Playing is a daily exercise for all of us. But the case is different for acting. Some people can act better than others. As an actor, it is important to play sports every day. It’s like another job where you should constantly improve your skills. A great way to improve your skills is to train as much as possible every day through daily acting exercises.
Acting isn’t a game of “pretend.” It’s an exercise in being real.Sidney Poitier
Scientists have shown how important exercise is for healthy living. Physical exercise improves a person’s health and well-being. I’m sure everyone has heard of aerobics. It is the basis for good physical condition. It is a great cardiovascular exercise for everyone. Usually, many muscle groups are involved, which improves the functions of the heart and lungs. Hiking, running, aerobics, swimming, and cross-country skiing are good examples. Strength training is a type of exercise that works against gravity. Weightlifting, push-ups, and rock climbing are some of the popular weight lifting sessions.
An important advantage of this type of exercise is the maintenance of bone and muscle mass. Muscle strength has improved. This is particularly important for older groups. Strength training helps prevent or delay osteoporosis. If you train regularly, your body will be more flexible and balanced. It has better resistance and bone density. For the elderly, this helps minimize falls or painful and potentially fatal breaks. Yoga and tai chi are great exercises for improving flexibility throughout the body.
Several studies have shown that an immediate benefit of exercise is to relieve mild stress. Have you had a stressful day at the office? Want to yell at you? Take a short walk and feel your stress and anxiety go away. Brisk walking improves the flow of serotonin, chemicals in the brain associated with a positive feeling.
Nowadays, most actors focus on auditions and do not want to practice their skills through daily acting exercises. You have to understand that playing is like any other form of art, whether it be dance or song, where the constant practice is essential.
Yes, practicing at home is a bit difficult since most exercises require a partner to train. But trading is also possible without a partner, and you can practice various aspects of trading. For example, you can practice voice, sensory memory, physicality, posture and characterization.
Yes, we will discuss various theater exercises that we can do alone. Practicing these exercises daily not only improves your performance but also learns more about yourself as an actor. You have a better incentive for your environment, your actors, your scenes and your impulses. In general, you are more receptive as an actor, which is an important aspect of an actor. Before training, make sure you have the right equipment. Most actors do not even have the equipment to train.
What are the theater exercises alone?
Here I have collected seven exercises that you can do every day. These are basic exercises that focus on the central aspect of performance.
Ok, let’s start with the exercises.
Acting Exercise: Senses
Feeling around is the simplest action exercise you can do on your own. As the name suggests, you have to feel the environment. Touch the sound you hear or the objects you see. You should take stimuli or impulses from the environment.
Listening skills are a central aspect of the action. Morgan Freeman says that to act is to listen. An actor who listens well has a very good chance of succeeding in this profession.
What I mean by listening is listening through your senses.
Use your ears to hear all the sounds you hear,
Use your eyes to see the co-actors of the surrounding objects,
Use your skin to feel the objects around you. Touch them, see what type of texture they have and what type of feeling they have,
Use the tongue to try the different foods you have so far,
Use your nose to smell what type of scent is around you,
Yes, I will give you the good advice to do this exercise well, but for now, try to have the sensation of the five senses
Take a minute and watch your senses. I know the senses are one of the most beautiful things. The senses are more sensitive to the actor. Yes, sensory memory technology is about how senses assist us in acting.
There are a few things to consider in these exercises. Do not wear shoes, stockings or gloves in your hand or wear sunglasses. I advise you not to use music.
Choose an empty spot for this exercise; and follow these instructions;
- Go to the floor and try to smell the floor. Try to feel the texture, try to feel the temperature when it is cold or when it is hot, when it is slippery or when it is dirty.
- Now let the ground smell. Make sure you walk so that the ground feels the texture of your foot (I know the ground cannot see, but you have to believe that the ground is something alive that your foot can feel).
- When you start to feel the ground, and let the ground smell it, focus on your breathing. Don’t force your breathing; just feel how you breathe. Focus on the time it takes to breathe in and out.
- Now add ambient noise to your focus. Discover the sounds around you. It can be the sound of an air conditioner, a fan, a wind, or a contact person. Listen. Do not think about it.
- Now, with all the previous steps, add the feeling of space around you to focus. Try to feel the space around you with your whole body.
- Do this exercise for 5 minutes.
