Acting Movement Techniques : The Basics That Every Actor Needs To Know

Movement training or acting movement technique is essential for actors, of all ages and skill levels. It is essential for auditions, preparation for roles, and getting new ideas on things they can do.

Actors have to be able to move their bodies in order to convey the emotions they are feeling, or represent a character. Using movement techniques will help you get in touch with your physical abilities and express yourself through them.

Acting movement techniques lets you connect with acting and acting-related skills you already have. It can help you let go of inhibitions and feel freer, and it can also improve acting abilities that are not as developed yet.

There are many different types of acting movement techniques exercises that actors should be aware of. These include improvisation, acting-specific movement techniques, yoga/body awareness exercises, and acting through movement.

Learn acting movement techniques with Mel Shapiro.

Learn more about acting movement techniques from an expert with over 40 years of experience on and off-Broadway –  Performance Projects with Mel Shapiro.

What is movement training?

Movement training is something that can be done by anyone of any age.

This includes child actors all the way up to adult actors. When it comes to movement training, there are things you need to do before you start the actual work of movement, but the movement itself does not have one specific goal or direction- rather than focusing on what your body looks like, you focus on what you feel.

In acting movement techniques, rather than focusing on how your body is moving, you ask yourself what the character needs to be feeling and then let go of trying to do anything right or wrong.

What Are Acting-Specific Movement Techniques?

Acting movement techniques are acting exercises used to help acting ability. All acting exercises, including acting movement techniques, help actors improve and develop acting skills and abilities. These acting exercises include:

  • Improvisation: also known as improv, is the attempt to create art without a set plan or script.  Through acting exercises such as improvisation, an actor learns how to think on their feet and be spontaneous.

 

  • Acting movement technique: similar to acting exercises, acting movement techniques are acting exercises where you might not necessarily think about what your body is doing, but rather how your character is feeling.  Acting exercises give actors the opportunity to use their imaginations and become someone else for a little while, which can be very freeing and give the acting process a different perspective.

 

  • Acting through movement: acting exercises such as acting through movement uses improvisation and acting techniques to allow actors to get in touch with their physical abilities, and express themselves through them.

 

Actor practicing acting movement techniques.

Movement training is essential for actors, of all ages and skill levels.

There are many acting movement techniques that actors should be aware of. These include movement of the voice and body combined:

  • Vocal Awareness: Acting exercises that include vocal awareness are used to train an actor’s voice before getting on stage.  These acting exercises allow the voice to become free and more powerful by using the diaphragm instead of the throat.

 

  • Vocal Power: Acting exercises that include vocal power are designed to develop the voice of an actor by teaching them how to project their voice. – Body Awareness: acting exercises that include body awareness are acting movement techniques that help actors be more aware of what they are doing with their bodies, and how it can affect acting abilities.

 

  • Character Development: Acting exercises that help with character development are acting movement techniques that help actors create a believable character. – Bodily Expression: acting exercises that use bodily expression are acting movement techniques used to improve acting abilities, including facial expressions and body movements.

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Movement Training 101

3 steps of acting movement techniques.

3 steps of acting movement techniques.

1. Warm-Up

Before any movement training, actors should warm up their voices and body. It is also important to energetically connect to the movement you are about to do- if not, movement classes could be boring and less productive.

2. Primary movement techniques

An acting movement technique that requires very little effort is to stay where you are and allow yourself to change emotions without thinking too hard about what you are doing with your body.

3. Free up voice by singing acting exercises

Acting through acting movement exercises often requires the acting ability to happen on a physical level instead of just acting with your voice. To free up the acting voice, exercises such as singing acting exercises to rid yourself of tension can be helpful.

Why Acting Movement Techniques?

Young actress practicing acting movement techniques.

Practicing acting movement techniques before an audition is very helpful, especially if the movement is related to the role.

There are many reasons acting movement techniques can be useful for actors, but one of the biggest reason is because movement training helps you to not think about what your body looks like as much as it focuses on how it actually moves.

This means that movement will take pressure off of your face and allow you to focus more on things such as storytelling, character work, and how the movement will affect the overall performance.

How can movement training help an actor get ready for auditions, prepare for roles, and explore new techniques?

Getting movement training before an audition is very helpful, especially if the movement is related to the role.

For instance, movement training has been shown to help actors better portray characters who are more calm and relaxed, so it might be good for someone who needs to audition for Hamlet because they are often more full of energy.

Young actress practicing acting movement techniques.

How can movement training prepare an actor for a role?

If movement training is similar to the movement work necessary for a character, then movement training can help actors who are trying out for roles that they have not done before.

For example, movement training that involves exploring how it feels to be angry might give an actor the movement vocabulary they will need to portray characters who are angry in a scene.

How can acting movement technique help an actor get creative with movement?

Movement training is also a great way to get yourself creative. If movement is essential for storytelling, movement can be used to tell stories with your body as well as your voice and face.

Movement can also be an opportunity for actors to explore movement that they might not normally do in movement classes or movement work on set. This means movement training is a great way to learn new techniques and add more range and flexibility to your movement skills.

Schedule a call to learn more about acting movement techniques.

Schedule a call to learn more about acting movement techniques.

More questions? We can help! Click Here for a Free 15-minute Coaching Session.

The importance of Acting Movement Techniques in the life of an actor

The movement training movement

It’s important to remember that movement training does not need to be done in a group setting. It can be something you work on by yourself, although having the guidance of an experienced movement teacher is always helpful for getting you out of your own way and allowing you to give movement training all of your attention.

