Physical Acting Is More Than Just Movement

Feel what you’re doing.

What Is Physical Acting?

Physical acting is sensing and feeling what you’re doing with your body – and using it to create drama and comedy.

It’s not the same thing as physical theatre. But it’s of course an essential physical theatre skill.

And it’s crucial to any actor, whether you’re involved in physical theatre or not.

The physical aspect of acting is inevitable, no matter what type of theatre or film you do. All great actors are “in their body”, even though they aren’t considered to be physical actors.

Most acting methods are primarily psychological – even psychoanalytic. They get into great detail in terms of characters’ emotions, wants and desires. Concerning the body, their goal is to have it relaxed and ready to respond to the actor’s imagination.

Physical acting training is also psychological in the sense that the actor must understand what he’s doing and how it reads to an audience. It’s less analytic and has more focus on what’s happening – physically – in the moment:

Movement, attitude, gesture, facial expression, hands…

Oh, the hands!

What to do with your hands on stage?

What do to with your hands is one of the biggest practical issues for actors.

There’s some very good general advice in this video :

Of course, as an actor you need to play with both the dos and don'ts of a video like this in order to be more free with your hands on stage.

Eventually, the goal is to perfectly free with your hands. And even use them as an acting tool.

More about that soon.

Articles and more detailed resources on physical acting to come here on this page!