These next 2 weeks we will be looking at animal studies. “This exercise was first introduced by Lee Strasberg as part of the actor’s training. It is taught today to acting students as an essential tool toward a deeper physical characterization of a role. The exercise consists in the exact reproduction of an animal’s behaviour: the actor imitates the sounds of the animal, moves exactly like the animal, and reproduces its general attitude. What Lee Strasberg suggested, though, is not to begin right away with a pure imitation. The actor should, instead, start by carefully observing its behaviour to the tiniest details, asking questions like, “In what does this animal differ from me?” or “What makes it pull its ears back in certain contexts?”. It gets you out of your head and into your body. Actors such as

Marlon Brando use this technique, in A Streetcar Named Desire by moving like an ape; Jim Carrey walked pulling and pushing his neck like a pigeon to portray his egocentric and eccentric personality in Ace Ventura. Consider characters like Batman, Tarzan, Mowgli, Catwoman etc.

Acting Challenge

Pick which animal you would like to study from this list:
Gorilla
Lion
Eagle
Mouse

Then choose the correlating script and record yourself doing the speech. Next consider you animal, what movement quality do they have? Try out the movement and see what areas you are unsure of. Research the animal to become more specific.

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Mindset Challenge:

Focus on the positive in your life. What is going well for you at the moment? What have you accomplished this year? Who are the best people to surround yourself with? Then consider what could be going better for you, what have you still got left to achieve before the end of 2017? Who has a negative impact on how you feel? Remove them and concentrate on the positive, influential and supportive people around you.

LESSON AUDIO