Acting - Movement

Movement is key to helping you with characterisation and to maintain interest in your performance. However, unnecessary and too much movement can make your performance weak and unbelievable. When thinking about your movement skills for your performance, you need to ask yourself, 'how would my character move and for what reason?' If you don't think your character needs to move, then don't; go with your natural instinct, but ensure your movements are purposeful. Gestures are another aspect of movement: sometimes we use gestures to reinforce what we are saying or we use them for non-verbal communication, instead of words. But as with movement, you must ensure they are purposeful and reflect your character.


To be successful

Advice or tips to help you


· Plan your movements

· Ensure that your movements are purposeful and that you don't just 'wander' around the stage.

· Plan where you are moving and when and write them down.

· Bring your character to life through purposeful movement. This may mean moving in a different way to the other characters. Move when you think you should, not just for the sake of it.

· Decide why your character is moving and if they need to. Always move for a purpose. If you don't think your character wouldn't - then don't.


· Reflect your interpretation of the role through movement

· Always consider how your character moves and their body language on stage.

· Think about your characterisation and ask yourself how would they sit, stand, walk etc. and why. Observe how people walk, move etc. and look at what factors affect how they move.

· Ensure that you don't over exaggerate your movement as this will distract from your performance.

· Make movements natural and true to your character. Rehearse in front of the mirror so that you can see if your body is conveying your character to the audience.


· Use movements that seem natural to your character and fit with the piece

· Ensure that all movements are purposeful, not awkward.

· Keep your movements very understated and each time you replay the scene, make them larger until you feel comfortable. If a movement doesn't feel right, try moving in another way. Walk differently. Sit instead of standing. You might not need to move at all.

· Draw your set on a piece of paper and draw your journey across the space. From this exercise you will be able to see: 1. Are you using all the space? 2. Are you moving too much?

· Make sure every movement has a purpose as stylised moves in a naturalistic performance can be distracting.

· Concentrate on the actions which communicate your objectives. Decide from the very beginning what style your performance should be and ensure that your movements reflect it.


· Consider how others' movement could affect yours

· Make sure everyone can be seen at all times. Being in the wrong place could affect the movement of the other characters.

· Plan in detail where you will all be at specific points of the script. Make sure you know where you should be on the stage so that when other characters are moving, you are not in their way.

· Consider not performing upstage (at the back of the stage).

· Position yourself so that you are facing downstage (front of the stage) when speaking to another character.