Chapter 29Advanced Directing

Directing Participants

The Mind–Body Connection

To put people at ease means knowing something about how the human mind works under scrutiny. We live our everyday lives comfortably when we can depend on a foundation of assumptions—about our identity, worth, function, and how others regard us. Having an audience destabilizes this in particular ways, as Konstantin Stanislavski, the Russian actor and dramatic theorist, realized. From studying successful actors, he found they had learned to perform naturally and believably by vesting their attention in the thoughts and actions of their characters. Being able to “focus” in this way stilled the anxious, judgmental self and allowed them to function as naturally as if they ...

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