Developing Intuition for the Contemporary Actor

Micia De Wet,

Published on: 2022-10-11


This article provides a critical analysis of intuition for actors and suggests how a proposed somatic practice may develop an actor’s intuition in order to facilitate intuitive behaviour in theatre performance. In this article, I discuss findings pertinent to my current original Practice as Research (PaR) PhD inquiry. I argue that intuition is an energetic sensitivity that produces a governing will and is experienced as a pre-cognitive interoception in the enteric nervous system (ENS). I give evidence to suggest the ENS and vagus nerve form the gut-brain axis involved in the biological process of intuition. I argue that intuition may be developable due to the body’s capacity for neuroplasticity. I hypothesise that an actor’s intuition may be a psychophysical state by considering the Flow and Absorption theory. I propose that an actor’s intuitive behaviour influences their thoughts and emotions, physical actions (gestures and movement), and vocalisations (language and sound) within a performance environment. I propose that intuitive behaviour for an actor is sensitive and responsive to space, time, and relationships.

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