Archive for Movement

It’s Audition Time Again

I have a love/hate relationship with auditions.  As a director, I’m excited to see the growth of my students’ auditioning skills from their previous auditions.  I’m optimistic that new jewels are about to be discovered, and that those diamonds-in-the-rough from the previous year are now sparkling and ready to “wow” me. Watching students enter the audition process with excitement, hope, and determination is something that I absolutely love.  I hate, however, the eventual task of making those difficult (and many times hair-splitting) decisions, breaking hearts, and disappointing kids. Unfortunately, it’s part of the process if your students are truly invested in your program.

With the beginning of another school year, many directors are currently going through the audition process.  Below are a few tips that have worked for me.

  1. The CALENDAR. Have a calendar with dates of rehearsals, performances, contests, and any other dates that your company members will be required to attend.  It’s important to be very specific concerning the expectations you have of your students’ time. This will, hopefully, eliminate conflicts in the future. It will also give you leverage later should a student ask to miss a required event due to a conflict that was not previously approved.


  1. The CONTRACT. A contract listing your rehearsal, performance, and contest expectations, along with information concerning the dates you require students to attend these events (attach calendar mentioned in #1) should be distributed at auditions.  Have students read the contract and allow them to communicate any questions they may have. Contracts should be signed by both the student and a parent. There should be a statement indicating that the parent and the student both understand and agree to your expectations and the student will be available on all dates indicated as a required event.


  1. The AUDITION FORM. I include a section for students to list their other activities (job, school activities, church activities, private lessons, etc…) on the audition form. Have students list all possible activities they will be involved with during the rehearsal process and through the run of the show (including advancement dates for contest and any rehearsals to accompany advancement). They should include dates/times for these activities.  It’s important that you get an idea how busy the student is and with which activities they are involved.  It’s best to know that a student has conflicts prior to casting them.  Sometimes, you can work through the issues and the student can still participate, but if the student is going to have to make choices, it’s best for them and for you to know that now.


  1. The PROCESS. It’s important to consider many things when perusing scripts: your talent pool, your audience, your community, your budget, and the literary merit of the material you’re considering just to name a few. Finding “the one” is often a time-consuming process.  If more than one script could be “the one”, consider auditioning multiple scripts to get an idea of which is the best.  During the audition process, include a brief interview with each of the students who receive a call-back (and, if time allows, during regular auditions). If you haven’t already discussed possible conflicts from the audition form with each student, the interview process is a great time to have that discussion. Interviews can be done during lunch and before or after school on non-audition days if desired. Also, consider using various audition techniques in your assessment of auditions.  A cold reading of the chosen script can be useful, but not all students cold-read well.  Warm-ups and improv activities can be valuable in discovering who is quick-witted, creative, or willing to get out of their comfort zone.  Having students memorize a brief monologue or scene for call-backs is yet another way to access a student’s abilities. Pantomime activities are a great way to observe a student’s use of physicality when acting.  When multiple assessments are used, a director can consider how each student uses the body, voice, imagination, and script.  This will give you a much better picture of the actor you are casting.  Crew members should also have an audition and interview process.


  1. The “TALK”. I give “the talk” prior to the start of auditions and at the conclusion of each audition session.  The “talk” at the beginning of the audition session will include information concerning what I’m looking for in auditions.  I also give each student a list of characters with character descriptions, a synopsis of the play, and the calendar/contract/audition form. I want the students to have all the information they need to be successful and to understand the expectations of them. At the end of each audition session, and especially on the final day of regular auditions and call-back auditions, I conclude with another “talk”.  I explain to the students that I have to make very difficult decisions, and not everyone will get what they want.  I ask that they look at me and really hear the following words, “I’m talking to you”.   So many of them truly believe they’ve aced their audition, and there’s no way you can’t choose them. They need to understand that rejection is a part of the process.  If you get the part you want, that probably means someone else (or several people) have not gotten what they wanted.  It happens.  It’s disappointing, and it is alright to be disappointed.  It’s NOT alright to be angry, bitter, or disruptive to the production process if you’re disappointed.  During the production process, we teach theatre, but we also teach “life”.  Teaching them how to handle disappointment and triumph is part of what we do.  I tell my students, “You’re always auditioning” in hopes that this will encourage them to reflect before reacting negatively. Help them learn that you love them enough to hold them accountable for their behavior.

