Acting exercises are designed to enhance specific qualities and traits that every actor should be well-versed in. I have been engaging in acting classes for over a decade, and have led several classes myself, and I am always amazed at the number of different acting exercises that are wandering the acting world.
One of my personal favorite acting exercises is called, “Mirroring,” and its purpose is to help actors gain focus while simultaneously engaging two individuals to sync up their energy.
This is also an excellent acting exercise to perform in a new acting class as an icebreaker to help new actors get over their nerves and fear.
The goal of this acting exercise is to have two actors facing each other, and the lead actor begins to make movements while the other actor replicates these movements. Eventually, their movements will happen almost automatically – as if it is one individual looking in the mirror.
Choose an actor to be the lead, and the other actor will mirror his movements. Instruct the lead actor to begin making abstract movements, which may involve his entire body or only certain parts of his body. Instruct the mirroring individual to copy is movements as the lead is performing them.
After 45 seconds, change it up – allow the lead actor to be the mirror. Have the new lead actor perform abstract movements while the other actor mirrors his movements.
Now, revert back so the first lead actor is the lead once more. Instruct him to perform everyday tasks, such as running his hands through his hair, filing his fingernails, tying his shoes, etc. The other actor should mirror these actions.
Make sure that the mirror actor tries to move almost at the same time as the lead actor. This can be accomplished by the actors looking each other in the eyes – focusing their energy and thoughts within each other. Do not allow them to give verbal cues as to when they are moving, but rather support their organic connection.