Stage presence, embodiment & authenticity
My research interest focuses the actor’s stage presence and the embodied artistic process in educational context, professional development and rehearsals. I explore embodiment through physical and psychophysical methodologies from masters such as Michael Checkhov, Constantin Stanislavsky, Jacques Lecoq, Jerzy Grotowsky, Eugenio Barba & Alison Hodge.
To understand how the actor perceive the world they are in and the world they are going in to, I look at the notion of embodied cognition and even more specifically Margaret Wilson’s notions of cognitions is situatedand cognition is time pressured. The theory of embodied cognition moves away from the notion that body and mind are separated and highlights not only how the body and mind are integrated but also how the experience of our body in the world and within an environment shapes the way we think, interpret and reason. It is a theory that help us to broaden our understanding of the actor’s psychophysical processes during training and rehearsal.
As long as I can remember I have been curious about what is happening inside the actor and why some moments on stage are so incredible powerful that the time stops. It probably all started at a young age with an interest of my own developing process as an actor, both in the learning and in the rehearsal. The interest grew during my year at Central. There I got absorbed by the notions of presence. It felt like everyone talked about presence (which was probably not true). No one could really explain for me what presence means but everyone agreed that presence is something good. One lecturer said we shouldn’t use the word because it was absolutely impossible to teach presence. Another said that it was absolutely possible to teach presence. I felt an urge to find out more about that mysterious state of presence and that was where my research took off. It resulted in my dissertation Demystifying Presence- approaching an understanding of presence in actor training. The dissertation became the springboard I needed for further research.