Don’t forget that you, too, will be auditioning during the student audition process.  Students come into auditions evaluating you, your program, & your choice of script. They’re considering, “Do I want to spend my time being a part of this process?”, “Does this director seem like someone I want to work with?”, and “Do I really want to be in this particular play?”.  Be organized. Be engaging.  Be excited.  Students want to make sure that the commitment of their time, talent, and efforts is well placed. The audition process will help them make that decision.  Best wishes with your auditions this year, and remember—-you, and they, are always auditioning!

Motion Before Emotion-Engaging the Body in the Work

Recently, I have had more requests to teach workshops on movement and directors have shared their concerns about their actors struggling to connect with their role and others on stage physically. I am Motion Before Emotionexcited to work with their students and thrilled to see that the results I have seen with my own students can be replicated with the techniques I have learned and now share.

I began studying the arts at the age of three when my parents enrolled me in a dance class.  I believe this early connection with the body and the ability to tell the story of the music through movement led me to a deep respect for the power of the human body and the uniquely clear way that the body can communicate to an audience. As I got older and became involved in theatre, the words in the script became a more important starting point for communication with an audience and movement became secondary to creating a clear character.

After exploring a variety of character building techniques, I have moved away from focusing on the words and I have embraced the body and movement as the primary tool for successful performance.  Don’t get me wrong, words are powerful and beautiful and intense but I believe the body and how it is positioned can only enhance the delivery and enhance the intent of the words in a script.

The discovery that the body should be the starting point for characterization came to me as I researched a variety of techniques and practiced them with student actors.  The power of the body and the way placing it in certain positions can trigger genuine emotion has changed the way I direct.

There are a variety of movement techniques for actors and I encourage you to explore the techniques with your students to see which resonate with you and which produce the results you need for clear communication in your productions. I became a proponent of “motion before emotion” when I began to study Laban and Rasaboxes.

Motion Before Emotion


Rudolf Laban created a scientific approach to movement that divides it into four categories: body, effort, shape, and space. Space can be either direct or indirect.  Weight can be strong or light.  Time can be sudden or sustained.  When you put these all together, you end up with eight efforts that classify styles of movement. Laban can be used to define and clarify dramatic movements or specific character gestures.

Direct, strong, sudden——–punch (thrust)
Indirect, strong, sudden——slash
Direct, strong, sustained—–push
Indirect, strong, sustained—wring
Direct, light, sudden———-dab
Indirect, light, sudden——–flick
Direct, light, sustained——-glide
Indirect, light, sustained—–float

I like to put on a variety of musical tempos and styles to represent each Laban effort and have students cross the floor exploring the effort in an exaggerated form.  I then ask the students to reflect on more realistic uses of the effort.  The students then demonstrate as many realistic uses as we can think of in that session.  I also like to place students in duet groups where they have to demonstrate what happens when a person who exemplifies one effort encounters another person with a different effort.

Motion Before Emotion


Professor Richard Schechner took the studies of Grotowski and Cieslak’s psychophysical practices, his study of the Natyasastra, an ancient Sanskrit text on performance, Paul Ekman’s work on facial emotions and Michael Gershon’s work on “the brain in the belly.” to create Rasaboxes. The practice is intended to assist actors in becoming what Antonin Artaud called “an athlete of emotion”, ready to jump from the bench on to the stage in an instant genuine state of emotion.  The work has been developed over the last 40 years and is easy to use with students. You can find a full history of the practice and some more specific information on training at

The rasas grid taped on a black stage floor or you can use butcher paper if the performance space surface is not black.  There should be nine squares in the grid and you can use chalk on black surfaces or black butcher paper. Label the grid with these eight emotions:

  • Karuna- Sadness and Compassion
  • Hasya- Laughter/The Comic
  • Adbhuta-Surprise and Wonder
  • Bibhatsa-Disgust and Revolt
  • Raudra-Rage
  • Sringara-Love and Eros
  • Vira-Courage/The Heroic

These eight emotions can be placed anywhere in the grid, except the middle. The middle is SANTA, the state of bliss or peace.  Leave that space blank.

Put on some music and students should start the exercise by filling in each of the squares. Students Motion Before Emotionshould draw pictures, write quotes, words, make shapes, etc, related to the specific rasa.  When everyone has finished the written portion of the exercise then everyone can walk the rasas and reflect on what was written and how it connects to the emotion.