It is important to note that if you lose focus on one of the steps, you will return to the step and try again. Practices is required for this exercise; therefore, practice, and practice.
Believe me, if you master this exercise, you will be more reactive as an actor. You will be right at the moment, and you will be stimulated not only by your co-actors but also by the environment, even by the things that are not in front of you, but you imagined that they are there to shake the scene.
Acting Exercise: Vulnerability
It is one of the most powerful exercises I have ever experienced as an actor. I still remember the day I did this exercise for the first time. It produced different emotions from me. I felt anger and sadness, and its effects stayed with me all day.
I’m not saying that it affects you personally every time you do this exercise. It’s just that as an amateur actor, you don’t know how to deal with these emotions. But if you learn to act, you will learn to create and release these emotions when the job is done.
This exercise is a modified version of the “How do I feel?” Exercise.
In this solo drama, imagine yourself in your life and tell them what you think about it. It is usually a monologue, but you share your personal life there.
This exercise helps you spark the emotions which you might need to portray in part. These are very vulnerable emotions, which could be a broken heart or the loss of someone, or extreme anger or happiness.
I recommend that you record your exercises with a good camera and a self-listening kit. My personal favorite kit is CorLED. Buy a camera with remote control and suitable support to record your exercises or rehearsals. Since you are doing these theater exercises alone, there is no one to give you your opinion. And feedback is the most important part if you want to grow as an actor.
- First, select an emotion that you want to express. Whether it is anger, sadness or appreciation.
- Now choose the person in your life who is still alive. Choose the person with whom you feel this specific emotion. If you need to portray anger, choose someone who will make you angry every time you see them.
- When you have chosen the emotion and the person, imagine the person standing or sitting in front of you. First, you need to imagine details like hair, clothes, smell, and eyes among others
- Continue talking for about 4 to 5 minutes. Don’t stop or stop. It’s a monologue, just say your heart.
You may not feel anything at first, but after a few minutes, you will feel the emotions you have chosen. You may need to stop exercising due to these intense emotions but continue. If you stop, you will never have the sensitive skin that the actor must-have.
Don’t be afraid to express your feelings as an actor.
Check the registration when you are done. See if you exercised sincerely or not. If you see, you are wrong. Repeat the exercise.
Acting Exercise: How do I feel
One of my favorite books is “No Acting Please” by Eric Morris. When it comes to sensory memory, Eric is an absolute teacher. He believes that an actor can only use all of the senses if the actor’s instrument is perfectly adjusted.
What does he mean by that? He thinks that the body of an actor is like an instrument that must be adjusted to function perfectly. But our life today influences us even on stage or in a scene. It’s the worst thing you can have if you want real performance.
Even if you have been playing for years, your personal life occasionally prevents your instrument from playing at an optimal level.
How do you handle it?
Eric Morris thinks that simply recognizing your feelings could make your instrument work.
This is one of the most important solo method exercises that I have added to my repertoire. I do it when I am at home or in the car or during rehearsals or even before the performance.
How does this exercise affect your body?
When you realize what you are feeling at this time, your body accepts it. When you accept that it exists, your body frees itself from this emotion and prepares to be influenced by another emotion.
This exercise takes you back to the present moment. Follow these simple instructions for this exercise:
- First, ask the question, “How do I feel?” Answer the question aloud or semi-audibly.
- Answer the question within two seconds. Be aware that you are not trying to force your feelings. Express how you feel.
Example: how do I feel? I feel calm. How do I feel? I feel the cool weather. I feel fresh. I feel empty now.
Continue to express what you feel. If you feel nothing or nothing, you remember it. Just express it.
Acting Exercise: Breathing
The voice is the most important instrument for an actor. Take a great actor; you will see how he uses his voice with great effect. It is not only the quality of the voice but also how it modulates it to transmit emotions.
No factor affects your voice as much as your breathing. Even doctors recognize that correcting the respiratory process can correct most speech disorders.
How do you control the respiratory process? Follow this address:
- Lie on your back on the floor with one hand on your stomach.
- The first thing to do is to breathe only through your nose and not through your mouth.
- Inhale until you feel your stomach rise. Try to inhale as much as possible.
- Exhale slowly and without force with the “hmmm” sound.
- Repeat the steps.
By simply mastering this process, you can improve the quality of your voice.
Acting Exercise: Wait
Again, this is one of my favorite exercises that I can do on my own. One great thing about this exercise is that you can do it anywhere.
