Somatic Acting Process® (SAP®) is a new movement-based acting practice emerged from the integration of my experience as an actress, somatic practitioner and researcher. It is part of my ongoing acting explorations for over a decade. This ongoing process was first formally shaped through a practice-as-research PhD at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama while teaching actors in UK-based actor-training institutions.
SAP® is situated among various modern practices that support the contemporary actor's embodied experience, awareness, creativity and communication. It indicates a contemporary approach to improvisation and movement-based processes originated in Stanislavski’s last rehearsal techniques of physical actions and active analysis while suggesting new flexible experiential languages, dynamic and simultaneously individualised concepts in acting.
My contribution to the actor-training field introduces an original integration between acting and somatic movement practices inspired by principles of Body-Mind Centering® (BMC®) and Authentic Movement. It further develops the well-established application of somatic approaches such as Alexander Technique in actors’ movement education by modifying Cohen’s somatic process of embodiment into a learning and creative acting methodology.
My modification of Cohen’s somatic process of embodiment in acting underlies all the SAP® explorations which I identify as relational fluid structures. The support of each actor’s expression, creativity and communication towards the embodiment of roles and text happens through improvisations on body-systems (such as bones, muscles, organs), human movement development and their integration grounded upon sensorimotor perception, breathing-based processes, contact and active imagination.
Somatic process of embodiment in acting also gives actors a creative methodology for their own contribution to rehearsals and shaping of original pieces. This creative methodology is comprised by six steps which can be explored cyclically and in any order in response to each actor’s present experience, focus and interest. Creative and critical reflection through various modes is highlighted as a necessary step for the development of each actor’s intellectual and embodied integration that allows the emergence of unique creativity.
SAP® is an ongoing and open process that is dynamically shaped in relation to the actors as movers within and witnesses of their own creative processes. My aim as somatic trainer-witness is to hold each individual actor's creativity and expression, while supporting the understanding of acting not as objective ‘science’ but as emergent interrelation between mind and body, inner and outer, self and other/others. The suggested intentions include processes of developing concentration, relaxation, imagination, creativity and communication. These necessary for actors embodied qualities are shaped through individual and relational improvisations that introduce each actor-creator various pathways towards their own embodiment of characters and text.
My ISMETA profile as Registered Somatic Movement Educator (RSME) can be accessed here