The students can then move through the rasa boxes connecting physically with each box.  The possibilities are endless with this activity.  Students can practice in the boxes alone or begin to relate to other actors in other boxes.  Improv scenes can be created with the grid as emotions change traveling from box to box and actual texts can be performed within the grid to motivate responses and try different motivations.

These two techniques helped me and my students connect to the power of the human body and the ability to shape the body to not only generate honest emotions but also create believable action.  Once actors are able to harness the power of the body, they are not only able to more naturally live in an emotional state but their voice also follows the body in a genuine state of expression.  Audiences can also more clearly understand the objectives of the characters as the actors more authentically interact with the physical performance space and with the other actors in the scene.

Young actors frequently begin the process of production by highlighting their lines.  I believe the words are certainly another way the character communicates but the audience believes what they see more than what they hear. By leading with movement first, we shift the mindset of actors to consider how they will move before they begin to plan the delivery of lines.  If the actor has a committed sense of movement for the character, the lines become a more effective and honest layer to a complex but clear characterization.

In working with physical centers, that lead the actor in all movements, actors can also connect those physical centers with emotional centers as a source of character development.  The illustration below shows how connecting emotional and physical centers might be a jumping off point for character development in rehearsal.

In attempting to achieve the character’s objective, does the character touch their body or others in specific areas of the body to more honestly communicate what they want?  What happens when the actor contracts or expands a specific area of the body?  What feelings are generated through this exercise that Motion Before Emotioncan be applied to the ultimate performance?  What discoveries are made that enhance the delivery of the text and the active engagement of the other characters on stage?

There is no right or wrong….only the exploration of the endless possibilities of the human body and how the imagination and voice can partner with the physical to express genuine action and emotion.  This is why I love theatre.  Discovery is endless and the excitement of finding a way to more clearly tell a story is exciting!  I hope that you will share your movement discoveries at the forum at

Other movement techniques you may want to explore include:


Frederick Matthias Alexander developed this specialized body awareness strategy in the late 1800s to correct unnecessary tension in actors and non-actors. As an orator he used the technique as a way of combatting his own vocal problems, and quickly discovered that unlearning certain breathing and posture habits was the key to maximizing his own physical functionality.


With a mix of mime, mask work, and other movement techniques to develop creativity and freedom of expression, Jacques Lecoq created a technique that draws on improvisation and historical movements like Commedia Dell’arte.


Exploring human emotion in relation to space, time, and shape, with specific parameters developed by choreographer Mary Overlie and acting teachers Anne Bogart and Tina Landau. As a theatrical technique, Viewpoints is used to create a story onstage through time (tempo, duration, kinesthetic response, and repetition), space (spatial relationship, topography, architecture, shape, and gesture), and sound (pitch, volume, and timbre).

Williamson Technique

Lloyd Williamson created a companion training to focus on the physical expression of the intellectual training of Sanford Meisner.  Known as the “physical process of communication in acting”, this training uses the five senses to create an experience for the actor. By practicing flexibility and physical connectedness, the actor can begin to create behavior in alignment with that experience. The theory draws on itself; sensory observation creates experience, experience inspires behavior, behavior creates new sensory stimulation, and the cycle continues.

Suzuki Method of Acting

Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki’s intensely physical regime, which trains actors to work from their core and builds discipline, strength, and focus. The rigorous practice draws on martial arts influences and those of Japanese Noh, Kabuki, and the ancient Greek chorus. Suzuki teaches that acting “begins and ends with the feet”; numerous exercises include controlled (and repetitive) forms of stomping and squatting that create a connected center.


How to Help Student Actors Break the Inhibitions Learned From Standardized Test Training

As a former theatre teacher turned administrator, I can tell you I know how important accountability is and I understand why we have standardized tests. Debates rage on between educators, mad moms and legislators about just what these tests measure and how many tests students should have to take. Although I believe true assessment to gage progress and plan actions for improvement is essential for quality instruction, I think we all have seen the negative effects of students being trained to take these tests. For several years now, I have seen student actors choose to do nothing rather than be wrong. As they have been drilled in specific answers or techniques to be successful on the STAAR, they have become less confident in areas where their imagination and creativity are valued.  One of the greatest skills theatre gives these students is the opportunity to exercise creative problem solving and the ability to abandon crippling inhibitions that stop students from contributing their original thoughts or actions.

