There are two streams to this work. One is in the understanding of the functional/anatomical side of how we work. How we work when we work well, and just as importantly how we work when there is tension, stress and difficulty.
In order to be in free and flowing response to the world around us we need to be both fully supported and freely moveable at the same time. Yet these are two conditions which seem paradoxical. When we see someone in a moment of full attention and response we see this working together. In our experience in these moments we are hardly even aware we are flowing; we are experiencing being connected to what we are doing. We are present, grounded and freely responding to the moment. Yet when we our not experiencing this we are aware of tensions, difficulty, or stuck-ness. This integration is inseparable from our attention and intention to the present activity; to every moment we are living.
The workshop is a practical and experiential approach to understanding the fundamental principles of how we are designed to live freely in relation to gravity and the planet. It reveals what is occurring when that innate ease is missing and the detrimental consequences that has. It teaches the tools of how to use our own sensitivity to accurately understand what is happening in order to allow our inherent integrated moveable freedom.
This model flows into the other stream of this work as it demonstrates how our intention and attention are inseparable from whether we are responding freely or if we are caught with tension and imbalance causing disconnectedness, held breath, unease etc.
The beauty of this work is that it not only demonstrates but provides a profound understanding of how intention coordinates us. We look at how we work from the point of view of the thinking, breathing, feeling, responding in the moment person.
It addresses the ideas, issues and habits that cause disharmony in our rehearsal, practice, auditions or personally. Through taking the time to understand how we are caught in something it is revealed how to work our way through to being free of the issues we thought we “just had to live with”, or “are a necessary part of the process”, or which we have struggled to control for a long time.
Directors are very aware when they are not being understood or not communicating clearly. They are also very aware when they are stuck on how to approach an actor when they perceive the actor is caught in a difficulty or in a habit.
Actors are aware when they are shutting down in auditions, rehearsals and performance. This can happen due to many things. Perhaps it is their relationship with the director, sometimes it is t is due to their own stuckness with the text or nerves about meeting the challenges of the role.
This approach gives both the director and actor the tools to literally free themselves from these difficulties so they can have a very creative approach to the challenges of the play as opposed to being trapped in the problems with themselves or each other.
Physical problems are clearly addressed giving ease and freedom to the actor’s breath, voice and movement and their ability to respond imaginatively and spontaneously. For the director a whole new insight into how to approach issues arises as they have a very new understanding of how intention works, and how we operate on a physical level.
The expert in these workshops is the individual who wants to look at freeing themselves from their own habits or challenges in rehearsals, practice, auditions and a myriad of other ideas they would like to be clearer on.
By exploring how intention really works, and how it affects our very present-ness they have a different perspective with which to approach their relationship with each other, the text, and all the abilities they have to convey meaning.
In the practical workshops the tools of how this works are clearly revealed so they can take with them an accurate and fundamental understanding of how to approach problems when they occur, be they physical, vocal, emotional, or intellectual.
There are currently LearningMethods™ teachers on staff with the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, the University of Minneapolis MFA program connected to the Guthrie Theatre, and with the Prince Edward Island Conservatory for Performing Artists and The University of Avignon Theatre Department.