I would not say I am a fan of the technique – I am a disciple. For many years I suffered with chronic neck pain following a horse riding accident. When my HR manager recommended the Alexander Technique I was intrigued. Her father, a stroke victim, had experienced an incredible recovery from practising the Technique – to the point where he no longer needed a walking stick. After the first lesson I felt a dramatic difference; my neck felt long and free like a giraffe. Soon after that my teacher said I had learnt enough to incorporate the technique into my everyday life and manage my situation myself.
FM Alexander as a young actor discovered the Alexander Technique to improve his performance.
The Alexander Technique helps actors to:
- improve stamina
- increase clarity of perception
- free up spontaneity and
- manage performance nerves
It can help you transform the quality of the ‘action’, gain more control of your breathing, and enhance your freedom of movement and stage presence.
Improved self-awareness allows you to change poor habits and develop a wider repertoire of skills, to deliver your best performance possible. Leading actors recommend AT as the foundation for good use and freedom of movement both on and off stage.
The Alexander Technique is taught at all major drama schools in the UK and around the world and it has been the foundation of the actors' training at RADA for the last 30 years.
There is an impressive list of world famous actors who recommend the Technique; Dame Judi Dench, Alan Rickman, Sir Ian McKellen, Lenny Henry, Kenneth Branagh, Jesse Eisenberg, Jennifer Saunders, Hilary Swank, Julie Andrews, Stephen Dillane to name but a few.
In 2011 Lenny Henry learned the Alexander Technique as part of his award-winning performance as Othello for the Northern Broadsides Theatre Company. He says:
Alexander technique really helped my posture and focus during my stint as Othello with Northern Broadsides theatre company. Imagine how excited I was when arrived at the National theatre for Comedy of Errors and found I could have Alexander taught to me once a week, I was chuffed to little meatballs.