Varieties of Disturbance, a recent New York Profile about actress Claire Danes yields many intriguing and illuminating ideas about the processes involved in her famously “volcanic performances” (of late, most notably in Homeland). Among them, Dane’s passing mention of her occasional practice of walking in circles to get “out of her head”.
If I have a very emotional scene, I’ll often walk in circles before. It gets you out of your head. I’m not afraid to use it.
A way to GET OUT OF OUR HEADS, the thinking, chattering, editing mind? We googled variations on ‘walking circles exercises acting’ and found little to illuminate this interesting technique. We do know that ‘walking in circles of various kinds’ threads through many cultures, as in the image above “A walking and running circle, Warli tribal land Maharashtra, India 2003“, found on a site about artist Richard Long. We have practiced a the Chinese martial art of pakua (or bagua) a bit, which involves slowly walking in a circle, and found that it did indeed get us out of our heads, calm us down and make for a clearer view.
We’d really like to know more about Danes’ technique. Could it be as simple as walking in a circle to get back to one’s more authentic, less edited expression?