You can dress right and look great, but if you don't move like a guy, no one will ever believe you.
One of the tricks to learning how to move like a guy is to notice how men move differently from women. As I said earlier, the best way to learn is by watching guys go about their everyday life. How do they walk? Move their hands? Sit down? Get up? Physically handle things? This is all important to the overall portrayal of a pants role.
Here are some pointers to get you started:
1. In general, male movements are broader and simpler than female movements. For example, when men gesticulate with their hands, they don't use their wrists as a means of expression. The entire arm and hand move together in a straight line. Everything is much more angular and stiff. There is a sense that the body is a whole and the subtle details of feminine movement are not present.
2. The male center of gravity is different from a woman's and this effects how they move, especially in the way they walk, sit down, and bend over. Pay careful attention to these three movements, because they are pivotal to understanding masculine movement. The best way to pick this up is to ask a guy friend to do these movements for you, slowly and repeatedly, and then you can mimic them. Try to pay attention to the details and once you've noticed them, implement them.
3. The movement of the head and chin are also very important. Paying attention to how you angle your chin, how fast you turn your head, and how long you direct your gaze at a given object/person.
4. Be careful how you use your hands. It's better to keep your hands as open and wide as possible, especially when you're grasping something or making a gesture. Keep everything strong and deliberate.
Hands are especially important to our next section,
Male and Female Interaction
Sometimes a pants role requires you to physically interact with a female character in a romantic way. This particular set of movements can definitely make or break your believability.
How you use your hands is critical here. Remember: how women touch men is very different from how men touch women, so your instincts will almost always be wrong. As I was emphasizing before, you must make simple and deliberate movements. Other good rules of thumb are:
1. Think about the specific places where a woman never wants to be touched in public and avoid them like the plague. Coming anywhere near them can easily become awkward on stage.
2. The most instinctive place for a man to hold a woman is at her waist. Another good place to gravitate toward are her arms and shoulders.
I have included some specific video examples of what to do in the Learning from the Masters section.
For a humorous/educational look at "opera kissing," check out mezzo Jennifer Rivera's blog post.
Mezzo Jennifer Rivera has blogged various times about her experiences playing pants roles. Here she addresses the question of movement directly. I'd highly suggest checking out her other posts. I've found them both educational and entertaining. (There's nothing like a mezzo with a good sense of humor.)