Thanks To Jonathan Lyons at comedyforanimators.com / Stupix for this link.
I thought I’d briefly look at what the “yellow” character is doing so well.
I love the way this actor is so distinct in his movement from one body position to another.
He snaps in and out of poses using all the extremes of his body. He bends and straightens his neck to emphasise head movement. He lengthens his fingers as well as his arms. He turns his feet in and out.
And I love the way his sharp movement makes the change really clear – his changes from one emotion to another are so clear and sharp that the change itself often gets a laugh.
Visual comedy is great when the characters have strong emotions and emotional reactions.
In a non-verbal performance, I like to write out a script of emotions instead of words.
This actor is doing it really well… shocked, confused, upset, delighted…
Good rhythm makes a character really come alive.
The New York Times said of Bill Irwin: “This uncanny comic actor has always exuded the sense that he is listening to music that no one else can hear.”
That is a very astute comment about visual performers.
Try this at home:
Get some knives and forks and imagine you’re a butler in a show.
Lay them out on a table ready for a very important meal.
Now do it again, but this time put some music on. Let the music feed your movement.
Really get into it! You don’t have to dance, you just have to move.
Try it with different music.
I use this idea a lot. I had a tune stuck in my head for years. Not quite knowing what it was, a friend asked me to sing it to them. They identified the song as Girls Aloud’s “Promise I Made”. It was a few weeks later that I realised that in fact it wasn’t Girls Aloud, but the Blankety Blank theme tune.
So if I am ever flagging in a show, I just have to sing the song in my head, and I’m back up to speed.
Please don’t judge me!