In my last blog, I focused on Laban. I continue that focus in this blog with more activities to help your students create theatre using their bodies. It is important to remember that these students want to “be right” and are scared to be “wrong”. Creating an environment where you reinforce that the only “wrong” choice is not trying is very important. Once students feel safe to contribute and receive praise for taking healthy, creative risks, beautiful theatre happens. Here are some more exercises to help students break inhibitions and work skills in non-verbal communication.


Objective: to establish a ‘movement memory’ in the students and develop a simple movement sequence

  • Ask the students to spread themselves around the room in their own space.
  • Students stand facing the front in neutral position then walk around the space in a neutral fashion covering the ground in as many different patterns with their feet as possible.
  • When they are asked to halt they are to assume a position in which their body comes in contact with the ground at three points. Call this A.
  • Ask the students to look above them to the side behind them and to check who is close to them and remember that place.
  • Now ask the students to move on again and to then return to the A position. They are to check their position and that of others around.
  • Move on and create a second position, B, in a different place, with 4 contact points with the floor.
  • Establish the location.
  • Move off. Return to position B. Check location.
  • Return to point A.
  • Continue this process establishing 2 more points using ideas such as making the first letters of your first and last name (C and D), with the whole of your body.


Objective: to develop a guided exploration of direct and indirect pathways, weight, effort actions and relationships

  • Select instrumental music to play on a continuous loop for the exercise. I like the CD “I Like to Score” by Moby
  • Instruct students to spread out around the room and build the movement exercise. Add each movement, one at a time. Continue to change between all as follows:
  1. move through the space leading with the hand, allowing the whole body to follow
  2. allow the hand to move the body to the floor into a roll
  3. walk at a slow pace
  4. as you pass another person ‘stick’ to them shoulder to shoulder and move turning in the direction to which you came and separate quickly from them continuing on your own pathway
  5. run (not too fast)
  • Have half of the group stand out and watch and then continue to add the following one at a time:
  1. when you meet someone at a run do a ‘dodge’ and move on
  2. join someone else at a walk, walk behind them for a while
  3. stop and freeze totally for a count of 5
  4. find a frozen person and mould them into a sculpture when you have finished freeze in front of the sculpture you have made the sculpture comes to life moulds you then moves off hold the freeze for 5 seconds
  5. place your arm under the arm of someone else who is leading with their arm and travel with them
  6. add in points A,B,C,D from the previous exercise throughout, holding each for a few seconds
  • Video and analyse the movement using Laban effort actions to describe the movements


Objective: To introduce the concepts of abstraction, repetition and motif

Spread the class around the room.

Build the following into a sequence, which you should allow the students to record at intervals as you go to help them remember the work.

At regular intervals allow half the students to step out and view the rest of the group.

  • Each student decides on a gesture and performs it . (Example- Waving)
  • Now use another part of the body to make that gesture (Example-use the leg to wave (abstraction)
  • Use the whole body to make the gesture. This may simply be the movement quality of the gesture (abstraction)
  • Use the original gesture at normal speed
  • Repeat, using super slow motion
  • Repeat original at super speed 3 times
  • Add changes of direction
  • Choose one of the above gestured moments to move the body from the starting point by allowing the movement to swing into a leap or jump
  1. Repeat above process with a personal mannerism.
  2. Spell out your name using the whole body and different levels (Example-whole body on the floor)
  3. Add travels, turns and stillness throughout the sequence as it builds.

Laban Assessment- Once students have learned the Laban Movements and practiced the techniques, you can assign the following to assess their skills and understanding of the concepts.

In groups of 3 to 6 create a movement piece of approximately 3 minutes duration, which involves:

  • different pathways (direct and indirect)
  • different effort actions (Example-dab, flick, glide, thrust , etc .and weights)
  • different levels
  • different relationships (front to back, side to side, front to front etc.)
  • different speeds and rhythms (time)
  • use an emotion, topic or theme to create a clear dramatic intention

The movement piece must communicate all aspects of the chosen topic or theme (Example: love, conformity, hate, fear, greed, power, tension, etc.) to the audience.

