We’d love to introduce you to one of our incredible TBG teaching artists, Belinda Mello! Read our interview with her below…
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
BM: I love witnessing that moment when the energy shifts in the room because the group is ready to work as a team. Suddenly, there is more laughter in the room, and I know that the class has become theirs. It’s such a joy to see how self-consciousness lifts, the internal “rushing around” calms down, and there is more playfulness and availability for connection among the students. Alexander’s work builds self-confidence along with self-awareness. It helps you recognize that the amount of effort you use is something you can change and even play with expressively. I love seeing people becoming more comfortable being themselves, standing with more openness and ease, more at home with their physicality.
What is a TBG tool you love to use in your own acting journey?
BM: There are many ways in which Alexander Technique (AT) aligns with the Barrow Group tools. I draw from the AT toolbox to stay in touch with my sense of wonder. “I wonder what would happen if I…” is a phrasing I use very often. Starting with a question allows me to really be curious, to not have to know something before it happens, or to get unstuck when I’m doing the same behavior over and over again. (In Alexander’s lingo this is called non-end-gaining.) For example, I ask myself, “I wonder what would happen if I un-scrunch my neck right now?” As my body changes, my thinking also shifts. Even the smallest change brings about a fresh experience and a renewed sense of my options. I recently took a voice acting class and used this kind of questioning often, especially when I was asked to make adjustments quickly.
What is a project that you’ve been a part of that you are proud of?
BM: I coached two actors in Off-Broadway shows this Fall. I’m so proud of them – I’ve known them since they were students, so it’s great to see their careers growing. One actor was in a new work that was evolving as they were in previews. Guiding them to stay flexible, to breathe and free-up with the new page changes was a fun challenge. The other actor’s show had a very short rehearsal period, so extra coaching time was used as a game-changer. By exploring how they interacted with the physical world of the play, the actor brought more energy to the space and strengthened the storytelling.
To take a class with Belinda, try Alexander Technique for the Actor I starting 4/1.
Check out TBG’s full schedule of classes!