The Seven Levels of Tension

The Seven Levels of Tension

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The Seven Levels of Tension


When I was acting out catatonic I felt like I was dead even though I
was breathing, I had lost all control of my body. I had no tension all
over my body. If someone tried to lift my arm it would just drop to
the ground. If I was playing a character using this level of tension I
would play someone who was dead, lifeless or was in a coma.


I felt like I was half asleep, like just woken up in the morning.
While walking around I had no tension in my neck, only a little in my
feet enough to keep me walking. My back was slanted because I only had
a little tension in it. My arms just swayed around. I think this level
is called Californian because California is really laid back, if I was
to choose a character this is how I would play it.


Economic means only having enough energy in your body, such as having
a short conversation. As I walked around the room I felt very low and
upset. I had no emotion on my face. My arms felt like they had no
feeling in them. Sometimes as you walk around the school early in the
morning, you sometimes see people in economic.


Alert is the more neutral level. It feels like normal behaviour. Not
too much tension and energy is involved. As I walked around the room I
could have a normal conversation with someone. You are also very
familiar with your surroundings.


My character which I created for this level was very upset. I was
showing I was upset in a very over noticeably approach which I usually
wouldn't do in public. I had more than normal tension in my body,
especially in my legs, arm and face.


As I walked around the room using this level I felt like I had a
hunger for something. Not sure what that thing was.

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I felt like I
almost went mad. I had to try to control my tension because if I lost
it I would be a level 7 which is tragic.


Tragic was quite hard to perform as I was much tensed. As I walked
around the room I lost control and shouted I knocked into anyone. My
whole body was tensed up. You could say I was frozen with fear. I
think in horror movies they use this level of tension a lot.

Individual Fear Graph

This is my individual fear graph. It took me five seconds to get
between catatonic and Californian. As the seconds goes past my level
rises as well. I became more aware when I was just reaching level four
which is alert; I think I became aware at alert because I released
what was happening around me for the reason that I had more tension
and energy. The level which I felt it affected my behaviour was
between four and five because I just released what was happening at
level four, by level 5 my behaviour changed for the reason that I felt
like I had to deal with what was happening.


Group Fear Graph


This is our group fear graph as you can see Nick stays at catatonic
all the way through the piece; he does not have any tension in his
body. Sam starts of at Californian, 10 seconds later he begins to
familiarises himself of his surroundings. He begins to realise what is
happening and moves to level 3 which is economic. Idriss starts of at
level 3 which is economic. Five seconds later he realises what is
happening so he steps up a level to alert. He stays at level for 10
more seconds then steps up to a more tense level suspense. I start at
level 5 which is suspense. Five seconds later I step up a level to
passionate. I stay at that level for 10 seconds then 5 seconds later I
step up to tragic and I stay there for another 10 seconds. At that
time I am very tense. I then collapse because I am that tense.

Analysing Individual Performance

I started at catatonic. The way I changed level to Californian is I
did what I do when I get out of bed. I think that is the perfect
example. As I was in Californian I started to try to put a little
tension in my legs and arms. A few seconds later I was in economic. I
did the same again but this time I shook my head, arms and legs to
warm them up. I was then in alert. I tensed my body a little more and
walked around the room. As I walked I went through passionate and
suspense, picking up speed as I changed levels. As I got to tragic I
collapsed because I had too much tension in my body.

Analysing My Groups Performance

In my group we tried to experiment with the levels. There was four of
us me, Sam, Idriss and Nick. We had Nick catatonic all the all the way
through the piece. Sam was Californian then changed to economic.
Idriss was at economic then changed to alert then to suspense. I
started at suspense then changed to passionate then tragic. We wanted
to see how we could interact with other in our separate levels of
tension. Unfortunately it did not work, because it did not seem real
for a naturalistic piece. It's hard to start at a high tense level
such as suspense and passionate.

Analysing Another Groups Performance

Ross, Harry, Robert, Jenna & Jason

They weren't sure what they were scared of. I think that makes it more
interesting and keeps the audience interested. They used space well.
They moved into there own space. They used there voice to show what
level of tension they were at. Harry and Jenna were helping each
other. Ross scared of Robert and everyone else. They used good pace to
alongside the tension levels.


The 7 Sins

The dictionary describes the 7 sins as:


1 .A feeling of honour and self-respect; a sense of personal worth.

2. Excessive self-esteem; conceit.

3. A source of pride.

4. Satisfaction or pleasure taken in one's own or another's success,
achievements, etc


1. Angry, violent, or stern indignation.

2. Vengeance or retribution.

3. Archaic a fit of anger or resulting from anger.


1. Excessive consumption of or desire for food; gluttony.

2. Excessive desire, as for wealth or powder.


1. A person devoted to eating and drinking in excess; greedy person.

2. Often ironical a person who has in appears to have a voracious
appetite for something.


1. Reluctance to work or exert oneself.


1. A feeling of grudging or somewhat admiring discontents aroused by
the possessions, achievements or qualities of another.

