About Performance

Articles from No. 13, 2015

'Being Inside the Story': A Phenomenology of Onstage Experience and the Implications of Flow
Performing arts health is a collaborative field, specializing in care of a unique population who have been described as a distinctive combination of artist and athlete (Ambegoankar and Caswell 2011). The field has historically been dominated by a medical...
'Dropping a Part': The Changing Relationship of Midlife Actors with Their Profession
Old actors never die; they just drop a partThe 2014 edition of the Australian online actor database Showcast lists 12,700 adult actors. Of these just over a quarter-3,160-are aged between forty and sixty.1 While the training of actors continues to attract...
Feudal Positions and the Pathology of Contentment: Sites of Disconnection for Australian Theatre Actors
INTRODUCTIONThis article surveys symbolic sites of disconnection and disenfranchisement of actors, while holding connection and enfranchisement as crucial to wellbeing, and so suggests potential threats to wellbeing across the breadth of the acting challenge....
Introduction: The Lives of Actors
What are actors' lives like? What kinds of experiences, over the course of a career, do actors have? How does their training prepare them both for the work they will find, and for the lives that they will lead as they pursue that work? What problems...
Mourning Becomes Catharsis: An Autoethnographic Account
INTRODUCTIONTo play Electra in Sophocles' play of that title, the ancient Greek actor Polus purportedly brought an urn containing the real ashes of his dead son onto the stage. In the second century CE, Aulus Gellius reported in Noctes Atticae that[t]here...
Portraits of Actors: Elspeth Ballantyne, Julia Blake and the Challenges of Biography
INTRODUCTIONInga Clendinnen describes the process of writing biography as being morally, socially and legally dangerous (2007, n.p.). In my experience of writing biography it is dangerous morally because of the possibility that the subject and his or...
The Academic Lives of Student Actors: Conservatoire Training as Degree-Level Study
A case could, it is believed, be easily made out for the direct establishment of an acting school under the exclusive aegis of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. This is not recommended, out of deference to the view that the University should...
The Australian Actors' Wellbeing Study: A Preliminary Report
BACKGROUNDPerforming Arts Medicine coalesced as a discipline following the first Symposium on the Medical Problems of Musicians held in 1983 in Aspen, Colorado, and the subsequent foundation of the Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) in 1988,...
The Body That Fits the Bill: Physical Capital and 'Crises' of the Body in Actor Training
INTRODUCTIONDiscussions of how students are best prepared for the demands of the acting profession in UK drama school settings frequently centre around the notion of vulnerability, both for its value to engage students' capacity for creative transformation...
The Monster under the Bed: Acting and Trauma in the Rabble's Story of O and Frankenstein
I am watching a recording of myself doing unspeakable things to another actress. I watch my arm's swing as I whip her with a riding crop. I watch my physical impassivity as I make her urinate in a cup before me. I watch my facial boredom as I force her...
Waiting to Be Seen: A Photographic Exploration of New York City Actors
Give me somebody to dance forGive me somebody to show.Let me wake up in the morning to findI have somewhere exciting to go.To have something that I can believe in.To have someone to be.Use me, choose me, God, I'm a dancer,A dancer dances!Cassie, A Chorus...
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