Acting Exercise – Engage Your Internal Creativity Through the Shaping and Reshaping Exercise

Engaging your internal creativity is perhaps the primary goal of many actors and performers. The reason for this? When you’re able to fully engage your body, both mentally and physically, you can take chances and connect with the audience in a realistic and sincere manner.

While there are countless acting techniques and tips “promising” to deliver true creativity for actors, many of these techniques aren’t as effective as they are advertised. Although they may have some level of merit, engaging in true internal creativity is something that must be practiced, and not simply read in a book. It will take time, perhaps years; however, once achieved, you will deliver performances that rival even the greatest of performers.

One of the most interesting acting exercises designed to help stimulate your physical creativity is known as “Shaping and Reshaping.”

Goal: The goal of this exercise is to free an actors physical inhibitions as well as helping to support the physical movement between two actors who must work closely together. Of course, it also stretches the imagination and creativity of each actor.

Step 1:

You and a partner stand face-to-face. The first partner then makes a strange shape, such as a fashion model pose, then the second partner must make a different shape; however, this shape must compliment (or be in relation) to the first partner’s shape.

Step 2:

After the second partner has made his first shape, the first partner disengages in his original pose and creates a new pose that works in relation to his partners shape. The goal of this exercise is to help fill negative space without actually touching one another. Make your movements slowly and precisely. Think of how your entire body can be engaged, not simply your arms or legs.

Step 3:

Have an instructor call out several elements or images, and have the two partners shape and reshape their body based on these suggestions. Examples include: melting ice, a gentle breeze, falling leaves, an ice storm, thunder, water rapids, mud, etc.

Step 4:

Repeat this exercise several times until each actor feels warmed up and ready to begin scene study or rehearsal.

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