to offer, get in touch with us here at City Acting today.