A sly smirk. Arms stretched open. A foot tapping. A wink...
"Those who speak it fluently are lauded and often immortalized for mastering the art of unspoken storytelling. "
Movement is the universal language that evokes emotion. Those who speak it fluently are lauded and often immortalized for mastering the art of unspoken storytelling. It’s the reason we plaster a star’s name on movie posters and theater marquees; the understanding that an amazing show is about showing, not just telling, and being able to effectively do both.
For artists to be more successful they must get out of their heads, learn to externalize their feelings, their reactions and focus their training to utilize their bodies as vessels to capture and transfer emotions. That’s what’s going to captivate the audience and take their performances to new heights.
From my experience as a performer and director, I believe that if any scene was randomly stopped and frozen, the audience should have a clear understanding of what is happening and how each character is feeling. This is a learned skill that takes thought, precision and practice.
"...artists must be bold and live in a world of stark contrasts: dark blacks and brilliant whites!"
It involves finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, identifying the real emotions and situations we feel every day and bringing them to life. Every story has been told already; the only things that change is the execution and the performers within it. For this reason, artists must be bold and live in a world of stark contrasts: dark blacks and brilliant whites! Anything gray lacks definition, a point, a message and a reason. My expertise is teaching artists how to take the audience on a journey of varied emotions from the lowest valleys to the highest peaks.
The viewers are there to be entertained and see a show, so it’s the performer’s job to give them something to SEE. The moment they announce to the world, "I'm an artist!” they’re handed a torch. Lighting this torch is an eternal flame, and it’s their job to watch over it throughout their lifetime and then pass it onto the next person. But while it’s in their possession, they have a choice to neglect it, or nurture it. There is no limit to how great that flame can be and it’s up to them whether or not their legacy will be a matchstick or a raging inferno!
"There is no limit to how great their flame can be... their legacy will be a matchstick or a raging inferno!"
If there’s one takeaway I want each artist to have from my workshops, it’s an understanding that exploring deep emotions and communicating them physically requires bravery. As soon as an artist makes a decision to unleash their gift, most people will become afraid of the power they possess, because before them stands a person willing to do something in which they could only dream. Every performance is an opportunity, and a responsibility, to advance art, humankind and to showcase all the talent and courage the audience is seeking outside themselves.
"...The act is merely the excuse to showcase the talent."
At the end of the day, the act is merely the excuse to showcase the talent. It’s not about the budget, lights, costumes or elaborate sets; it’s about the person taking the stage. That’s what we’re all there to see. My goal is to help artists express emotions down to every last cell in their bodies so they can make unforgettable moments in entertainment and become the talent that’s remembered in history.
Joshua Ryan Zehner