2. The desire to have for oneself something possessed by another;

3. An object of envy.


1. A strong desire for sexual gratification.

2. A strong desire or drive.

Greed Evaluation, Abstract

Our Group

Me, Nick, Nathan, Idriss, Ross & Harriet

To show greed our group did a piece about two army generals who demand
power, they have a greed for power. Ross and Nathan characters were
the generals who made us do whatever they liked such as act like a
chicken, a ballerina or a dog. Ross had a very loud voice to show he
had the most power. As me Nick, Idriss and Harriet entered we walked
very different than ordinary, there was a space between each of us.








Other Group

Alicia, Rachel, Coral & Yvette

They were spaced out; the two policewomen were higher than Rachel and
Alicia. Jenna the lawyer tried to be higher than the two cops. Rachel
and Alicia were sitting on the floor having a ladder in front showing
they were behind bars. They all used the keyboards in each sentence.
They used cross-cutting to show flashback. Rachel and Alicia went
under the chairs went outside had a cigarette then back to the
integration room.


Seven Ages Of Man

To end the portfolio we have been studying Seven Ages of Man by
William Shakespeare. The seven ages of man are:

Å¡ Infant

Å¡ School Boy

Å¡ Lover

Å¡ Middle Age

Å¡ Old Age

Å¡ Death

Thought Tracks:-

Soldier - Olden Day

"Dear family, I am missing you all terribly, you have no idea what it
is like here, and you're not going to find out! Tell Billy and Katie
that I'm thinking about them all the time & I'm sorry for missing
there birthdays. Love you all loads, Mo….. BLOODY PENCIL"


As I was performing this thought track I was sitting down as if I was
sitting in a trench. I was leaning against a chair to show the
uncomforting of the trenches.

Thought Tracks:-

Soldier - Modern Day

"Come on Mo, if you do this you'll be a hero. Yea…Yea, just hit low,
hard & in the corner. Just think of that cold pint waiting for you in
the pub"

I performed the modern day version of a soldier preparing for battle
as if I was about to take a penalty in a football match. As I say the
two sentences I am tying up my football boots.

School Boy

Me & Coral

Yr 7 Disco: -

Mo: Hi

Coral: Hiya!

Mo: I was just wondering if you wanted to dance?

Coral: hehehe…….Errmm... I'm ok.

Mo: But I remember in German I sent you a note asking you if you
dance with me and you said yes.

Coral: Did I? Ok!

Mo: Yes!!!
Coral: hehehehe…..

16 Yr Olds: -

Mo: Alright darling
Coral: What do you want?

Mo: Alright, alright no need to be feisty


Mo: I just wanna share some of my mojo!

Coral: You wot? Ohhh…. Ok!

Mo: Come on let's go!

20 Yr Olds: -

Mo: Hello, my name is Mo and yours is…

Coral: Coral

Mo: Nice to meet ya!

Coral: Likewise

Mo: Can I get you a drink?
Coral: Sure, Bacardi breezer

Mo: That sounds good ill have the same

Coral: Aint that a little girlie?

Mo: Just shows my sensitive side!

Coral: I bet it does!

Mo: I was thinking can I call you sometime?

Coral: Sure, here is my number.

Mo: Lovely, I call you sometime!

My group scene, Old Age

Me, Nick, Nathan & Jenna

[IMAGE]In our scene we acted out old age. We used three explorative
strategies which were role play, freeze frames and thought tracks. We
were seated in a horseshoe shape while facing the audience.
We set the scene as we are OAP sitting in a retirement home playing
cards and reminiscing about old times. Each time we stood up everyone
else would freeze (which is one of the explorative strategies) while
the person who is standing up is doing a thought track. As we are
elderly people we had to try to change our posture & type & tone of
voice. We straggled to get up because we had little tension in the
legs & in the back therefore we had to use our arms to help us up. In
my thought track I talk about the mood landing.

Evaluation of Whole Piece

I personally enjoyed watching and performing in the whole piece of the
seven ages of man. I liked the way we had everyone sitting around the
hall facing the audience. Each group had instructions on what the had
to do to move there props such as chairs. Between each group were
performing we had others moving chairs around, to focus the audience
away from the scene change we had a someone reading a passage of the
piece of writing "Seven Ages of Man" this is a good explorative

Death Scene

[IMAGE] Each group sat in order of the ages for example:

1- Infant
2- School boy
3- Lover
4- Soldier
5- Middle age
6- Old age

All the groups chose a freeze frame from there piece. One person from
the class got chosen to represent death which was Meredith. She wore a
emotionless mask which was black, black trousers and a black robe. She
wore all black because black represents death. Meredith walked around
very slowly. I would say she was a tension level economic. As a class
we chose where Meredith should walk, how slow she walked & what
actions and gestures will she do as death. We decided that she should
walk around each of the groups, putting her hand on there facing a
using her hand tilt there head down as if she had killed them. In the
background we had very strange eerie music such as church bells.
Meredith done this to one person in each group in any random order,
when she then finished she went up to the audience and did the hand
action. I think the meaning to this piece is that any one can die at
whatever age not just old people.

What Would I Have Done If I Were Director

If I was director there wouldn't be much I would change about the
whole piece. The whole class had input on this piece. A few things
that I would change is the way we people moved the chairs. I would ask
them not to do it too loud. I would also have lighting to give more
effect especially when Meredith goes up to the audience and does her
hand action. I would have a blackout there.
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