Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Your brain on acting...

Acting is far more than getting up and saying lines.

You must listen to the other character in a specific environment at a specific time in the story with very specific reasons and reactions.

Observing other people and how they think is as important as saying the lines and doing the movements. 

Knowing yourself and how you make decisions, learn and react is equally important, as that is the platform on which you build your performance.

Research into many concepts and fields beyond the business of acting, will aid you in creating real and believably characters in performances that go beyond the expected, the lines and the motions.

John Medina, a molecular biologist with a sense of humor who chose to focus his research on brain function, found 12 general rules for how the brain learns, develops and reacts, which he describes in his book, Brain Rules (2008). 

Here are the Rules:

Rule #1: EXERCISE - Exercise boosts brain power.

Rule #2: SURVIVAL - The human brain evolved, too.

Rule #3: WIRING
Every brain is wired differently.

– We don’t pay attention to boring things. Rule #5: SHORT-TERM MEMORY Repeat to remember.

Remember to repeat.

Rule #7: SLEEP
Sleep well, think well.

Rule #8: STRESS
Stressed brains don’t learn the same way. Rule #9: SENSORY INTEGRATION Stimulate more of the senses. Rule #10: VISION Vision trumps all other senses.

Rule #11: GENDER
Male and female brains are different.

We are powerful and natural explorers.

Dr. Medina prepared a series of free tutorials on each of these rules, available here (so you don’t have to read the book if that’s not your thing!):

Medina, J. (2008). Brain rules. Seattle, WA: Pear Press

Medina, J. (2012). Brain rules: The 12 brain rules, illustrated. Retrieved December 14, 2012 from 

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