Acting Directing Teaching Drama

Video Tip – Low Energy

Written by Craig Mason

Here’s a New Video Tip. Today’s topic is “Low Energy” View it here.


Welcome to our Video Tip Series. This category in our series is called “How Do I Solve.” How do I solve some of the simple but prevalent acting issues in beginning or young actors.

Today – low energy. What do you do when everyone on stage is just kind of listless. They’re doing their lines and they’re doing their blocking but there’s no energy. The last thing you want to do is say “go faster!” because that’s not necessarily going to solve the energy problem. And faster is not always better.

The first thing is make sure everyone on stage has something they care about. What do they want? How badly do they want it? When a character wants something bad, they’re going to invest energy in getting what they want. What will it take to make every actor invest energy in their character?

Use visualization. Maybe the actor doesn’t understand or doesn’t relate to the emotion behind their lines so they don’t react at all. Make the actor to see the words, describe the images in other ways: as an animal. As nature. As something in nature. As a sport. Whatever it takes.

And, nothing gets the energy up like good old calisthenics. Have the cast do twenty jumping jacks and then launch right into the scene. Have them run around the room as fast as they can. Get them physically moving, it doesn’t matter if it’s the blocking or not doesn’t matter – it’s rehearsal right? There is a natural energy to physical activity that will just as naturally drive the scene. Do exercises where characters have to play tag and chase each other while they do their lines. Maybe have a consequence if they get caught – fifty jumping jacks, that ought to keep everyone on their toes.

That’s it for Video Tips!

About the author

Craig Mason