Billy Siegenfeld – former jazz and rock drummer and high school actor; present-day actor and vocal-rhythmic theatre-movement artist; director of the performing and teaching company, Jump Rhythm®; faculty member in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University; writer of essays and plays.
His creative work, applied to both his teaching and performing, focuses on developing a Theatre of Energy out of primal human behavior. This process turns fusions of rhythm-driven movement, singing, and speech into stories that laugh, cry, and rant about our species’ primary state of confusion: feeling that we never have enough; tampering with Nature to get more than enough; and then, after years of pain, misery, and (hopefully) enlightenment, accepting that what Nature teaches us is enough.
He uses 3 mantras to guide him through a day. “Relax down to push forward.” “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” (Samuel Beckett) “In nature there’s no blemish but the mind. / None can be call’d deform’d but the unkind.” (William Shakespeare)
He is the creator of a unique system of voice-and-movement learning for peoples of all backgrounds and abilities:
- Standing Down Straight®: An injury-preventive, eco-activist approach to mind-body integration using gravity-directed relaxation as the source of postural, motional, vocal, and spiritual health.
- Jump Rhythm®: A communally engaged-in, rhythmically vocalized, jazz-rhythm-based approach to performing arts training, guided by a combination of the African-originated concept of full-bodied rhythm-making called ngoma (“drumming and rhythmic song-dancing”) and the gravity-directed laws of nature.
Standing Down Straight®
If you’ve been taught that to be strong, confident, or beautiful is by “standing up straight,” Jump Rhythm® Technique will be a shock.
“Not a bad thing, independence, which is what hooked many of us on art in the first place.”