Compiled by : Siyanda Buthelezi

De-roling is described as taking roles off, so that actors can come back to themselves when their performance is finished. Actors spend most of their time using different techniques getting into character, however getting out of character has been a challenge faced by many actors. These are some of the most used techniques used by actors to get out of characters.

1. Literally De-Role

One of the most literal and easiest methods of de-rolling is by stripping off your character, by getting out of the character’s clothing and leaving them on set or in the theatre.

The actor making a conscious decision to let go of a character’s costume is a big part of de-rolling. This creates distance between the actor and the character, by doing this you as the actor are making a choice to separate yourself from the character.

2. Shake It Off

The next thing you can do is get your body moving! By doing physical activities, this can be used as a great way to get out of the mind of your character, and into your own body again.

You can do this by shaking out your body – your arms, legs, feet, hands, jumping up and down or running on the spot. Stretching all your muscles to release the tension and taking deep breaths and vocal exercises to reset your vocal chords and to let go of negative emotions.– before leaving the set or the Theatre. You can also do this by just taking a walk, swimming or running to unwind and reconnect with yourself again through the mind and body.

3. Meditate

One of the most effective methods you can use is de-role. While there are many ways to meditate, meditation trains your attention and awareness to your own mental health and emotional stability. Meditation includes mindfulness, focusing on an object or sound, or even a mantra. The benefits of meditation are generous and infinite, and I would recommend it is recommended for actors.

4. Be mindful

The Actor is always encouraged to be mindful of their own thoughts. At times the Actor may start to do or say things that resonate with the character.

As and Actor, you should always try to surround yourself with things that ground your life and personality, by keeping items, such as photos of friends and family, when you are not on stage. Using this tool will make you differentiate the outside world from the performance space.

Actors are also encouraged to take a break engaging with other interests outside acting. By doing this it you can create a healthy distance from your work and yourself

5. Engaging with others to de-role

Another effective way of de-rolling is by socializing with other actors and directors, this engagement can happen in the rehearsal time and post-performance.
As an ensemble or team you can agree to de-role together before you leave the performance space, make time to socialise together outside of the performance space.

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