One of the readings we will do is a chapter on “Presence” from Anna Deavere Smith’s book Letter to a Young Artist: Straight up Advice on Making a Life in the Arts. Smith says,” Presence defies the limits of person’s body, defies the limits of the actual space it takes up.” In this workshop, we will be working on stage presence and how you can captivate your audience with your written work.
Smith notes that, “Presence [that captivates] will probably, in the near future, be based on absolute authenticity.” In this workshop we will work towards truly stepping into ourselves, so that standing on that stage and speaking feels like the most natural thing that we could be doing.
Specifics of workshop:
Preparing for the Stage: The course will begin with a focus on everything that comes before we step on stage such as physical and vocal warm ups, grounding, speech articulation, and breath support.
Getting to Know Ourselves as Performers: Throughout the workshop, we will engage in improvisational theater exercises to help us relax and get to know ourselves on stage.
Voice: learning how to find your voice on stage
Stage Presence: class discussion and exercise on stage presence
The Microphone: learning to use the microphone confidently and effectively
Connecting Body and Text: theater and improvisational exercises that will help us connect to our bodies and the role they play with us on stage
Reading vs. Telling: exploring the difference between reading a story or telling a story on stage
Memorization: exploring tricks on how to memorize your text
Stage Fright: discussion and sharing tips on how to deal with stage fright
Your Work: each student will have 20-40 minutes to workshop their individual work and gather tips and feedback
I always tell writers, when you step on stage, you are on a new playing field. Take advantage of that and learn about performing. It can be a lot of fun! A Hugo House student of mine once said, “the workshop literally changed the way I write.” I agree that learning about performing can definitely make you grow significantly as a writer.
Katinka Kraft will teach “Step Up to the Mic: A Performance Workshop for Writers” starting Sept. 13.