Some years ago when I was trying to solve some coordination issues for some actors in the University of Washington Professional Actor Training Program, what I was learning gave me a new way of seeing how electronic media might be affecting child development which might be affecting imagination which would of course affect acting techniques, and might explain the odd coordination patterns that I was viewing through the mirror of the Alexander Technique. The linking of all those separate threads – linking images – is foundational to creativity – and is a skill that not all of those who are what I call ‘electronically-raised’ are able to easily do. (On the article page of the website, there is more information about this topic in the issue of Direction called Paradigms of Self.)
The Alexander Technique has proved to be a very useful tool to retrain image-making skills in adult performers. Using the Alexander Technique in order to do sensory-based games/exercises develops the skill to create 3- dimensional omni-sensory images; using the Alexander Technique in order to do imagination games/exercises trains or re-trains linking skills. The research confirming the plasticity of the adult brain confirms the viability of the process.
The next step could be a call to action regarding early childhood education. Today’s blog is a response to a Huffington Post article that does call for action regarding children and handheld devices –
What the article doesn’t directly mention is the cost in coordination. I teach adults who are in pain because their movement seems to mirror the 2 –dimensional media that they grew up with. Their movements are jerky, some seem to try to turn their torsos into a square or rectangle, or pancake themselves as flat as they can get. They have spent so much time thinking of themselves as small and 2-dimensional that it takes diligence for them to reform their self - images. They can – and the Alexander Technique is the ideal tool for the job.
Registration is open for the Friday Harbor Residential (see the tab on the website for details.) It is almost fully booked – there are spaces available in the extension. I will start a waiting list for spots in the first 5 days.
I have been absent from the blog for a while because I was preparing my manuscript for publication; its expected publication date is January 2015 – I will keep you posted.