If you can only monitor your daily routine, you will find that there is much to wait for. You wait, you can wait for the bus, the taxi, the train, or the cafe or even a friend.
Waiting for something is kind of a complete scene that you can recreate. Yes, there may not be many dialogues, but it is a situation. You can exaggerate the situation but start the race against the time element. There are different angles you can play with.
The advantage of this exercise is that it covers almost all aspects of the game. For this exercise, follow the instructions below:
- Choose a place with enough space to move around freely and add a chair or something to sit on.
- Now choose a setting. Offstage is an event that has happened or will happen. For example, go to an audition. It is an off-stage future. Design the scene in detail. In this example, you can say that you have a monologue. So you’re trying to remember it. Decide when the hearing call will take place. Are you late or do you have time?
- Now imagine that you are on a platform and waiting for a train.
- Now do what you naturally think of. But be aware of the scenes. Here we have taken a sample audition so you can try to think about it while waiting for a train.
- Be in the situation; don’t leave it. And you play yourself, and there is no character. Be honest about the situation.
If you are doing these theater exercises at home, you can record yourself with a camera.
I also recommend that you keep a performance journal in which you can write about your experience with these exercises. A performance journal is a great way to analyze your progress as an actor.
Acting Exercise: The memory of meaning
If you ask me what an exercise is, you should do all the theater exercises alone. It is an exercise in sensory memory. Sensory memory is a technique that an actor can use the senses to recreate an object or a moment in the past.
Many actors confuse it with emotional memory. But it’s completely different. Emotional memory is a technique in which you use an emotional event from the past in the scene. But it does not work for all actors. There is no sure way to improve emotional memory, as this technique is used to try to remember how you felt that day.
Just thinking about the sadness, you felt when your pet died doesn’t bring sadness onto the scene. It may work for some actors, but it requires a good memory of this event and the ability to reproduce it in your head.
However, if you master the memory of the senses, you can create an event with your senses in detail. And the emotions generated by sensory memory are always real.
Let me give you an example of how sensory memory works in a scene. Suppose you have to feel like you’re losing someone in a scene. You can choose an event from your past when you lost your beloved dog. You will, therefore, try to remember the event with your senses. Try to remember the color of your dog, his warmth when he touched his body, what he felt when he hugged him. If all the stimuli are correct, the emotion is organic. You cannot cry, but you will certainly feel the sadness of losing it.
However, you must practice sensory memory every day to create a series of events that you remember with your senses. If you regularly practice sensory memory, you are used to remembering every moment of your life with your senses.
There is no good direction for this exercise; it is observation. However, first begin with small objects such as marble, stone, and a ball.
Observe this procedure:
- Examine the object first with a sense of touch. Feel the texture and the hardness.
- Then you can observe the color, pattern, or irregularities with your eyes.
- Feel the object.
- If it is an edible item, try it. Otherwise, the above steps are sufficient.
- Now put the object down and try to recreate the object with your senses simply. In other words, imitate him.
Acting Exercise: Thought process
Have you seen one where the actor does nothing but always captivates you as an audience? The actor may appear inactive due to the external appearance, but it is active internally.
What do I mean by internally being active? Does this act or think like an actor?
You must know that you can’t hide anything in the public eyes or the camera. Either way, you think it shows. You may think that this is not visible, but your body is too sensitive and continues to transmit your thoughts with your body language.
How many times have I seen actors show their nervousness in the scene without realizing it? How many times can I easily see that the actor is trying to remember the next line by just looking at them in the eye? It is therefore important that you keep your thinking process in the dimensions of the character. Even without dialogue, the audience will know that you are still the character and not you. Therefore, this exercise alone helps you tailor your thinking process to your needs.
Follow this address:
- Sit comfortably in a chair.
- Now choose a goal in your real life. To help you understand this exercise, I ask you to choose a real goal. However, when you are preparing for a play or a movie, you can choose the destination of your character.
- Now ask yourself what will happen if you don’t reach your goal (not strong). For example, let’s make a bad appearance. If you don’t get it, you can go bankrupt or not pay the rent.
- Now ask a question about the consequences if you cannot reach your goal. In this example, you can say that you cannot pay the rent. So the question you are asking is: what if you can’t pay the rent, you could be kicked out. Now continue with the next question. What Happens When You Are Deported? You may need to move into your parents’ house. What Happens When You Return to Your Parents? Your parents may ask you to end your acting career and ask you to take on a real job. Now ask a consistent question for this answer and so on.
