Nazaudy, a spark in your curious mind

Acting lessons for beginners

During early 2023 I finally enrolled in Acting lessons for beginners in the city of London where I live, attending Wednesday evening at the Umbrella Rooms location in Shaftesbury Avenue. The lessons were organised by City Academy and delivered by our teacher Sophie, she's absolutely amazing, indeed very knowledge and extremely good at the time of supporting and creating our human lab experiment, the Umbrella rooms where she was given us lessons. This article is basically nothing but a summary of her teachings, I'm writing them down here so I remember in the future

Sophia gave us lots of tools, like tools for a belt in a construction worker, and it would be up to us to take whichever tool we need for whichever operation/role we have to play

We only got control of our muscles, not our lungs, bones or anything like that: all we can control is our muscles, and funny enough not all of them!


Your body is your instrument for an actor, your hands, your expression, etc, so you have to be aware of your tool to use it according to the needs of the role to play. At the beginning or every lesson we warm-up doing 'relaxing' exercises, similar to the Tai Chi warm up that I have been doing for 10 years before each of my Tai Chi lessons. A good insight of Sophia's knowledge happens to me when she told us to touch our forearm with our hands, but concentrate in how our hands are feeling an not our forearm....interesting thought, definitely promoting the 'think out of the box', which many actor/actress do

Shake the lower jaw: Hold your hands forward, lower your back and loose your lower jaw, then shake yours hands. The result is a blahblahblahblahblah as your lower jaw shakes gently

Work out your diaphragm: maintain a steady, constant flow of air until you start feeling a burning sensation on your diaphragm. This video shows you what we were doing:

The motorbike with your lips: cover your mouth to prevent saliva being spit out, then from low tone to a high pitch start emulating the noise of a motorbike, the principle is that if you open your mouth, that sound will translate into a scream. You need to do this exercise just with the right amount of air in your lungs

Hustle walking: walk around the space saying "to be or not to be, that's the question" on different paces, slow, fast, rushing, even backwards

Mirror moves (flock): to be aware of your surroundings, one person in a group should start moving as they want while the other mirror her/him, then by eye-contact the role of the leader is passed from person to person. They are not right or wrong move, in fact, all moves are correct, whichever move the leader do, the followers like on a flock should replicate instantaneously

One foot-jump into the unknown: I really love this one, with your eyes close jump with one foot either forward, backward, left or right, and then jump back to the original position, all of that while having the eyes closed and maintaining the equilibrium. The key point of this exercise is to jump with one foot at a time only. Doing it with your eyes close empower your fear and allows you to control it

Sentences: on different tones, shout out aloud these sentences. The different tones are: Demanding (you are shouting to a child), Easy-going (you are shouting to your friend after smoking a joint), Imperative (you are surprise and shouting with short breath putting pressure on your diagram

  • Hey!
  • Hey you!
  • Hey, stop that!
  • Hey, come back here!
  • Hey, what are you doing?

Laughs: out aloud say these laughs, remembering that that "HAAAA" is on high pitch, and of course you have to do it all with one single breath


What did you do to die today at a minute to two to do



7 Level of Tension: The first thing to know is that acting is not actin,g, is living, to be an actor you need to believe in what you do, in the role that you're playing. Jacques Lecoq seven level of tension or Emotional State are a great thing to know, these are the 7 level of tensions actors can experience:

  1. Exhaustion; you can barely talk, the tension in the body is zero
  2. Laid back, Californian style, yeah, whatever
  3. Neutral
  4. Alert or curious
  5. Suspense
  6. Passionate, for better or the worse. The level of Passionate could be, you have won the lottery! or you have lost the ticket!
  7. Tragic, of dear, the boat is sinking!

3 circles of energy; They were created (or discovered) by Pasty Rodenburg and I personally found them absolutely fascinating.

  1. Focus on yourself, you walk minding your own business with zero eye contact to others. When speaking you say what you like whether the other person likes it or not: "hey guys, welcome to the party, there is food, drink, help yourself and see you later"
  2. You are fully presence, walking with confident, making deep but brief eye contact. You know what you are doing
  3. You are outward



At the end of every lesson, we end up doing a collective game. We were about 15/20 people, and these are the games that Sophia taught us

Zip-Zap-Zop; everyone form a circle, the one person says "Zip" pointing with the hands to another person with a clap, specifically pointing to somebody else to pass the energy, there should be no shadow of a doubt to whom the next person taken the energy is. That person do the same thing but with the "Zap" word, pointing to somebody else in the circle, that other person will do likewise but with the word "Zop". The game at the end will be Zip-Zap-Zop continuously, whoever fails on the rotation is out of the game. The game should be quick and fast

Observing: walk around the room observing everything, taking mentally note of how many stuff are there, the colours, shapes, etc, then stop, close your eyes and point with your finger to a bit of red, then something purple, then a bit of clay, or fabric, or a black and white object....are you really observing?

Unanimated object talk: find something on the room, a plug, a broken pen, anything, and start talking to it, how are your day? how do you feel being that?are you a friend of someone? do you know what you are? are you upset for something? Just keep talking and keeps developing the conversation. Connect with the object and let the mind flow the conversation