Acting Directing

Video Tip – How Do I Solve Wanderitis?

Written by Craig Mason

Here’s a New Video Tip. Today’s topic is “Wanderitis” 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 and young actors.

Today we’re going to deal with wanderitis. This is a scourge among young actors! It’s the constant shifting of feet, moving the weight back and forth when one is talking. There’s also hand wanderitis too where the actor just lets their hand drift up for no particular reason. It becomes distracting. The movement is often quite subconscious, and that’s is something we don’t want on stage. We want all action to be conscious and purposefully chosen. When an actor has wanderitis that means they’re not focusing 100% on who they are and what they are doing on stage. They’re just talking and letting their body do whatever it wants.

So, practice standing your ground. Plant the feet. Feel the weight of your feet, like you’re standing in cement. How long can you stand perfectly still? Think about the physicality of your character, think about the weight of your character in the feet, are they heavy, cement heavy? Feather light? And remember, even if your character is light on their feet you can’t just wander around. If the character paces, make it a choice, block it. If they’re nervous think about other places in the body to show that nervous energy rather than shifting around. Choose a single movement pattern for the character. Choose specific hand gestures. Make your movement a conscious choice.

A great exercise is to have someone watch you perform, a monologue lets say, and every time you start to move out of character, they raise their hand.It’s an interesting exercise because either you realise how much you move or, as you perform you start to concentrate, and you won’t cause the hand to go up Wanderisis is purged!

About the author

Craig Mason