Wednesday, April 27, 2011

hand acting

So, I meant to post this last month when I scanned it but didn't get to it in those crazy weeks of putting together a portfolio/reel/website. I completely forgot about this until today when we had presentations in Albritton's class again.

These were done at the end of last semester during art history. Everyone had to present on an artist. I decided to sketch peoples hands as they presented and found out some interesting things. Of course people all act differently and thus use their hands in different ways, but it's pretty amazing once you actually start to actively pay attention to it. Most people had very distinct patterns of convention that emerged. The drawings aren't pretty and they weren't supposed to be, they were mostly just to denote things. Here are those sketches and transcribed/added notes.

Vani frequently opened and closed her hands. When making a particular point she'd have her hands open, often with the fingers tensed, splayed, and pointing out with the wrists tensed and bent as well.

Jen was next and much quieter with her hands. She tended to keep her fingers together and hands half closed in a cup like fashion. When she did open her hands, she'd have weak hand poses with the fingers relaxed, partially bent, and still mostly together.

Sean tended to keep his fingers together too. When he would spread his fingers apart they would rarely stay apart for very long at all and even then tended to cluster together in small groups, or "stack" as I wrote. Even when his hands were open the would usually face inward, and his hands remained "cupped" like this for most of the time, returning back to that type of position after any broad gesture. Watching his cupped hands and closeness of fingers reminded me of webbed feet or fins. Also, sometimes before he made a point he would tensely tap his fingers together as a unit. It was a pretty interesting anticipation.

Rob's sole defining gesture what that whenever he would step back from the computer to say something he would spread his arms and open his hands. Every time he made any sort of gesture it was that, with only the slightest variations. His hand/arm gesture very clearly and loudly stated "I am talking", just in case you failed to hear him.

Rocky pretty much kept his hand glued to the laptop track pad while the other stayed at his side. If he did gesture with that hand it stayed in the same space, the wrist barely moving. His presentation was also on an artist from the New Leipzig School of Painting, a group of artists definitely worth checking out.

Jeffry had one of the most interesting acting patterns. He would do a fair amount of hand gestures and stuff but in between those he was always holding or touching something. He's hold his other hand, his necklace, the edge of the table, mess with his pocket, etc. His hands always had to be somewhere.

Lastly, here's a little bit of a revelation I had during one of the presentations (replace screen with painting, and you have the original gist of it). Sure it sounds kind of cheesy, but it's pretty true. Everything is about audience participation in one way or another - otherwise they wouldn't care.

1 comment:

Joshua Garlick said...

Wow. This is amazing, Elizabeth! :D I really got to HAND it to're incredibly insightful!