The final chapter of Keith’s Johnstone’s book Impro (©1979, Methuen) describes tribal mask transformations and possession cults as well as a beginner mask class for actors and improvisers.
Some people are perplexed by the mask chapter, some are instantly intrigued, or even haunted by the images it conjures and the potential power the mask holds.
Curiosity, excitement, facing anxiety – for various reasons students have come to mask classes where they have experienced the freedom from self-critique that the Trancemasks have to offer.
Find out more about how Trancemasks work or join a Trancemask/Full Mask workshop and experience for yourself what happens when we conjure “the thing in the mirror”.
Also called “tragic masks”, full masks can put an actor in a state of receptivity towards themselves, other players and the audience.
Without the voice to rely on, the body speaks truth and betrays what is hidden.
A fundamental shift in the actor’s perspective is gained when the perspective of the viewer is fully embraced. The full mask player doesn’t need to act anymore but simply to illuminate the stories in the minds of audience members and enhance the images and emotions latent in the scene.
Have a look at how we develop the Full Masks in our workshops.
If you can improvise, you can do anything!
The moment we unblock our self-judgment even a little bit, we experience how creativity flows.
The more we create in a playful way and learn hard lessons with lightness and resilience, the more our fears begin to dissolve.
Then the real tools of Impro begin to develop.
Impro, however is not just about ability on stage. Skills learned in Impro can (and will) be used throughout our lives.
Playing out and playing with elements of our lives and our behaviour can be exhilarating and curative. Looking into the way we are and the problems we have is like a rehearsal towards solving them or preventing issues from surfacing in the first place.
The next time you are challenged by something in life, you’ll just think, “ I can handle it. I’m an improviser.”
More about Impro Workshops.