This is Part I of an ongoing series on “Directions,” one of the basic premises of the Alexander Technique.
Ah yes quite a wonderful topic. This will span several blog posts I am sure but let me start with this:
We are always directing ourselves all the time, but it is all done unconsciously or at best, semi-consciously. (From the book Man’s Supreme Inheritance (1910) For most of us no matter what culture we were exposed to in childhood, our backgrounds started us on the path to self directing. In many cases this is taught in schools, in places of worship, and we learn to do it as we watch others interact and of course we learn at home. We begin to learn all this well before we can talk or walk. It shapes us and I mean it finally shapes us physically as we age.
The word direction always implies movement toward something as in a series of steps that lead to a result. For example the directions going from one place to another (Google maps) or the directions to bake a cake, or stage directions to the actor. A series of steps as a means whereby a result is obtained. This is direction.
So if one has well thought out directions one can logically expect that the result will be a satisfactory one. If the directions are all a haphazard mess and no logic was used to think them through, then you’ll be lost and frustrated, the cake will be terrible, and your acting performance will not be as good as it could have been.