More and more we hear well-known actors mention the importance of breathing as a crucial part their craft, and more and more, acting teachers tell us to remember to breathe, but what is that all about? How does my breath improve my acting? Aren’t we all breathing all the time, just to stay alive? Yes, exactly! We are breathing all the time, except for the times when we get overwhelmed and hold our breath or the muscles of the ribcage are so tight that we can’t seem to fill our lungs with air or even exhale freely, or we create a barrier to disguise our vulnerability by actually stopping the flow of breath. If it is life we want to bring to the stage, not an imitation of it, then for life, we need breath. Open, easy, plentiful breath, that comes and goes on its own time and at its own pace, bringing ease to our bodies and reconnecting us to the joy of acting.
Romance languages use the word inspiration for inhalation and expression for exhalation and they’ve got it right. Tension goes away as we express ourselves without inhibition, alive to the impulses that fill our bodies and imagination. It is only then, when we can leave ourselves open to the inspiration that comes to us from the breath itself.
Come explore the creative liberation that accompanies free, unrestrained breathing. Build your acting tool kit by supporting whichever approach you take with both the simple and complicated tasks of breathing, awareness and joy.