By: Stanley Allan Sherman
© copyright 2013
The subtlety of the mouth and nose of the Neutral Mask is very delicate to sculpt. The smaller something is the more difficult it is to sculpt in most cases. The universe of energy with breath of life. Breathing, which is captured, or a stimulant within the mask is part of what the lips and nose do for the actor/performer.
It is amazing what a tiny amount of clay will do on a lip. We are not going for character here, character masks are off balance. Look in a mirror and cover up half of your face. Now cover up the other half. Are they the same? No in almost all cases, except with some super models who’s faces are balanced. Most people one side of the face is totally different from the other side. Look at faces of people that have committed violent crimes, each half of their faces are usually very different. This off balance in the mask is part of what makes up character. But with the Neutral Theater Training Mask – we are going for balance. A clean Neutral Mask that is driving, revealing, developing and exposing the wearer of the Neutral Mask true energy.
This mask is stripping away bad habits. I remember when we were doing the Neutral Mask section back in 1970 with Jacque Lecoq at his school and how everyone was walking totally differently by the time we finished the Neutral Mask section. A friend pointed out how different I was walking in everyday life. For me there was a big change. Use to walk on the balls of my feet, a little odd. Yes after the Neutral Mask work I was walking differently. It helped enabled me to be able to move in so many different worlds and directions. Which is why sculpting the noses and mouths in the male and female Neutral Masks have the appropriated shape and spirit. Of course there is no one-way to do it. It is a search and discovery; which can be just as frustrating as when you are creating a new piece of theater.
Would love to hear any thoughts or stories about your experiences with the Neutral Mask.
Daily and weekly updates on https://www.facebook.com/maskartsnyc & click”Like”