I’ve been thinking about breathing for actors. Why is that something so basic and something that we all do naturally, seems to be so difficult? When I was explaining the principles of breathing for actors to my new class of private students last week, I was thinking how odd it was that I was explaining breathing. We’re alive so we must be breathing.
Learning to allow the breath to come in to the body without tensing the shoulders and throat and then releasing the air with the sound in a relaxed way is not easy. At least it’s not easy in the beginning when you are so used to shallow, tension-filled breathing. I like what Peter Bridgmont says in The Liberation of Acting – “Today we store breath; it is even a technique for speaking. We store breath and then release it, as thought rationing it for future use…To release the word on the breath almost calls for a complete reappraisal of one’s entire lifestyle.”