The Alexander Technique offers original and far-reaching solutions to the problems actors encounter in training and performance. F.M. Alexander (1869-1955) realized that education must consider not what is done to us, but what we do to ourselves. His Technique does not consist of exercises, or focusing on getting it right or “trying harder,” rather it helps us observe how we do all that we do. As Alexander wrote: “It is what man does that brings the wrong thing about, first with himself and then in his activities in the outside world: it is only by preventing this doing that he can ever begin to make any real change.”
Good use of the self is characterized by an overall pattern of economy and freedom of movement. It means, for example, using no more and no less tension than to cross the stage or having the time to breathe with a phrase. The Alexander Technique develops skills that prevent useless habits and self-defeating ideas, all the while awakening the actor to his remarkable capacity for change and growth.