Circles of Attention   Leave a comment



Circles of Attention t is important for actors to concentrate on their performances.  But this sometimes proves difficult because of the multitude of people in the audience or the swarming crew.  To help, Stanislavsky stressed the importance of developing circles of attention.  Basically 3 circles that increase in dimension.  Retrospectively, as they increase it becomes more difficult to maintain concentration and attentiveness on the objects within the circle.  But once you learn to maintain concentration within these circles, you have achieved what Stanislavsky calls public solitude– ie the breeding ground for that amazing bathroom acting you wish you’d done in that audition.

This exercise basically focuses on SIGHT.  Sit in a chair and start with a small circle of attention– this is the area immediately surrounding you, and includes you, along with any object closely nearby.  Then move onto a medium circle of attention– an expanded area that could include more furniture or a group of actors.  Finally expand to a large circle of attention– everything that can be seen on stage or on set.

Stanislavky demonstrated this point to his students by covering the stage in darkness and putting a spotlight on an actor, eventually increasing the area of the spotlight– therefore everything outside of the spotlight was in dark, making it easier for the actor to visual the circles of attention.  Also experiment with circles of attention where you aren’t in the center (turn on a lamp, then walk into a dark corner of the room).  Learn to shift between circles, working inwardly between the circles to gather focus, and outwardly between the circles once your attention is centered.


Posted January 14, 2011 by annallewellyn in Uncategorized

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