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Today we discussed where we place tension in our body and how those placements can create a character or prevent us from opening up and being honest with the audience. Consequently, we begin working with the neutral mask, which by the way does not entail our bodies to take a neutral stance, but rather quite the opposite — to be big and bold, to take risks and find the full extensions of our physical bodies in order to create the  images found in the space before you. I learned that the job of the performer is to plant a seed in the audience and to let their imagination blossom as the performer moves through her journey. So really, it’s not about what you can do to make you feel something, but what you can do to make the audience feel something. No brainer right? But even I come across the problem of trying to conjure up some tears during a particular line rather than ask myself what the arc of this scene is. Furthermore, the neutral mask helps you take focus away from your face (namely, your emotions) and moves that focus onto your entire body. And by doing so, you have created another tool for moving the audience: your body’s reactions, now being more specific and precise, can evoke sympathy from the audience as they see you struggle climbing a mountain or hopping on stones across a riverbed. And it’s not about the struggles either; the focus is on the progression of your journey — how you enter, how you exit, how you deal with things. Once again, action defines you on stage (and life as well now that I think about it).

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