Now the first thing a
star needs is energy, and lots of it. I get this energy through a
process I call "IONizing" the class. In science, the word ion is used to
describe a charged particle, an atom that has gained or lost an
electron. This means that an ion has a positive or negative charge, and
therefore is more highly reactive than an ordinary atom.
In the theater, we go through a process of ionization too, a process
that makes us able to better react with one another. Our ionization,
however, is not achieved by losing an electron. Instead, the ionization
process involves cooperatION, concentratION, justificatION, motivatION,
and finally improvisatION.
In developing effective theater games, it is important to move through
each of these steps slowly. Build student confidence by giving them easy
tasks that they know they can do before asking them to try harder
things. I have several times made the mistake of trying to push new
actors too fast, and the result is that they become shy and hesitant.
Also, try to remove all pressure to "perform." Let a student know he or
she can simply pass anytime he can't think of anything right away.