The Alba Technique: Playing with the Effector Patterns of Emoting

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation only


Many methods of actor training in Australia teach actors how to engage in an “authentic emotional performance” through psychological exercises that stimulate real emotion. However, when it comes to teaching emotional acting, despite a multitude of safer techniques available, variations of psychological exercises to extract emotion from actors, is still favoured amongst most drama schools and teachers in Australia and this has proved worrying (Taylor, 2016).
The Alba Technique, also known scientifically as the “Effector Patterns of Emoting” is a safe alternative to other psychological techniques that helps actors release, maintain and control emotional states on stage and on cue. This technique was proposed by neuroscientist Dr Susana Bloch of the Institute of Neurosciences at the University of Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris and only introduced to the wider American acting communities in 1992. Bloch like many of her peers, understood that accessing emotion was complex and required both cognitive and behavioural processes that feed this all involving emotional loop. She also understood however, the psychological ramifications that such acting exercises might have on susceptible young individuals. Therefore, she began to experiment with actors and after many successful results, Bloch confirmed that by following certain systematic/scientific progressions, individuals [actors] could stimulate real emotions safely through the manipulation of their breath, posture, and facial expressions. ‘Effector patterns of emoting’ that already existed within their physiological make-up and as such, required no psychological or imaginary involvements by an individuals’ past memory; thus contributing to that actors emotional and psychological safety.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 02 Sept 2018
EventAusAct Conference - Wagga Wagga, Wagga Wagga, Australia
Duration: 01 Sept 201802 Sept 2018


ConferenceAusAct Conference
Abbreviated titleActing, Theatre, Performance
CityWagga Wagga

Grant Number

  • A541.3101.xxxx.30604


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