The Sound of Silence

Winter in Canada is quiet. A blanket of snow absorbs the noise of the world and renders it silent. The world looks quite different when it is silent.

Have you ever watched a TV show or film in silence? When you narrow your focus to the visual sense without the auditory accompaniment you have a whole different experience and can see things with a fresh perspective.

Your audience takes in everything you present simultaneously, but if you isolate the components of your show into voice, facial expression, gestures and blocking and then examine each one separately, there is an opportunity to take your overall performance to a higher level of precision.

When you watch a television program, a political debate or speech, or a presentation of any kind in silence, mannerisms and facial expressions are magnified several fold. In film school they teach you to manage your facial expressions. Just one grimace or frown can ruin a shot that doesn’t call for those expressions. Some people may find their face is not expressive enough. This too can be identified by watching a replay of your presentation in silence.

Before every stage show or film shoot we did physical exercises to warm up. One exercise used by professional actors and broadcasters is called “The Lion”.

While breathing in deeply, scrunch up your face as tightly as you can. Your eyes, mouth, cheeks and nose should all be squeezed to the middle of your face. Then while exhaling open your eyes and mouth as wide as you can and stick your tongue out all the way, as far as you can down towards your chin. Repeat this five times, then look in the mirror to see the difference.

It looks crazy and you don’t want to do it on the bus, but you will really feel the blood rush to your face. After doing “The Lion” you will look – and feel- much more relaxed and energized. It brings energy and expression to your face.

Take advantage of the ability to take “selfies” and see for “yourselfie”.

~ Christina Kaya