Students will be assessed on their ability to

  • communicate subject matter in a coherent fashion showing clear dramatic intent
  • work within the group to structure and communicate ideas
  • utilise movement in a variety of ways to communicate ideas

Students can do this activity with or without music and with or without props and costumes. Adapt the project to fit your needs. This is also a project that could inspire a playwriting unit or lead to an original performance piece for class production. You can also showcase great Laban work at a dance spring show for more visibility.  Encouraging students to be proud of their creativity and to have confidence in their ability to use their bodies to communicate with the audience is a great step toward breaking the constraining habits of standardized test training.  Helping students recognize the importance of trying to problem solve beyond standardized answers leads to strong theatrical performances and successful students who are able to be great communicators in life.

What I Learned On My Way To The Red Carpet

Last weekend I had the honor of attending the red carpet premiere of a movie starring one of my former students.  It was a fantastic celebration and I couldn’t have been more proud of him.  He is currently studying in L.A. and as we gathered to leave for the premiere I asked him about how his studies were going.  I was excited to hear he felt that he was more than prepared for the challenges of his classes because he felt he was much more advanced in his skills and knowledge of techniques than his peers.  He specifically mentioned how learning Laban in high school allowed him to take his performances to the next level.  I believe that non-verbal communication skills are essential for actors to master to clearly portray believable characters.  Laban is an excellent source of vocabulary and exercises to assist young performers understand the importance of movement in space. Here are some tips to start off your Laban exploration as you work with students to get them Red Carpet ready.

Non Verbal Communications

Body Language is connected to how people think, feel, and communicate – influencing the way we interact and understand each other. Used effectively, it enables us to communicate clearly, genuinely project the appropriate messages, and read others more accurately.

In order to help students better utilize their non-verbal skills in communicating on stage I use techniques inspired by the work of Rudolf Laban (LAY-BEN)

Rudolf Laban (1879-1958) analyzed movement in a manner, which is applicable to drama, dance and other movement forms as an invaluable aid in the development of performance skills.

Movement is considered to have four essential components each with a continuum from one extreme to the other:

SPACE (flexible or direct)

TIME (rhythm – regular/sustained or irregular/sudden and pace – fast or slow)

WEIGHT (light/fine or heavy/firm)

FLOW (continuous/free –disjointed/bound)

Laban called the description of how one moves “effort.” Theoretically, while the definition of “work” in physics refers to weight being moved along a path within a certain time, “effort” refers to how kinetic energy is expanded in space, force, and time within functional and expressive behavior. The form of the movement through space he called “shaping.”

  1. THRUST (firm, sudden, direct)
  2. DAB    (fine, sudden, direct)
  3. PRESS (firm, sustained, direct)
  4. SLASH            (firm, sudden, flexible)
  5. WRING           (firm, sustained, flexible)
  6. FLICK (fine, sudden, flexible)
  7. GLIDE (fine, sustained, direct)
  8. FLOAT            (fine, sustained, flexible)

Gesture vs. Posture Movement

Gestural movement is movement in a part of the body. Postural movement is movement that spreads throughout the body, visibly affecting all parts and usually involving a weight shift.

Effort Flow

The term “effort flow” describes the continuum between degrees of “free” (uncontrolled, fluent, freely swinging, cannot be stopped easily) and of “bound” (controlled, constrained, not fluent, can be stopped at any moment) movement. Effort flow is the under-current, the continual aliveness and going on of movement.

Shape Flow

Shape flow is defined as the continuous change in the form or spatial relationship of body parts, either towards or away from each other. The most elemental changes in shaping would be “in” (flows toward the body, folding, closing, gathering) or “out” (flows away from the body, unfolding, opening, scattering)

Effort Elements

Free or Bound

Indirect or Direct (space)

Light or Strong (force)

Slow or Quick (time)

Shape Elements

In or Out

Rising or Sinking (vertical)

Widening or Narrowing (horizontal)

Advancing or Retreating (sagittal – relating to direction of movement)

Resource to learn more: Laban for Actors- The Eight Effort Actions (Insight Media)

Here are some exercises to help students utilize space and movement to create believable characters and interactions.


  • Start with all students in a circle. Ask students to form a succession of different shapes without using any language or traffic directions.

For example: triangles, rectangle, capital letters, lowercase letters, words, etc.


