The Psychological Gesture

To succeed in being an actor, you have to take his courage, overcome obstacles, avoid traps, open to others and overcome his fears. Many psychological gestures to integrate into our personality to help us reach the top.

If you were to make a gesture that expresses your current mood, what would it be?

And if you had a gesture expressing your ideal self, the person you dream of being?

Michael Chekhov, the writer Anton Chekhov’s nephew and pupil of Stanislavsky Russian master has developed a method of original game based on the imagination and sensitivity of the body. His method is developed in two books: Being Actor and Creative imagination of the actor.

One of the tools of his method is the Psychological Gesture.

What is the psychological gesture?

It is a tool to use his creativity to incorporate the psychological characteristics of our character. It is a gesture that will serve as invisible architecture to create our character.

Basically it’s a move involving the whole body which alone sums up the motivation behind the character.

According to Michael Chekhov, the movement executed with force has the power to stimulate the will, nature awakens in us a desire and intention calls us feelings. The psychological gesture thus has a triple impact on the will, desire and feelings.

Make the move to free yourself from your fears, imagine a move that would represent this dynamic release and run it by getting involved completely.

Your mindset is already different, something has changed, you may feel more powerful, more courageous …

What are the characteristics of psychological gesture?

The Psychological Gesture, unlike the daily gesture is an archetype. This is a general model representative of a set of similar gesture. He must keep this symbolic dimension and be beyond the everyday gestures.

It must engage the whole body, psychology and the soul. It is a way of unifying the mind and body, it must be performed with total investment. Also involve your breath in motion.

It must be powerful, whatever the person it belongs to. Even a weak character must have a powerful psychological gesture, without falling into excess muscle tension. The power of gesture comes from the psychological commitment that we put into it.

It should be simple, psychological gesture is the architecture, the backbone of character. It is used to summarize the complex psychology of the character.

It has a beginning, a middle and an end. The psychological gesture must be drawn with precision. To reinforce his power, once completed the physically move, we must extend the projecting our strength and our intentions in the direction suggested by the gesture by keeping the final posture for another ten seconds. You can start from any position. If for example the character is a being oppressed on all sides looking to break free, you can start withdrawn yourself in a defensive position and open yourself to freedom.

The pace of psychological gesture on which it is running must match the rhythm of the character. By varying the pace of implementation, the meaning of the gesture may vary.

When to use the psychological gesture?

It can be used from the first work piece to approach the character as a whole. It can also be worked separately to address specific scenes.

The gesture is the secret architecture of the character, it should not be shown to the public. It is a tool for exploring and incorporating the character.

How to find the appropriate psychological gesture?

When you approach your character, you ask what is the main desire of your character. Then from there, find a gesture to represent.

first use the hands and involve the whole body. You can from a neutral position or a position suggested by the character. For example, if a character mauled, lost that seeks to find a light in his life, you can from a closed position of withdrawal to go to an opening to the sky and others.

By continuing to regularly work your psychological gesture, by reading the play or the scenario, you will find enhancements to make your move that will become more accurate and close to your character. In a change of line of sight, or open hands into details more precise gesture will express and feel different things.

Use the psychological gesture to enrich your life

For fun, train yourself to look for the psychological gesture of the people you pass in the street, historical figures, fictional characters or people you admire.

Perhaps in seeking psychological gesture of people who inspire you the most, you will approach them and reach their success. In any case I wish you and me!

Look for a gesture that matches your purpose of life, the person you want to be. Work this gesture regularly to remind to yourself your goal. In this way, you incorporate this objective unconsciously.

You can also find a number of steps corresponding to different attitudes you want to develop. For example if you feel you need to open up more to others, find the corresponding psychological gesture. If you tend to get distracted, find a gesture symbolizing the concentration towards your goals etc …

Explore, test, have fun!


This article is coming from my french website :

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