All you have to do is keep thinking about the questions and not try to act. Whatever you think, it will show up in your body language or your eyes. If you do this honestly, you may even experience real emotions. For this exercise, you need to record yourself with a high-quality camera. So, you see, was your body expressing your thoughts? Otherwise, you did not ask any questions.
The Importance of acting exercises
Effective or emotional memory, for example, are two of the most important techniques of acting in style and rely on relaxation and sensory memory. The student recreates a high state of his / her life by describing sensory experiences at the time of a specific event or recreating sensory facts in the body. He does not tell the story or present facts about the situation, but only links the sensory experiences of a teacher in the classroom. This maintains the student’s safety and the privacy of personal information. We use such techniques to respond to the feelings of fear, jealousy, joy, excitement, laughter, pain, anger, and love, as needed to create the character of responses that the character requires. These increased memories must be at least seven years old – new pain never occurs – and this should always be done in class with an experienced teacher who can deal with any challenges that may arise. Experienced students can make Less-loaded or “normal” life memories without having to be taken by the teacher during the process.
In both cases, as with all exercises of the method that require response and expression, the only difficulty arise when the students do not cross completely and fully (through causes such as fear, resistance, blocking, etc.). This may lead to the body starting tingling and freezing due to the sensation A dead-end expression. There are easy techniques to clear this and keep working.
Students who do this work successfully and repeat the memory as an exercise multiple times, arrive at work via the memory of life, and recover the experience, leading to loss of its “kick” by learning about repetition. The student also has the opportunity to “manage” and “monitor” the state of past life from abroad, to unleash any concerns that may still revolve around the experience and take over the process from a new perspective and armed with new resources. Distance is obtained and this leads to healing, self-confidence and a sense of personal strength in resolving issues of life, maturity and insight.
Although acting raises a lot of fears and fears about forgetting your streaks, falling over the mat on the opening night, looking like a fool, making things, etc., and putting a lot of pressure on not being good, beautiful, or gifted enough. Students get an opportunity to work through their emotional and life problems during the training process if they wish. Often successfully deal with weak self-esteem, shyness, jealousy, lack of confidence, fear of observing or communicating with groups of people, the inability to be “yourself” and so on. If the artists undergoing the training process go through, they become much more self-accepting – they give up their masks – and learn how they are. This allows them to be honest and open and to express themselves honestly as artists.
daily acting exercises
We need to emphasize that the daily acting exercises relate to the training of actors. However, it became clear to me over time that developing insight, maturity, personal, spiritual and emotional development, and awareness and treatment of psychological problems, as well as understanding and accepting oneself, seemed to be part of a package. Acting is a very personal process in which an individual trains and uses it – body, mind, emotions, sound, movement, creativity, and thought – to create “others genuinely”. When you work with yourself in this way, you must produce truth, self-awareness and self-knowledge.
Also, these steps are used to observing things around you with the previous steps. In this way, you will remember every moment with your senses. So if you want to recreate them or use them as a replacement, you can recreate them using your senses. There are many more drama exercises I can do on my own, but I have tried to explain a few that I think can help you as an actor. In the future, I will try to add more and expand the list. If you like these exercises above, share them with your fellow actors and simply direct them to this site. It will not only help them but will also motivate me to give you more than your fellow actor.
RELATED ACTORS RESOURCES
HOW TO BE A GOOD ACTOR OR ACTRESS
HOW DO ACTORS ACT? HOW ACTORS CREATE EMOTIONS
ACTING CLASSES – TYPES OF ACTING CLASSES (AND WHAT YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT THEM)
ACTING EXERCISES – 15 WAYS TO IMPROVE ACTING SKILLS
HOW TO ACT EMOTIONS – ACT OUT AN EMOTIONAL SCENE
ACTING LESSONS – HOW CAN I LEARN ACTING?
MICHAEL CHEKHOV TECHNIQUE – AN INTRODUCTION
ACTING FOR THE CAMERA EXERCISES – TIPS FOR ACTING ON CAMERA
HOW TO EMBODY A CHARACTER
HOW TO ACT BETTER – FIVE WAYS TO BECOME A BETTER ACTOR
MEISNER ACTING TECHNIQUE