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In the News: World Premiere For Mannequin Dreams at London Short Film Festival

London's wintry weather was mercifully tame as we made our way past Buckingham Palace to where Mannequin Dreams was screening - The Institute of Contemporary Art, tucked away in a corner of The Mall of London a block away.  It had rained pretty consistently the prior day, so I was thankful to have a respite in the precipitation in anticipation of the event.

The venue was packed with talent.  The screening was grouped into a category called "A Musical Box", and consisted of a variety of unique uses of music and sound.  From dancing shamans to musical boxers, the visuals were of an aesthetic that could tilt the mind up to the stars and beyond.

Some examples of the other films...

I felt humbled at the recognition that Mannequin Dreams got.  It was a beautiful evening, and I'm immensely thankful to Linda Privè, Austin Altman, Tim Baldon, Stephen Folden, my aunt, uncle, and cousin Adelaide for letting me stay in their house, and my loving parents for supporting me in this endeavor.  For a tiny little film made on a near-$0 budget, we held up pretty well against the other films in competition.

Mannequin Dreams

Mannequin Dreams Accepted Into the London Short Film Festival

A smorgasbord style selection of musical landscapes and resonances. This selection of short films mixes experimental work and animation, and takes us from the boxing ring to urban & forest areas, alongside choreographed moves in TECHNOSHAMAN, .TICK, UDSTØDT, and WILLIAM.

It's official!  Mannequin Dreams is a selection of the London Short Film Festival in 2015!  You can see the listing here.

Mannequin Dreams began as a simple fashion project between Darwin Carlisle and Linda Privè at First Class Reels, then grew into something far beyond that when the film's concept inspired them to collaborate on something above and beyond their initial intentions.  Viewers will be able to watch the film in London on January 11th, 2015

How Body Language Affects Your Confidence

There is an article I felt I might pass along over here at PsyBlog about postures that affect the mind, body, and performance, and it's quite a fascinating read.  For instance, here is #9:

9. Mimic to empathise:

If you want to get inside someone’s head, you can try copying their behaviour. Those who are good at empathising do it automatically: copying accent, posture, expressions and so on. If you can copy it, you will feel it yourself and then you’ll get a hint of what others are feeling. It’s what actors have known for years: mimicry is a great way of simulating others’ emotional states.
— Jeremy Dean, PsyBlog Author

Pretty nifty to know for anyone looking to boost their acting chops.


Body language is an oft-forgotten part of a performance, not because actors don't know to use their bodies, but because they underestimate the extent to which they can use body language to add texture and authenticity to a scene. 

Marlon Brando was famous for taking radical steps to adding body language to a scene, whether by revolutionizing the idea of a central character's body language as part of the performance with his famous swagger in Streetcar Named Desire, to throwing a cat into the scene last minute for his role as the Godfather.

Body language is one of the most fundamental tools we have in our canon to affect the way other people view us.  What's a little more interesting, however, is that it can also radically affect the way we view ourselves.  The author points to how tensing up can help with willpower, how crossing our arms helps us to solve puzzles, and how gesturing increases our ability to remember things. 

1. Pose for power:

If you want to feel more powerful then adopt a powerful posture. Carney et al. (2010) found that when people stood or sat in powerful poses for one minute—those involving open limbs and expansive gestures—they not only felt more powerful but had increased levels of testosterone flooding their systems. Powerful poses take up more space, so spread your body and open up the arms or legs. When you dominate the space, your mind gets the message.
— Jeremy Dean, PsyBlog

What does your body say about you?  Are you slouching right now?  Have you ever been in a situation where somebody comments on your posture, and you immediately adjust, suddenly self-conscious?  Your eye contact is a radically important measure of your confidence, especially if you're a man.   In fact, the cumulative effect that body language has on your identity and faith in yourself goes a long way toward helping to showcase who you are deep down.  If you're like me and you're constantly looking for ways to improve your confidence, try working from the other direction by changing up how you carry yourself.  Try smiling a little bit more often, tense up your core when you're feeling overwhelmed, and in particular use your hands when you talk.