Interview with author Kristin Kundert-Gibbs
Used with permission from bioenergeticspress.com
Bioenergetics is no longer restricted to offices and homes — it’s now being used in classrooms. Kristin Kundert-Gibbs uses Bioenergetics, a system of therapy that combines breathing and body exercises, in her advanced acting class at the University of Georgia.
“Acting is about figuring out the psychology of a human being and how that psychology manifests itself in behavior, external presentation,” Kundert-Gibbs said.
Kundert-Gibbs has been using Bioenergetics as a tool for teaching for almost 20 years after learning about it while earning a Master of Fine Arts in acting from The Ohio State University. Her husband also uses Bioenergetics in his animation work. The two wrote Action!: Acting Lessons for CG Animators, which covers basic and advanced acting techniques for computer graphic animation.
Bioenergetics is used as a tool to help Kundert-Gibbs’s students in the development of characters, connecting the external body to internal psychological workings to better understand human beings. Her students begin by studying and identifying character types and then transform their own bodies into extremes of the character types. The students interact with the environment, objects and each other within the character type being studied.
“You can’t, or don’t do, the things that you do in your normal body,” Kundert-Gibbs said, about her students interacting within character types.
Students react very positively to the integration of Bioenergetics in their acting lessons. They begin to recognize the character types in themselves and others, Kundert-Gibbs said. They also feel it’s a good way to get outside themselves in creating something new and different, she said. Ultimately, it expands their understanding of human beings, in how to interact or what to avoid with different character types, and expands the students’ tools for their work.
Bioenergetics could potentially be used for anything from police work to group building to management, Kundert-Gibbs said. It brings insight into people, and helps any profession that requires an understanding of human beings. However, for her and her students, Bioenergetics is specifically useful as a tool in developing characters’ movements, external appearances and voices.
For more information on Professor Kundert-Gibbs, visit http://www.drama.uga.edu/acting/people.php.
Author, Kristen Kundert-Gibbs