Great actors have in common talent, dedication and of course courage. These are just a few characteristics that make great actors what they are. Another thing that you will discover is that great actors have a rich, vibrant imagination. Imagination is actually the most important instrument of an actor. If you want to become an artist you should recognize and, most important, cultivate this part of the brain that is capable of seeing beyond the obvious. Similar to any muscle, imagination needs to be trained. The following exercises will help you develop this important tool and they can be done virtually anywhere and anytime.
Combine imagination with observation
If you have ever enrolled in a cours theatre Paris, then you are well aware that imagination refers to the actor’s ability to treat fictional circumstances as if they were the real deal. The easiest way you can make sure that your imagination is alive and strong is to combine it with observation. Taking into account that we live in a fast paced world and that there are numerous things that can distract us, it is no surprise that our powers of observation are not sharp. This is why it is a good idea to set aside some time and get out in public.
Instead of admiring nature, you should focus your attention on a person of your choosing. Notice all the details of what they are wearing and try to picture where they would live. Try to think about how their house is furnished, whether they are lonely, how much money they make or what they dream of at night. There is an endless number of questions that you can think of asking before that person comes alive. Do these exercises again and again until you get tired of exerting your imagination.
Stanislavski through practice
The first thing that you need to do is find a space and stand in a relaxed position. Imagine yourself being pulled up by strings. The piece of string is running from the base of your spine through the top of your head and up the ceiling. Pretend that you are being gently pulled into the correct position. Another way to nurture your imagination is to imagine that you are standing right in front of a desert. Not only can you see the dunes running off into distance, but you can also hear the wind whispering and feel the sand blowing up against your face. If you find the exercise difficult, then you should not force anything. Build gently using your imagination over a longer period of time.
When you are analyzing a script, you should look for facts about the character’s existence. These facts will ultimately create the parameters within which your imagination will have to work. Once you are finished with your assessment, release your imagination to continue the work and fill in the experiences. The general principal is the following: you have to daydream. The activity that is so frowned upon during classes will actually help you as an actor. Start daydreaming as the character. You can fill in sensorial details and thus give life force to the character you are playing.