I’ve had a number of directors send me actors whom they wanted to use for a powerful role – such as president, king, queen or other dominating character – but the actor seemed too weak or diminished. He or she couldn’t project power.
How do we know if a person’s powerful or not?
Subconsciously, we know immediately. Like animals, we are highly perceptive motion detectors. In a blink of an eye we can evaluate another person’s power. This happens in all our daily interactions, but it’s especially poignant in auditioning and performing. Casting directors are constantly evaluating movement quality or body ‘music.’
What exactly is power and how do we increase it?
Some might prescribe a trip to the gym, which could help, but true power is not derived from having or flexing big muscles. True power is generated by exquisite coordination of one self – mainly, having an excellent relationship between head and spine, and moving from this central organizing principle.
Contrarily, If we collapse on or constrict ourselves, we give up our power. We literally impede our ability to do things. Our charisma diminishes as well.
Note the power difference of the same actor:
If we want to play a weak character, this can be an effective choice. Note the actors below and how the power switches between them in the two photos:
We can also lose our power or create weakness for comedic effect:
Often times, especially when auditioning, we’re not aware of what we are doing, how we are using ourselves, and therefore, how we are coming across. We get lost in anxious thoughts or the side rather than staying present and we greatly diffuse our power:
Notice the difference when come back to ourselves, our stature and the present moment:
So don’t constrict and collapse your power away. Cultivate it!