Acting Games and Drama Exercises to Develop Focus

As long recognized, acting games develop important skills required for acting and performing, but also vital tools for everyday life at work and socially. The games described below have been designed to develop focus of the participants.

Me to You is a really simple exercise for a large group which encourages connection and focus. It requires students to be hyperaware and really focus. Get your group into a circle.The person starting must make eye contact with someone else in the circle (working across the circle is best).They then must gesture to themselves and say “me” followed by a gesture at the other person in which they say: “to you”. It should seamless.If you are targeted you then accept the offer and continue in the same way to a new person in the circle. Once this has gone around the circle a few times, lose the words and get your students to simply use gesture and eye contact.If they are successful at this then drop the gesture and simply use eye contact.

Word Association with Clicks is a game played by professional theatre companies, and can also work really well with late primary and high school kids. Get your group into a circle. Firstly, teach your students the rhythm which they will make with their bodies: thigh slap, clap, then click (right hand), click (left hand). Get the group comfortable with this rhythm.

When clicking with the right hand the student whose turn it is must say the persons before them’s word and then a new word that associates with that word when clicking with the left hand. The next person in the circle (work in a clockwise motion) must do the same. They must repeat the last persons word with the right click and then think of a new word when they click with the left hand. The thigh slap and clap gives the game a steady rhythm and stops students panicking. Continue this until you have done a few successful laps around the circle.

Develop Your Charisma with Acting Classes

It is common for people to struggle with a definition of ‘charisma’ in relation to communication and the social sciences. Ultimately charisma is the result of excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as these skills can be learned and developed - so developing your charisma is possible.

Becoming charismatic involves paying careful attention to how you interact with other people; the traits that make up charisma are positive and appealing to others. The charismatic person uses their skills to get people on their side, perhaps from a professional, ideological or social point of view. For these reasons charisma is often linked to leadership skills.

Charismatic people are confident people – or at least have the ability to appear confident. Being confident to communicate in a variety of situations, one-to-one, in groups and in front of audiences is a skill that many people struggle with.  A charismatic person can not only appear confident in communication but they can also help others feel confidence too, thus aiding and enhancing the communication process.  Charismatic people are confident in a positive way, without being boastful or egotistical.

As with confidence charismatic people are, or have the ability to appear, optimistic.This means they try to see the best in other people, situations and events - they usually remain cheerful and 'bubbly'.  Charismatic people have the capability to encourage others to see things as they do, thus they can enthuse and enable others to feel more optimistic. 

Although charismatic people are very good at showing their true emotions when this works to their best advantage, they are usually also good at masking or acting in a way that makes others believe what they see.  The analogy of a swimming swan is useful in this example, calm and serene on the surface but with a lot of hidden activity out of view to the casual observer.

Charismatic people are both interesting, others want to listen to what they have to say, and interested, they want to listen to what others have to say. Charismatic people are often good storytellers, with an engaging manner when speaking and explaining.  They are able to communicate their message clearly and concisely, being serious and injecting humour where appropriate to keep their audience attentive and focused.  When they are in one-on-one or small group situations, charismatic people will use open, relaxed, body language including lots of eye contact.  They will watch for feedback from their audience and clarify their position accordingly.  When in larger groups or making a presentation to others, body language will be more exaggerated in an attempt to include everybody.

The Importance of Good Communication Skills

Being able to communicate effectively is the most important of all life skills. Communication is simply the act of transferring information from one place to another. Like actors on stage, in our daily life, communication is both vocal and non-verbal, using body language. How well information can be transmitted and received is a measure of how good our communication skills are. And hey can be learned or improved by attending drama classes.

Learning acting techniques and developing your communication skills can help all aspects of your life, from your professional life to social gatherings and everything in between. The ability to communicate information accurately, clearly and as intended, is a vital life skill and something that should not be overlooked. It’s never too late to work on your communication skills and by doing so improve your quality of life.

Professionally, if you are applying for jobs or looking for a promotion with your current employer, you will almost certainly need to demonstrate good communication skills. They are needed to speak appropriately with a wide variety of people whilst maintaining good eye contact, demonstrate a varied vocabulary and tailor your language to your audience, listen effectively and work well in a group. Many of these are essential skills that employers seek, and they’re also at the core of the actor's training.

