by Mark Coleman
I am an actor/theatre director/drama teacher who recently stumbled across Authentic Movement through my interest in Eugene Gendlin's Focusing, after I recently came across some very illuminating articles about movement on the internet which drew parallels between the two methodologies. One was Barbara Chutroo’s Meet Your Body,
( http://www.focusing.org/bodywork.html )
I am new to the idea of AM, but I think I have been using it for a number of years without being aware of it, in my synthesis of Michael Chekhov's Psychological Gesture (PG) techniques with Focusing. I was immediately struck by the congruity of the creative/performance applications of Chekhov's PG & Focusing with the Authentic Movement process.
Chekhov taught actors what he called the Psychological Gesture: “the embodied essence of the character” which would condense the intricate psychology of a character into a powerful, clear and simple movement; an organic, moving metaphor.”
Of course, both Focusing and Chekhov’s exercises are psycho – physical processes and have much in common with Authentic Movement as I see it. All three connect the inner life to a communication with the body, which is really the essence of acting, it seems to me. All three techniques seek pathways by which the heart and soul can be fully em-bodied and in-corporated, the inner made outer, the invisible made visible.
I would love to know if anyone else out there has any experience of the extraordinary complementarity of these three techniques, particularly when applied to the actor’s creative process.