LecoqWhat is the most important quality of a presenter, which also is the most difficult to develop?
Being real.
We are so used to wearing masks, to fit in, to pretend we are normal and capable, that standing in front of an audience often means putting even more armor.
However, if you cannot be real, and you cannot be open, how do you expect your audience to trust you? The same is true if you are an actor. If you keep your heart closed, none of your skills will matter. From my own experience, I can add – if you don’t know how to be real, when you talk to people, attaining freedom of self-expression is very difficult, if not impossible. It is from a place of deep inner calm and silence, from your core, from your truth, that your personal confidence can flow.
French mime, actor and teacher Jacques Lecoq (on the left) understood it very well. This is why he developed a special tool for teaching actors how to remove their armor and become fully present. This tool is called The Neutral mask. The neutral mask is a blank face, without any expression. It takes away all verbal communications and it emphasizes every gesture, making it very noticeable. The only way to wear the Neutral mask is to take off all other masks – and be real. Yes, imagine what it takes to simply be You! It is very difficult. Yet, when guided by a master teacher, this journey can be life transforming.
It is such an incredible feeling, when you realize – this is me, this is who I am, and I don’t have to do anything to justify my presence on stage. Being is enough. From this place of stillness and silence, from this place of connection to your core self, your talents, your emotions, your energy can flow freely.
This is like returning to a seed to start anew, to grow from your center, to blossom freely.
This August, I team up once again with a theater teacher Arne Zaslove, a local legend, to bring to you a two-day intensive workshop on the Neutral Mask. Arne Zaslove was the first American to study with Lecoq himself in Paris.
The Neutral Mask is rarely offered, so don’t wait. Last class on the Neutral Mask offered by Arne Zaslove was at least 3 years ago.
If you are interested in finding this special place within you, which makes it OK to be you, to be real, to be present, go to www.imagineyourselfworkshop.com to sign up.
Contact me if you have questions.