Acting Tips You Can Apply to Real Life

“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.” — William Shakespeare, As You Like It

Taking an acting class will teach you a lot about how we put ourselves on display and the preparation it takes to highly perform on stage and in life. It can be nerve-wracking but the key is to appear natural, be it job interviews, conversations with friends and significant others or even ourselves. Here are a few ways to act out in real situations.

The stronger the visualization, the better the performance. People generally don’t want to see the exercise being done — they want to see the results. Steer the focus away from the “I.” Stress the verb part of the sentence. You can scream “I love you” or “I LOVE you” to vocalize the action. 

Go into a room with a goal in mind and don’t leave the stage without trying to get something, stir a reaction from the other person. Pretend you know the outcome of the situation. It will make you play out the process in a different way. For example, if you think someone is going to react poorly, you might act more desperately and ruin your chances. Positive thinking can’t hurt. 

Breathe, relax and resonate before speaking up. Start small, then go big or go home. Change the beat when you’re making a longer speech. Being monotone is boring. The more changes, the more rich it sounds. 

Don’t always attack to win an argument. People get frightened to flight or fight mode when you provoke selfishly. You could gain favor with a different type of energy. Get your audience sympathetic to your cause. They’re more likely to listen if you show vulnerability and root for you to win. 

Actors appear magnetic and charismatic because they can demonstrate immense interest in another person. Project your full attention outwards, and the room will be drawn to your enthusiasm instead.

Life Skills Learned in Theatre

Many students find that theatre helps them develop the confidence that's essential to speaking clearly, lucidly, and thoughtfully. Acting onstage teaches you how to be comfortable speaking in front of large audiences, and some of your theatre classes will give you additional experience talking to groups. Furthermore, your work on crews has taught you that clear, precise, and well-organized oral communications are best.

Most people expect theatre students to exhibit creativity in such areas as acting, design, playwrighting or directing, and many companies do recruit creative thinkers. But employers are not always aware that theatre experience also helps you learn creative problem-solving techniques that are applicable to many jobs. 

Being involved in theatre productions and classes demands commitment and motivation. Many theatre students learn to transfer that attribute from theatre to other activities such as classes and jobs. For employers, that positive attitude is essential.

Your work in theatre companies teaches you how to work effectively with different types of people.Theatre demands that participants work together cooperatively for the production to success; there is no room for "we" versus "they" behavior; the "star" diva is a thing of the past. In theatre, it's important that each individual supports the others involved. Employers will be pleased to know that you understand how to be a team player.

In theatre, you're often assigned tasks that you must complete without supervision. Crew chiefs. Directing. Putting together this flat, finding that prop, working out characterization outside of rehearsals. It's left up to you to figure out how best to achieve the goal. The ability to work independently is a trait employers look for in their workers.

As a theatre student, you have many opportunities to assume leadership roles. You may, for example, assist a director or designer and lead other volunteers, serve as a crew chief, or even design or direct a production yourself. Leadership training like this can open the possibility for comparable opportunities in a company that hires you.

Theatre training teaches you confidence in yourself. Your accomplishments in theatre show you that you can handle a variety of jobs, pressures, difficulties and responsibilities. You develop a "Yes, I can!" attitude.

A Dramatic Approach to Business Training

React was one of the first companies to bring a dramatic approach to business training and have been doing this for over 20 years. They understands the power of theatre and combines this with commercial insight and a positive approach.Their carefully chosen network of actors spans many ages, locations and professional backgrounds. Each member of the team has a talent for bringing situations to life, connecting with people and giving constructive feedback.

React approach is positive, generous and creative. As a pioneer of dramatic techniques in business, they are at the forefront of practice in this field. They have core values, underlying thinking and established techniques that help them help their clients. They recognise the transformational power of positivity. We look for positive ways to approach challenges. They aim to make everything they do fun, memorable and inspiring. By delivering engaging learning experiences, they help people and organisations be successful.

React turns theory into practice and put experience at the heart of learning. They use drama techniques in practical skills courses, full development programmes, coaching, theatre lab work and bespoke projects. We enjoy building long-term relationships with clients and seeing the difference it makes. They help people be successful through creative learning experiences. Clients often describe the results as a revelation, because it involves developing the skills they already have and discovering things they didn't know you could do. The difference it makes – to individuals, teams, departments and organisations – is dramatic.