© IYA Studio 2020

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Google+ Icon
  • Black YouTube Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon

Living in the Moment on Stage

GUEST AUTHOR - Charles Kouri


Living in the moment, or being in the moment is an expression you might typically hear in reference to the way we go about our daily lives. That is, to focus on what we are doing now and not be overly hung up on the past or the future.  It is quite easy for instance to get caught up in what we will do a day, a month, or a year from now with respect to our goals and ambitions. On the flip side, we can just as easily become focused on the desire to relive an exciting memory from our past that we miss out on some exciting or wonderful opportunities that we could be experiencing right now.

It goes without saying that this same rule applies to acting. More specifically, to live in the moment on stage means that you need to focus on your current actions, feelings and emotions and tackle them as they occur. We all too often get hung up on remembering our next line that we easily forget about the truth that should be emerging from our craft.

After attending BTT's first Weekend Intensive scene study course,  one of the most powerful lessons I learned was that the moment you begin to look ahead and consider your next line or action, or question a choice you made during a performance, you are no longer living in the moment on stage. During our first scene presentations, many of us felt that we were stuck in our own heads and overly focused on moving to the 'right spots'. However given the nature of the two day course, we all had the opportunity and assistance to more effectively disseminate the text, modify the staging, and most importantly let it all go for a few more presentations.

​​Living in the moment, or being in the moment is an expression you might typically hear in reference to the way we go about our daily lives. That is, to focus on what we are doing now and not be overly hung up on the past or the future.  It is quite easy for instance to get caught up in what we will do a day, a month, or a year from now with respect to our goals and ambitions. On the flip side, we can just as easily become focused on the desire to relive an exciting memory from our past that we miss out on some exciting or wonderful opportunities that we could be experiencing right now.



It goes without saying that this same rule applies to acting. More specifically, to live in the moment on stage means that you need to focus on your current actions, feelings and emotions and tackle them as they occur. We all too often get hung up on remembering our next line that we easily forget about the truth that should be emerging from our craft.

After attending BTT's first Weekend Intensive scene study course,  one of the most powerful lessons I learned was that the moment you begin to look ahead and consider your next line or action, or question a choice you made during a performance, you are no longer living in the moment on stage. During our first scene presentations, many of us felt that we were stuck in our own heads and overly focused on moving to the 'right spots'. However given the nature of the two day course, we all had the opportunity and assistance to more effectively disseminate the text, modify the staging, and most importantly let it all go for a few more presentations.

​​By the time everyone had made their final scene performances, it became apparent that the characters had truthfully come to life by virtue of the actors living in the moment and honestly connecting with their respective scene partners. Certainly this was not only my experience but the experience vocalized by most of the other classmates by the end of course.

Memorization, creativity during rehearsal, and deconstructing the text are very important steps to consider before presenting any scene or play, but it is equally important to let go of any pre-planned movements, gestures or actions once you are on stage, and simply feed off your scene partners presence and react off of what they are giving you accordingly. This exchange is what allowed the scenes to flourish in the brilliant ways that they had throughout BTT's first Weekend Intensive course. Thinking about the next action or worrying about any mistakes you might have made or could make will only hinder your ability to truly live in the moment. It is this very ability to be in the moment that gives 'acting', whether on film or on stage the truth it needs to convey, and as a result, give a performance the honesty that it might be lacking. As such, one of the most significant discoveries I made during this course is that you should always make the choice of living in the moment, whether in life or in theatre, a lifelong practice.