Acting exercises sense memory

To understand what acting exercises sense memory are about we define the word for you.School textbooks often cite only the five classical sensations to see, hear, taste, smell and feel, as nominated by Aristotle. Although senses are involved in sensations, they are not identical to that sensation. The sensation is a conscious interpretation of signals from one sense.

The first four: vision, hearing, smell and taste form the special senses. Feeling can be divided into three distinct senses, all three located mainly in the skin. These are tactile (touch / pressure), thermoceptie (heat and cold) and nociception (pain). These three are the somatic senses.

For a complete picture of the senses add Balance, Movements and body awareness.

Exercise on sense memory , group exercise

Method acting is famous for using sense memory. Derived from Stanislavski's system it is an additional tool to use in preparing for your role.

If your perform these acting exercises sense memory will make it easier to create the pains, struggles and hapiness of your character.

In some acting exercises sense memory and imagination are combined.Make groups of 3 or 4. Together you will set the table for breakfast.

In this kind of acting exercises sense memory is about all 5 senses. Preperation: one table and as many chairs as their are in your group.One by one you put on the table what you need. But only imaginary! You have to pretend!

The first one puts on the tablecloth. You tell the others out loud what you are doing. - "I put the tablecloth on the table".

The next person can bring in the plates. You tell the others: - "I put one plate here, here (here) and mine, overhere".

Now everyone knows where the plates are and where one person site.The next person brings on the cutlery, in the same way the plates were brougt on.

The third brings cups one by one and specifies his seeting.

Table for four? There is only one spot left so you know where you will sit. You start bringing in breakfast. Take turns bringing in bread, cereal, milk, fruit, butter, eggs, spreads etcetera. Make sure you know where everythings is put!Watch out for things that are already on the table! The can of milk will fall when put on the bread! Build your imaginairy breakfasttable.

All set? Satisfied?

Time to eat breakfast. Everything is there. Nobody needs to leave the table anymore. Something missing? Too bad, if it is not on the table you forgot to buy it.

You can enjoy your breakfast together. Try to use as many products as there are on the table. In your converstation do not ASK where the butter is. Imagine you can see it all!

Use your knife as if you really hold one. Pick up the bread and notice how thick the slices are. Have a drink? Is it hot or cold? Do you see where your neighbour puts the butter once finished? If you chew your food, swallow it also.When you hold your knife, is there a little space between your fingers?What does the bread tast like? What kind of cheese is on the table. Is your egg boiled or cooked? Be aware of what you do, how you do it. Try to hear, see, feel, smell and taste your breakfast.


Finished? Try recollecting what you sensed. You felt how you held the cutlery? As a group try to define the sensations you experienced during this exercise. It will help you to become more aware.

Exercise on sense memory, individual

In these kind of acting exercises sense memory is more specific. We exclude sight. Close your eyes on this one. If you are alone, it is advicable to record this exercise so that you can keep your eyes closed for better concentration.

Sit on a chair, relax. It is a good time to do your relaxation exercise. Now imagine you hold a peach. It is a nice fresh peach ready to eat.It is a big one.

Now you take the peach to your mouth. Feel the skin of the peach on your lips. Tast it with your tongue. Smell it with your nose.

Take a first bite. It really is a juicy peach. Feel how drops land on your chin, your hand. Protect your clothes for drops might fall of. And these stains are hard to clean.

Feel the bite in your mouth. Chew, taste and swallow. Slowly without dripping you eat the peach.

It is important to registrate every step. What happens to the position of your fingers when the peach gets smaller. Did you really taste the peach? Feel the drops? Feel the skin? Smell the the sweet smell, hear how you chewed?Did you lick your lips at the end?

It might happen that because of this kind of acting exercises sense memory now makes you long to eat a peach...

Sense memory, exercise for one with a teacher.

In the above acting exercises sense memory is about what you feel, sense. In both exercises you used your memory to imagine what your were doing. While remembering you were active: you set the table, you ate the peach.

In this kind of acting exercises sense memory is about the memory itself. we advice you to have someone with you, either a teacher or collegue. The teacher will help you to get in to the memory.

Preparation: a chair.

The teacher will ask you to sit on the chair and close your eyes. Put your hands on your knees and relax. You do not answer any question, just let it help you to remember more specific.

Now go back to a bedroom of your childhood. Maybe you still live in the same house, go back to an early age an think of how your room used to look. Or maybe you have to choose from several houses. Just pick one. For some it might be a long time ago, others are closer to the memory.

When you are in the room, is it dark or light. Where is your bed, the window. Is there a closet in the room, or a desk? What kind of wallpaper is there, do you see curtains? Are there toys in your room. Look at them more specific. What toys do you see. Can you feel the sheets, what is your bed made of? Is their a light by your bed? What lies on the floor, do you have carpet or cover?Do you hear things that were there in your childhood. If you look under your bed, what do you see? Can you smell the smell that was there in your youth?Are there paintings on your wall? Do you see yourself in the room as an observer or are you in the room yourself?

The voice of your teacher will stop after the questions, you "stay" in your room a little longer.

After e short time the teacher will ask you to open your eyes again. Share with your teacher what you just experienced.

If you practice this kind of acting exercises sense memory will be easier to reproduce.

Safe exercises.

These exercises are relatively 'safe' to do. If you train yourself with acting exercises sense memory will go deeper, you will experience all your emotions.

In your class you might try to go back to other emotions as well. Ask your teacher to help you re-live pain, anger, fear. Do not do these exercises alone at home! You cannot predict how you react, because you are not aware of your hidden memories. It is good to be with someone you trust when unexpected memories pop up.

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