Do movement exercises come before or after regular movement training?

Movement exercises often require a lot of energy, and the acting voice will often benefit from movement exercises that come after regular acting training.

However, acting voice can be freed up by acting movements that involve singing acting exercises to rid yourself of tension- acting through acting movement exercises which often requires acting ability to happen on a physical level instead of just acting with your voice.

Practice movement training exercises frequently.

It’s important to practice acting exercises like acting movement techniques, acting voice, and acting movement exercises that require singing acting exercises or acting through acting movement exercises frequently.

This movement training regimen should also be done regularly, which means you can do movement training before or after your regular movement work for the day.

How to start a movement routine at home that will benefit your acting career

Getting movement training from a movement teacher

If you’re interested in getting movement training, either for yourself or for a character you are playing, look for movement teachers who know how to teach movement to actors.

These people can be found both online and in-person, but make sure they have experience with the needs of an actor before investing your time and money with them.

Learn acting movement techniques with Mel Shapiro.

Finding movement exercises and acting movement techniques online

If you’re interested in movement training but aren’t really ready to spend money on classes or workshops, there are many resources you can find online that will still be helpful to your movement work.

For example, videos by Tara Wyatt provide movement training as well as movement exercises and movement technique.

Learning movement at movement workshops

If you’re not ready to become a movement teacher yourself, movement workshops are also very helpful. These can be more expensive than simply learning movement through online videos or movement training classes, but they still provide valuable information for actors who want to improve their movement skills.

Starting movement training in college

Many movement training resources are intended for students who are learning movement, so your movement teacher might introduce movement when you’re in college.

This can be an opportunity to build up your movement skills before you enter the workforce as an actor or movement artist. When movement is built into the curriculum that includes acting classes and other kinds of movement work, it can be a welcome place to start movement training.

Learn more from an expert with over 40 years of experience on and off-Broadway – Performance Projects with Mel Shapiro.

Acting Movement Techniques for auditions: Prepare for roles, and explore new techniques.

Young actress practicing acting movement techniques for actors.

Acting movement techniques and movement exercises are great ways to get your movement vocabulary up.

Movement for auditions

If you need movement training especially for an audition, try to find movement teachers who can help you work on movement specifically for a character or a role.

Movement techniques and movement exercises are great ways to get your movement vocabulary up before going in for an auditioning, but if you have the time and the money, movement training can be very helpful for getting movement information that you might not have thought about before.

Seeking movement training through acting schools

Some actors are required to take movement classes as part of their education or training program, but others are simply able to go out and look for movement teachers on their own for this kind of work.

The important thing is to make sure a movement teacher has experience training actors and knows the kinds of movement that will work well for this profession.

The importance of movement technique throughout the life of an actor

Movement training: both movement and movement technique

As an actor, movement is important whether you’re on stage or in front of a camera. You can benefit from movement work even if you don’t have any movement roles coming up for the next few months.

However, movement training, like other kinds of acting classes, isn’t necessary to be successful in your career. Movement classes and movement work are not a requirement, but they can be helpful for any actor looking to improve their movement abilities and movement skills.

Keeping movement fun and interesting is key to movement training for children

Even if you’re a child actor, movement training works best when it’s kept fun and it’s something that can be done on a regular basis. Movement classes should not replace other forms of acting training your child is receiving, so movement workshops are best done during your school breaks or other moments when there isn’t any acting work to be done.

It’s easy for movement training to get repetitive, so movement teachers recommend movement classes around ten weeks long. Children will often have trouble focusing for longer than that, while adults aren’t generally interested in the movement for movement’s sake, so movement teachers find movement classes around ten weeks long are the best for movement training.

Movement training is recommended for all actors, whether they’re on stage or in front of a camera. Movement work can improve your movement abilities and help you get into character easier than just improvising movement on your own. If you’re interested in movement techniques, movement teachers are widely available. Look online or ask around for movement training near you today!

Movement training is essential for actors and movement work can improve your movement abilities and help you get into character easier than just improvising movement on your own.

It’s also a great way to keep movement fresh with children who are still learning how to move their bodies or exploring movement on stage or in front of the camera.

If you’re interested in movement as an actor, it’s recommended that you start early so your body has time to acclimate. Movement classes should not replace other forms of acting training your child is receiving, so movement workshops are best done during school breaks or other moments when there isn’t any acting work to be done.

For acting, movement is essential. Movement work can improve your body’s ability to move and help you get into character easier than just improvising on your own.

Whether you’re a child actor or an adult, it’s recommended that you start early so the body has time to acclimate with movement training before going out for auditions.

Most importantly, keep movement fun and interesting by making sure classes are available during school breaks or other moments when there isn’t any acting work being done!

For more information on movement 101: basics every actor needs to know please contact us today! Click Here Now for a Free 15-minute Coaching Session!

Summary

Body movement training is essential for acting. Movement work can improve your movement abilities and help you get into character easier than just improvising on your own. Whether you’re a child actor or an adult, it’s recommended that you start early. So the body has time to acclimate with movement training before going out for auditions. Most importantly, keep movement fun and interesting. Make sure classes are available during school breaks or other moments when there isn’t any acting work being done!

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About Author

emergeblog
Jeremiah O`Brian
Master Teacher  | USC School of Dramatic Arts

Jeremiah O’Brian is a faculty member at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. His exceptionally diverse background – from gritty nuts-and-bolts firefighting to film and theatre credits and accolades – is bolstered by his several graduate degrees.

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