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TYPECAST:
an intro to the work of yAT MALMGREN
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‘Having immense range as an actor is only one side of the coin. An equally valuable currency is knowing your own personal baseline or type, and exploiting that to your advantage. To play to your strengths is an incredibly useful technique and strategy as an actor… but you gotta know them first.’

 

 

What is Character Analysis?

 

Yat Malmgren (1916 - 2002) was a Swedish dancer and acting teacher. He inherited Rudolf Laban’s work and co-founded Drama Centre London, developing one of the most rigorous, fascinating and useful systems for actors: Character Analysis.

 

Character Analysis is a melting pot of Laban’s movement theory, Carl Jung’s character types and psychological concepts from Stanislavski. The system aims to synthesise thought, action and movement in the holistic creation of a character. 

 

Central to the system are the four Mental Factors and their corresponding Motion Factors of SENSING -> WEIGHT, THINKING -> SPACE, INTUITING -> TIME and FLOW - FEELING. 

 

These Mental Factors come together in groups of two to create six Inner Attitudes (character or archetypes for those playing at home). They are Adream (Sensing and Feeling), Awake (Thinking and Intuiting), Stable (Sensing and Thinking), Mobile (Feeling and Intuiting), Near (Sensing and Intuiting) and Remote (Feeling and Thinking).

 

If you’re still with me - congratulations! I could talk about this system for days, but I’m well aware it becomes confusing without an embodied experience. If you’re vibing the theory though… email me and I’ll send you an eight hundred page thesis ;)

 

So… why Character Analysis?

 

This has been one of the most useful systems I’ve learnt for my work as an actor and I use it constantly. The aim of the system is to create actors with immense range who can play across the full spectrum of humanity. This is most obvious in the actors who are trained in this system: Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hardy, Cate Blanchett, Simon Callow, Michael Fassbender, Helen McCrory, among many others. 

 

In 2022, however, having immense range as an actor is only side of the coin. An equally valuable currency is knowing your own personal baseline or archetype, and exploiting that to your advantage. To play to your strengths is an incredibly useful strategy as an actor… but you gotta know them first.

 

So for example, I know of myself, that I’m a Time-stressed Radiating Adream (wow, technical stuff!), however, I don’t usually audition for that type of character. Therefore I have to know how to shift myself into the right character type (or I could actively decide not to do that, which in itself is a valuable choice - but you gotta know the choice is there and how to make it).

 

Okay Danny, we get it, you love it…

but what’re we going to do in these three hours?

 

  • Discuss / explore the Mental Factors of Sensing, Thinking, Intuiting and Feeling and your personal relationship to them.

  • Embody the Motion Factors of Weight, Space, Time and Flow in improvisation and with text.

  • Embody Laban’s Effort Actions.

  • Discuss the six Inner Attitudes (character types)

  • Embody one of the ‘main’ types of Adream, Stable and Near.

  • Understand your energetic baseline and the current limits of your range.

  • You will receive a video link with examples of the six Inner Attitudes (or character types) from film and television.

I'm so excited to share this work with you!

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