Teaching "the Expanded Self"
excerpt from: Teaching “the Expanded Self”
CFA’s Polatin calls the Alexander Technique “the actor’s secret”
“Betsy Polatin’s subtle craft is not easy to describe. But her students are happy to expound on the results: after her course, they say, they are more focused, more confident, and more at ease with their bodies. A longtime practitioner of the Alexander Technique and a master lecturer at the College of Fine Arts School of Theatre, Polatin refers to the century-old system as “a practical method for self-improvement.” In the introduction to her new book, The Actor’s Secret: Techniques for Transforming Habitual Patterns and Improving Performance (North Atlantic Books, 2013), Polatin recalls that after her first Alexander lesson many years ago, she thought, “This is still me, but not the me I always knew.
With a light, empathetic touch, teachers of the Alexander Technique help people identify and rid themselves of habits caused by a lifetime of stress. As children, most of us moved fluidly, without self-consciousness or tension. But over time our bodies have a way of sabotaging our well-being with quirks in the way we hold our heads, sit in a chair, speak, sing, or lean forward to open a door. We could all benefit from simple adjustments, says Polatin, who works mainly with actors and musicians.”
Read the full post at BU Today.
AMERICAN THEATRE Magazine – On Being With and Becoming
Read the full review of The Actor’s Secret.
by Michael Bloom – director and writer, and the author of Thinking Like a Director.
American Theater Magazine says:
“The Actor’s Secret is impressive…”
“The Actor’s Secret works both as a solid introduction to Alexander technique and an advanced guide for the more experienced actor.”
“Polatin’s guide is clear and well organized.”