Developing Your Character’s Physicality

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Developing Your Character’s Physicality with Matthias Schott

Laban Technique-Animal work-Mask Work-Little known eastern techniques

Laban Technique: Developing Body Awareness. Physical training, particularly Laban, allows actors to become more attuned to their bodies. By understanding the dynamics of movement, space, and energy, actors can expand their range of expression, thus deepening their characters’ authenticity. Enhancing Presence and Spatial Awareness. Actors who undergo Laban training are trained to use their physical presence effectively on stage or screen. Exercises focused on body-space relationships are at the core of the Laban technique, which can help actors confidently occupy and interact with their surroundings. This heightened spatial awareness enables performers to adapt and respond instinctively to the performance space, other actors, and props, adding layers of depth to their performances.

Animal Work in ActingAnimal Work: Animal work is a wonderful tool for creating a physical life different from our own and essential work in our quest to create a character. We base our work on animal movements and behaviour through detailed observation. We become the animal totally. From the humble rabbit and to the majestic eagle to the comical duck and proud lion. Once we establish the animal in our bones, we understand its dynamics. We slowly see how our investigations affect our bodies when we humanise the movements. You find that you truly become someone other than yourself. Down to the way, you lift your foot and scratch your ear.

Mask Work: Working with masks enables actors to step outside of their comfort zones and inhabit characters with distinct physical traits and personalities. Improvisation skills: By learning to adapt to different situations and challenges while wearing a mask, actors can develop their ability to think quickly on their feet and respond creatively to unexpected circumstances. Masks allow students and actors to explore a wide range of emotions without feeling self-conscious.

Matthias Schott: Chekhov, Grotowski, Biomechanics, and Mask Work were among the subjects Matthias Schott dedicated himself to while studying at drama school. Following that, he trained with Edgar Fell (Eric Morris) and Acting Coach Susan Batson both experts on “Animal Work/Creating A Character”. Under the guidance of renowned Drama Centre, London acting instructors Christopher Fettes, James Kemp, and Movement Expert Liana Nyquist, whose expertise has benefited actors such as Michael Fassbender, Gwendoline Christie, and Tom Hardy he started to explore the work of Laban/Malmgren. Starting in 2018, he continued his studies by working with theatre director Mike Alfreds on Laban and receiving guidance from Prof. Ken Rea at Guildhall School on Presence, and with lesser-known Asian techniques.

The advantages actors and actresses can gain from physical training, with emphasis on the Laban technique read more

The Fascination and Impact of Animal Work in Acting read more

„In the mask work, each of us is randomly assigned a mask, intuitively feel it, then improvise together according to that feeling. Through the interactions with other participants, the plot develops and the character you were imagining is being built. Matthias threw me a challenge where he suddenly said, ‘sit, and say something’, out of the blue, i made up a monologue of the character. I didn’t know where the story came from….I was acting out a mix of people who left a strong emotional impact on me. Some of the monologue is what I imagined they’d feel. But on the other hand, because of their influence on my life, I also internalized their behaviors and became those people in some way. A persona of myself was amplified when I was behind the mask. Through this movement workshop, I was able to get in contact with my subconsciousness. Who’d think of that when they come to an acting workshop?! It’s something you must experience for yourself!“ Aurora

„I think of the magic, the intrusion into the memory of childhood. There is happiness and there’s fear to be conquered. The body needs to know that it is being used, that we can count on it. The imagination is being cleared up and that happens through the body – I’m certain.“ Ariane Mnouchkine

„These workshops have really helped me get out of my head and explore my own physicality and how this can be applied to developing a character. Even though I was initially not sure what to expect from animal work, I found it to be a really amazing, transformative experience. By gradually transforming my physical expression and also exploring how my voice changes, I felt that I was able to tap into different parts of myself and work towards creating a character that is “further removed” from my everyday self. Also, the other approaches that we covered, including Laban efforts and working with masks, always spark some new experiences that my body remembers, and I look forward to applying all of this in further developing a character in future workshops!“ Tanja

“The astonishing structure of the body and the amazing actions it can perform are some of the greatest miracles of existence. Each phase of movement, every small transference of weight, every single gesture of any part of the body reveals some feature of our inner life.“ Rudolf Laban

Venue: Berlin
Dates: July 6th/7th
Schedule: Saturday & Sunday | 10:00 am to 1:00 pm & 2:00 pm to 6:00/6:30 pm
Normal Fee 2 Days: 165 Euro inkl. 19% MwSt.
Early Registration Fee 2 Days: 135 Euro inkl. 19% MwSt.
Normal Fee for first day only: 85 Euro inkl. 19% MwSt.
Early Registration Fee for first day only: 72 Euro inkl. 19% MwSt.
Training Ticket 1,5 Days (already had an 3-5 hour introduction): 115 Euro inkl. 19% MwSt.
Participants number limited: 14
For further information & application, please send us an email:

Actors are undercover agents. You must constantly spy on people, studying their character elements…Acting is hard because it requires ….constant study of human behavior.” – Stella Adler

For further information about Matthias Schott please click here