Hybrid Arts Flutist



Posted on June 20, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Today and tomorrow will feature the same questions, but (possibly) different answers since half my class learned to beatbox today and the other half will learn tomorrow. (PROJECT Trio in da hizzy!)  I had originally planned on Day 4 being body language and Day 5 being a performance, but I decided to squish these two days together and teach the same class twice. So, tomorrow will have the same title, but will be Take 2.

Get on with it!

Part 4 & 5 (Take 1) - Body language creates a sense of comfort


Performing is to share a piece of the soul

Today I asked, "What're some body language things that make someone look comfortable?"

  • Relaxed arms
  • Open torso
  • Comfortable sitting position
  • Straight backs (looks professional)
  • Eye contact with the audience
  • Smiling
I then asked, "What're some body language things that make someone look uncomfortable?"
  • Crossed arms
  • Shoulders forward/collapsed
  • Sloppy walking
  • Seeming apathetic
After this brainstorm, I took each student out of the room and gave them a specific emotion. They would then enter the room and, using body language, speech and 100% commitment, attempt to portray that emotion as clearly as possible. The rest would try to guess what that emotion was. 

This game was harder than I thought it would be. It's very easy to portray "happy" or "sad", but to fully show "painful heartbreak due to a loved one's sudden death" requires some visceral action. This last emotion, I gave to the shyest student in the room. Perhaps this was cruel on my part (sorry!!), but I was hoping he would jump out of his shell a bit with this. I think I was asking too much too soon, but I could tell (after working a bit with him on it), we did get somewhere and there's potential there for something extraordinary. At one point while we were working, we closed the doors to the room and I screamed as loud as possible to demonstrate the kind of reaction I would have in that situation. Apparently another elective heard us... whoops.

At any rate, after this little exercise, we then talked about how some of the best artists seem to be sharing a piece of their soul with the audience when they perform. I then asked each student to say one thing about themselves (using a stage voice) that is essential to who they are as a human being. Not just, "I play the flute", but something deeper and perhaps secret about themselves. I asked them to really open up and share.

Now, asking a bunch of teenagers to share something is like asking a piranha not to take a bite out of your foot. But these students surprised me. Not only did they go for it themselves, but they sat and supported each other as each person went. Needless to say, I was incredibly proud of how they attacked this project.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's entry, Getting Comfy with the Stage - Part 4 & 5 (Take 2)

Categories: Stage Presence, Aware, Genuine

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