Friday, April 27, 2007

ON ACTING: "Alba Emoting Technique"

While on vacation in Western North Carolina, I did a little pleasurable work to supplement a great amount of familial pleasure: I attended an "emotional expression" acting class at UNC Asheville, conducted by Professor Laura Facciponti. The class explored an emotional activation technique I had never heard of before: the Alba Emoting technique, a method originated by a PhD clinical physiologist, Dr. Susana Bloch in Chile in the 1990s. The essence of the technique is to enable an actor to tap into his/her emotions while at the same time circumventing the highly personal-memory nature of traditional Stanislavski emotional-activation methodologies (normally used in the US). As the Alba Emoting website states it: "The Alba Emoting method allows anyone to learn to consciously induce, express, and modulate basic emotions using the body and breath." In the Alba technique, in place of utilizing recalled or re-experienced personal memories a la Stanislavski as the tap root of an actor's emotional preparation, the Alba Emoting technique offers instead pure and various physical expressiveness exercises (bodily, facially and vocally) to activate directly (without the intercession of actor's personal memory 'consciousness) an actors basic emotions (the Alba theory offers six core emotions: joy, fear, anger, sadness, erotic love and friendly love, by the way).

I watch the students utilize the technique. Afterwards we indulged each other in a 'question and answer session RE Alba Emoting and acting in general; and I found their work and the students (and the exercises/techniques) stimulating.

I vouch for Alba Emoting a valid, practical, outside-to-inside, external to internal, non-psychological, non-personal/historical set of exercises/techniques to enable actors to stimulate their emotionally natures prior to entering a scene; as such, it is yet another distinctive road to Rome (parallelling and supplementing more traditional emotional, inner-to-outer, Stanislavski-inherited techniques) toward the actor's required 'destination': preparing a vibrant, exciting, emotionally-open personal instrument prior to the actors entrance on stage or on screen.


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