it stops the harmony of your art
and are anxiously pulled out of the world you created.
you don't know how it happens, but it does.
you are lost. even if for a brief beat.
actors are both our own instrument and player upon said instrument
which makes self-assessing acting issues during a rehearsal and performance process tricky.
whether your acting methodology is mind to body or body to mind,
when working, sometimes our instincts can physically show us when and where we are LOST.
now, the why of it has variables (so I encourage you to do some internal sleuthing)-
it could be a personal issue,
an inability to grasp the circumstances, the meaning of the moment or depth of character,
perhaps it's a lack of support or clarity from the director or other actors,
structure of the writing...
what ever the case,
a big part of our job is to find ways to make aware, informed choices.
since theatre is a joint effort,
may I recommend that once you've identified the problem,
invite the director to collaborate on a course of action with you.
here is a basic list of physical habits that help me identify where I might be veering off course-
additions are welcomed
the Check list:
or indicators of when we don't know
how to make the moment, idea, word work..
physically illustrating a directed or focused energy to emphasize meaning or status.
2. Folded Arms:
illustrates that we are deflecting, defending, or passing judgment on what is happening in the moment.
3. Hands on Hips:
wanting to illustrate emotional boundaries, physically creating a sense of grounding or status of character.
4. Stuttering Text (when it wasn't written that way):
wanting to illustrate speed of time in relation to thought and emotion.
5. Holding up the Furniture (or Walls for that matter):
illustrates not knowing where you should physically be/doing on stage or fear of taking space on stage.
6. Glued to your Scene Partner:
emotionally compensating for a lack of physical grounding in space on stage. wanting to physically emphasize the emotional quality of the moment.
7. Restless Leg Syndrome (or Wearing out the Carpet):
illustrating or generating urgency or high stakes.