When teaching acting, I aim to help students recognize and employ natural talents and gifts, and also to build upon any experience or training they may already have had. To facilitate this process, I share techniques that allow actors to more easily access and release their potential. Sometimes though, I find that what my efforts really build in others is a more expansive sense and grasp of inherent creativity. Creativity is something that we all have, whether we consider ourselves “actors” or “artists” or not.
I especially found this to be true while teaching at Two Roads Theatre Project’s inaugural Summer Acting Lab this July. I think that the time spent doing Acting exercises sparked creativity in the students, which in turn, showed up in areas other than Acting, such as the Visual Arts. Maybe the burgeoning creativity I observed in the students was more heightened because of our collective goal of devising a piece (i.e., students in the Acting Lab created a unique performance piece that was presented on the final night to a live audience), a process that in itself does lead to an increased sense of creative freedom. Regardless of its source, what is certain is that creativity abounded, and further, it transcended the domain of acting alone. Students would not just come up with interesting character choices, but bring in original works of art for the set design! They wrote poetic lyrics, designed unique costumes, and experimented with movement. The original drawing accompanying this post is one such example, created by acting student Edgar Nava and used as part of the set for our devised piece entitled, Larlaguar.
Acting provides an opportunity for all of us to rehearse, or to practice, using our creativity. This creativity can be used in any life endeavor, and sharing it allows each of us to be a fuller version of our self!