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Taking a student through the process of how to put on a mask and finding the Spirit of the Mask. Italian Commedia actors believe that each of the masks has a spirit and that an actor must ‘let go’ and allow themselves to see the world through the mask’s eyes (literally and figuratively). You might mention the ancient tradition of mask possession that still takes place in Voodoo rituals – to impress upon students the power of masks, and this idea of being ‘possessed by the mask.’ Convey this information with seriousness and gravitas; you want the students to feel they are about to experience something profound, exciting, and a little frightening — because, they are.

Finding the Spirit of the Mask

Italian Commedia actors believe that each of the masks has a spirit and that an actor must ‘let go’ and allow themselves to see the world through the mask’s eyes (literally and figuratively). You might mention the ancient tradition of mask possession that still takes place in Voodoo rituals – to impress upon students the power of masks, and this idea of being ‘possessed by the mask.’ Convey this information with seriousness and gravitas; you want the students to feel they are about to experience something profound, exciting, and a little frightening — because, they are.

Course Curriculum

Finding the Spirit of the Mask, How to prepare your students 00:06:00
This is a very important part of the process, I ask for a volunteer who will demonstrate "How to put on a mask" try and find somebody in your class who is confident, a popular student, a student who will allow themselves to get lost into the spirit of the mask. One of the catchphrases I like to hear students say "It wasn't me! The mask made me do it!". Italian Commedia actors believe that each of the masks has a spirit and that an actor must ‘let go’ and allow themselves to see the world through the mask’s eyes (literally and figuratively). You might mention the ancient tradition of mask possession that still takes place in Voodoo rituals - to impress upon students the power of masks, and this idea of being 'possessed by the mask.' Convey this information with seriousness and gravitas; you want the students to feel they are about to experience something profound, exciting, and a little frightening — because, they are. All workshops can be found in Tony Kishawi's Book 'Teaching Commedia del'Arte'. Go to the Commedia Unmasked website.
Finding the Spirit of the Mask (Student One) 00:06:00
This is a 'learning by doing' exercise that is also a lot of fun, introducing how to discover a mask and the comic possibilities of the Zanni in Commedia dell'Arte.
Finding the Spirit of the Mask (Student Two) 00:06:00
This lesson is the same as the previous although with another student.
Ongoing Development Expectations 00:00:40
I ask the students to remember the ritual of putting on the mask.
Last words from Tony Kishawi 00:02:00
Summary of the two students under the mask.

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