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DANCING AND GRINDING FROM BEHIND
When your script contains scenes dealing with sex, nudity, kink, or gender identity, an intimacy coordinator is there to ensure a work environment sensitive to the physical and emotionally well-being of everyone involved.
Intimacy coordinators create a positive impact on tv and film productions:
✢Advocating for the talent’s needs
✢Acting as a liaison between actors and production + breaking the power dynamic
✢Ensuring adherence to proper closed set protocol based on SAG-AFTRA guidelines
✢Providing choreography support to heighten believability and ensure comfort
✢Helping make filming more efficient by putting a clear plan in place - no surprises!
✢Preventing lawsuits by being a deterrent for sexual harassment with cast & crew
I’d love to show you how intimacy coordination can positively impact your next production.
My movement training consists mostly on the principles of Williamson Technique and Rudolf Laban’s teachings. These techniques help to free the actors body and return to playful, instinctive and impulsive movements. This allows the actor to become more responsive, less self-conscious, and open to taking risks.
Loyd Williamson developed his technique to complement the Meisner Acting Technique being taught at The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. This technique teaches students how to release tensions in their body and trains them to respond organically and impulsively from the core of their body to stimuli in the moment. It integrates extraordinarily well into any level of acting training, and helps actors to free their bodies from the tensions that block or check their honest emotional responses. It also assists the actor in developing confidence and freedom in their body and in making strong physical choices.
In particular, I utilize Rudolf Laban’s dimensional and effort work to add specificity to the actors’ movement play. They start to learn how a very specific choice of a dimension or effort can change a character, both physically and emotionally. I also train them how to apply this kind of specificity to moments in a piece. The effort work particularly combines brilliantly with Stanislavski’s actions and objectives. The shifts from one dimension or effort to another in a scene or monologue help to create a performance that is rich with variety and interesting choices.
The first level of this work, which I call “Basic Movement,” focuses on releasing tensions and inhibitions, utilizing Williamson’s concept of “shape/flow” with elements of sensorial imagination work to music and Laban’s dimensions - Top/Bottom of Vertical, Horizontal, and Front/Back Sagittal. We also use the dimensions to physically create, sharpen and define characters. One of my favorite parts of the Williamson work, and one of the things students connect to the most, is the idea and repetition of the phrase “NO APOLOGIES.”
The second level that I have been teaching is what I have called “Advanced Movement,” or “Laban Movement,” but it is basically an introduction to the Laban efforts and then instruction on how to apply them to text in order to increase specificity and variety in the acting work. Ultimately, the first level teaches the actor to take their brain out of the work, and to work freely and impulsively, and the second level puts the brain back in a little - or at least in the preparation for the work. The combination of the two produces actors that are physically bold, open, responsive, and yet still specific! Depending on the amount of time and number of students in a class, the two levels can be combined, as I have been doing in my private Chicago class and in my university classes.
My Period Style Scene Study class focuses primarily on the Restoration/Georgian and Victorian/Edwardian periods, as they are the most frequently produced and farthest from our modern style of movement. This class could also include Elizabethan and potentially even Early American Classic (Williams, Miller, etc.). In my Period Style class, not only do I teach the students how to move as people did in those time periods, but why they moved the way they did. Understanding the why and the ins and outs of those societies makes it much easier to translate the movement into organic, honest work. That is my goal with Period Style – to have the actors moving in a style quite unlike their own, but to be able to inhabit it honestly and truthfully. We take this and apply it to scene work from the appropriate period. It’s very advanced acting, but extremely valuable if one is going to work well and truthfully in these time periods.
When the body is constrained, the voice cannot work the way it should. I find the freedom and “NO APOLOGIES” that helps the breath and voice work to achieve
WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Joy is available for theatre, film, television, photography and other media departments.
IC work is the new industry standard. Ensure your program/department is at the forefront of this movement by providing students and faculty with the current language, standards and best practices to work competitively in the art/media industries.
Joy is currently completing her qualifications with ICOC.
For more information about safe SAG-AFTRA sets, click HERE.
The conversation about consent in the film industry has taken a massive- and overdue- turn in a post #metoo world. As we re-navigate our understanding and practices of consent, our industry needs to take a critical look at how we interact with each other on set, in the rehearsal room, on stage, and in our classrooms. In the same way that we have prioritized the safety of our teams in violent scenes with stunt choreographers, it’s time to normalize the safety, boundaries, and consent of everyone involved in the making of intimate scenes. The impulse to sanitize sex from our art is a dangerous one, as sex and intimacy can be cornerstones of the humanity we seek to explore in our work. But, we need the tools to do so safely- an Intimacy Coordinator provides those tools.
The role of an Intimacy Coordinator is multifaceted:
Serve as a liaison between talent and other departments before, during, and after production to establish:
Boundaries, and a collective vocabulary for respecting them
Clear, safe and repeatable choreography
Informed and Ongoing consent.
Facilitate conversation between all parties so as to ensure that everyone is on the same page and on board about the artistic reasoning behind any nudity or intimacy.
Work with the director and creative teams to fulfill their vision, and make intimate scenes feel as authentic and connected as possible within a professional and safe container. Coordinated intimacy is elevated intimacy.
Facilitate ongoing and open conversation around on-set changes- keeping all departments apprised, and that any choreography or costume changes are consented to from an informed, equitable, and enthusiastic place.
Create safer containers for actors – an actor who feels safe, respected, and who knows they have resources on set is able to do much deeper, truer work.
Mitigate the inherent power dynamic present on set between actors, directors, and producers.
If properly trained in crisis counseling and mental health, ICs are available as a resource for any cast or crew members that have negative or trauma responses to difficult material. (Yes, crew- statistically survivors of violence are everywhere, and your crew doesn’t always know what they are walking into!)
Navigate and manage properly closing sets, contracts, and adhering to SAG-AFTRAs nudity guidelines.
Navigate the casting process, and ensure proper communication around intimate scenes leading up to the day.
Amy’s approach to Intimacy Coordinating seeks to be trauma informed, survivor centric, and intersectional. Her training and background in Intimacy Coordinating, Film & Theatre, sexual violence prevention, advocacy, and rape crisis counseling allows her to approach the work through a particularly unique lens. She specializes in LGBTQ+, BDSM, and scenes of simulated sexual violence.