  • Organise students in a diamond pattern, evenly spaced with enough room to move their arms freely, all facing in the one direction.
  • Allow several students to stand out to observe.
  • Using slow music, such as meditation style/ambient, ask students to follow the student at the leading point, students should be instructed to keep the movement even and slow (similar to tai chi) as it is not a race nor is this exercise to trick others. Encourage students to use different levels and backward movements.
  • The leader changes as, say for example 1 turns his or her whole body toward 2, then 2 leads. At this point substitute the finished leader with an observer and then move others from inside the diamond to the leadership points. Try to do this with as little disruption as possible to the group movement.



*     *

*     *      *

2  *     *       *     * 3

*      *      *

*      *



  • When all students have had a turn at being at a leading point finish the exercise and discuss. At this point begin to identify the language of Laban: continuous flow, direct pathways, as students answer leading questions such as

What sort of movements were difficult/easy to follow?’

‘When you were observing, what looked least/most effective?


Ask students to place themselves in a clump in the middle of the room, all facing to the front of the room. They need to leave enough space to move their arms freely.

Split the group so as to have half the students observing for use of space/ rhythm/ dramatic meaning.

Select one of the corners of the room and identify it as A. Establish the sight line you wish the students to have. Ask the students to point to the corner using their whole arm and hand. Repeat this with all other points in the room, identifying the points with a letter. Make point B diagonally opposite to A.

Now ask the students to close their eyes and direct them to turn and point at a selected point (For example: A) then open their eyes and adjust their arm to correctly identify the position of the point. Repeat with other points. Check the positions are correctly identified a second time or until all students are able to correctly identify each corner.

Begin again from the middle of the room however, this time ask the students to close their eyes and walk slowly toward the identified point (they must walk very slowly so as to avoid collisions, if you can see a collision is imminent ask the students to stop.), ask them to stop and check alignment with the point. Again, ask students to turn and walk toward another point, halt and check continue.

Extension activity- add extra points, establish with location exercise. Incorporate this activity as a warm-up activity.


Seeing is Believing and Doing is the Key!

Theatre is a Greek word meaning “A Seeing Place”. Drama is a Greek word meaning “A Thing Done”. You go to the theatre to SEE actors DOING.

Sometimes it is important to start with the basics as we take students on the journey of creating characters and stories. If we know that people believe what they see before they believe what they hear, it is important to focus on the relationships and character details that an audience can SEE manifested in movement. I like to refer to this as “Motion before Emotion”. If we start with the movement of actors and have them “DO” actions then we can “SEE” and believe the story. For the actor, emotional responses and connections happen naturally as they take on body postures, gestures and physical interactions with other actors. Actors perform actions and all actions are verbs. Using verbs you first sculpt the body to match the verb using, gesture, movement, a posture or pose. Start with the use of the hands then say the verb making another choice without using the hands. Then say the verb with the inflection of that verb, then substitute the real line using the same inflection and the incorporation of movement.

Since an audience can only know what they see and hear about a character, an actor’s physicality – including impairments, tics, and habits – are very important. Actors frequently overlook these traits that can easily make characters more interesting, mysterious, specific or humorous.

Basic movement is body awareness through:

  • SPACE- movement between points (direct/linear/roundabout
    • Levels (low, medium or high)
    • Directions (forward, backward, sideways)
    • Near and far
    • Close (e.g. curled up) and Apart (e.g. stretched out – wide or narrow)
    • Direct (e.g. straight) and Indirect (e.g. twisted)
  • WEIGHTpressure or energy/ heavy or light
  • TIMErate or duration/ sudden to sustained/quick or slow
  • FLOWsequence of movement/continuous, arrested or bound

By mixing and matching the above movement definitions, you can describe any possible human action. As students develop characters they can use these components to create specific characters and interactions that clarify relationship and story for the audience

Here is an exercise to get students moving and “doing”:

You will need: a large space for your students to move around and access to play some music.

Power of Three

You will need: a large space for your students to move around
Put students in groups of 3.

After each instruction below students need to make a new group of three.

 Instruct the students to pick 3 things that are related but have different height levels, tall, medium and short.  The students must portray or act out these three items in an activity that relates them to each other.  Encourage students to use horizontal, vertical and diagonal designs with the body. How do these objects take up space and work together in space?  Explore!

Examples of Power of 3 scenarios:

-a spoon, fork and knife
-needle, thread, thimble
-electric toothbrush, toothpaste and a tooth