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Towards the Potential Space: Addressing the influences that hamper and occlude an actor’s potency and their remediation through psychophysical approaches to learning

Smart, Roger. 2018. Towards the Potential Space: Addressing the influences that hamper and occlude an actor’s potency and their remediation through psychophysical approaches to learning. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

When considering the efficacy of modalities of actor training it is unproductive to consider them as abstract theories applied to generic actors. A meaningful evaluation must take into account the cultural milieu in which the training takes place, and the manner in which acculturation has shaped an individual actor’s sense of self prior to entering training.

Achieving optimal levels of creativity and authenticity in co-regulated relationships between actors-in-role, can be achieved through a process of stripping away an actor’s blocks. Such a process is often characterised by patterns of resistance that can be traced to: reified beliefs regarding the hierarchical bifurcation of body and mind; the nature and function of emotion; an actor’s familial history; the degree to which an actor perceives deep transformative learning as threatening; and the climate in which the learning process takes place.

By adopting perspectives drawn from evolutionary biology, emotions are reconceived as functional and adaptive, a perspective that reframes an actor’s resistance to their experience of transformative learning as a plausible, rather than pathological, response. In this paradigm, psychophysical approaches to actor training must address both the physical and conceptual dimensions of an actor’s sub-optimal behaviours. Enhancing an actor’s emotional intelligence and self-efficacy beliefs is central to this process.

Transformative learning spaces are learner-centered rather than teacher-centered; dialogic rather than didactic; cooperative rather than competitive; and compassionate rather than coercive. Such spaces place an emphasis on learning through the relationship between actor and training, and between the actors themselves. Transformative learning spaces foster learning through cycles of experience and reflection. In so doing, transformational learning diminishes social comparisons, competition, perfectionism and anxiety, and promotes mutual trust and responsibility, risk-taking, and a capacity to tolerate the uncertainty inherent in an improvisatory approach to co-regulated relationships between on-stage characters.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00026101

Keywords:

Actor training, acting, psychophysical

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)

Date:

30 November 2018

Item ID:

26101

Date Deposited:

21 Mar 2019 16:07

Last Modified:

21 Mar 2019 16:08

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/26101

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