Call The Midwife. Delivering under pressure.

  I filmed an episode of Call The Midwife this week. It was a great reminder of what to do when you have to work fast with no time for making mistakes. You have two takes at most and then it’s onto the next shot. With the camera, lights, director, crew, all with all their eyes on you to ‘do it right’ the pressure is great. You can’t let nerves get in the way. Complete focus is what’s called for. Lines have been learnt so now it’s time to inhabit them.

 Like giving a presentation, you need to know your material inside out and then ensure that you are both physically and mentally ready to deliver it. When nerves creep up on you, they can affect the clarity of your diction and create anxiety, so as I was getting the final touches of my 1950’s bouffant perfected by the makeup artist, I did a quick mouth and tongue warmup, followed by a tongue twister. This helped me to feel in control of my words as my mouth felt agile. Feeling more relaxed gave me the mental space to think about how I wanted to affect the other character. Communication Collective uses a technique to ease nerves when addressing an audience by breaking a speech down into intentions. This helps your audience feel a particular emotion or attitude. It is a technique taken from acting. An actor decides how he/she wants to say a script in order to encourage the other characters in the scene to feel a particular way. For example, my character is the head of an adoption agency, dealing with a dispute between the foster parents and biological parent of a child, so I decided to say my lines to ensure that the character I was addressing would feel reassured, cared for, informed, and supported. This technique of asking what do I want my audience/another to feel is a great way of taking the attention away from yourself and putting it onto someone else. It’s an effective way of staying focused and present but most importantly responsive. I think it worked as the director was happy with the scenes but we shall see, and so will millions of others..Yikes!

The Communication Collective work throughout the UK and internationally.

To get in touch with one of the team, please email, phone, or use the form below.

Charlotte: 07966 538 159 / Celia: 07793 560 649

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