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What do we have in common? The beauty of the Neutral Mask


The Neutral Mask, made by Simon Edwards

Marian Masoliver

Yes we are all different and yet we are all the same. When we see a tree, a sunset, climb a mountain…The Neutral Mask allows the actor to be present in the space. As human beings we have been given good imagination. Instantly the images come, we just need to let them in. As if for the first time the Neutral Mask sees, touches, hears….It has a state of awarness…technically the mask raises the level of tension of the body and teaches the actor to project physically. The movement becomes clean, clear and amplified. It finds an economy of movement which is precious and poetic. It engages the whole body and it finds the attitudes (strong dramatic moments of stillness).


Jacques Lecoq with The Neutral Mask

A well-worn Neutral Mask is beautiful. It shows us the essence of men and women. It’s a very precious tool for the actor. Not just physically (actors will benefit a lot in terms of ‘cleaning’ their body), but also emotionally and psycologically. When we come from the Neutral Mask we are detached. When we play a character we don’t need to come from a place which is personal. We can understand that as human beings we have anger, hate, rage as well as tenderness, love, kindness… If we can tap in that which is common to all (because we are humans and is part of our spectrum), we can have a distance and actually even ‘enjoy’ playing someone nasty… This is very helpful for film work as well as theatre. The Neutral Mask taught me this. This is why I love Lecoq’s approach because it is so healthy!

Theatre is an Art. And when it is carefully cultivated and understood it can tell us about Truth.

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