Developing intuition for the contemporary actor


Authors: Micia de Wet
Page Range: 521-527
Published in: Brain, Body, Cognition, 9#3 (2019)
ISSN: 2643-5683

Table of Contents


This article provides a critical analysis of intuition for actors and suggests how a proposed somatic practice may develop an actor’s intuition in order to facilitate intuitive behaviour in theatre performance. In this article, I discuss findings pertinent to my current original Practice as Research (PaR) PhD inquiry. I argue that intuition is an energetic sensitivity that produces a governing will and is experienced as a pre-cognitive interoception in the enteric nervous system (ENS). I give evidence to suggest the ENS and vagus nerve form the gut-brain axis involved in the biological process of intuition. I argue that intuition may be developable due to the body’s capacity for neuroplasticity. I hypothesise that an actor’s intuition may be a psycho-physical state by considering Flow and Absorption theory. I propose that an actor’s intuitive behaviour influences their thoughts and emotions, physical actions (gestures and movement), and vocalisations (language and sound) within a performance environment. I propose that intuitive behave-iour for an actor is sensitive and responsive to space, time, and relationships.

Keywords: intuition, actor, somatic practice, theatre performance, ENS, vagus nerve, sensory awareness

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