What is Method Acting?
There are many, many any ideas tying in to the idea.
One idea might be:
Experiencing an emotion rather than representing
So, you’re actually really happy or really sad rather than just showing it
Taking things from your own experiences to inform that
Something that you do when training, don’t really use it on set unless you’re desperate.
You want to feel inspired but after fifty takes you might not be feeling it.
Need a technique to make you feel sad, happy, warm cold, etc.
The goal is to be talented and feel it every shot. However, this is not realistic so you might use a technique. This technique might be THE METHOD.
In a way, it’s about creating an Acting tool kit.
You can’t come back tomorrow when the scene needs to be shot. So, your last resort is to fake it!
Daniel gave us a brief history of Method Acting: Stanislavsky from Russia, coming to America in early 20th century.
Inspiring Stella Adler, Lee Strasberg, Sanford Meisner
Started The Actors Studio in New York
We’ll focus mainly on Strasberg’s Method today
Effective memory, emotional recall (Pacino in Godfather 3)
Character work, substitutions, animal work
Words are like a boat on a river, what’s going on underneath is the river (words bouncing along on top, what is beneath will affect what comes out of you)
We used some sense memories: warm sun on face
Stormy, windy weather, driving rain
Using a conscious trigger to awaken an unconscious reaction
Azhar: thought of his climbing of Mt Kilimanjaro and actually felt he was there.
We used monologues the actors had learnt and the words came out differently depending on what triggers we’re using
The breakfast drink exercise: feel the weight if the cup, slowly, slowly study the cup.
Put it aside and imagine it’s still there in your hand as if it is still there
Taste the cup, smell the cup
Then imagine the cup is full, then imagine it’s empty
You believe the cup is there
(Watch TV and you’ll see there is never anything in the coffee cups in the TV show
You can change that by using The Method well.)
Many uses for this especially in commercials
Use this exercise drinking whiskey, sensorially you’ll get drunk!
Use the hot, cold bath exercise, with creepy crawlies
Great for playing an addict in withdrawal, if you feel it you don’t need to show it
Explore sense of place
The we moved on to ‘animal’ work using characteristics of the animals to create characters
Used our monologues and under Daniel’s guidance we brought in our animal
What thoughts did the actors have today?
Azhar: using experience from your past and bring into the characters & be flexible within that
Nikki: emotional recall, lots of emotions easy for me to draw upon
Adriana: learn the monologue better and search for an animal that doesn’t distract me but that actually helps me, suit the animal to the character, make it relevant
Nila: I reacted to the animal very well, can fit it into the monologue easily
Vlad: don’t push it, let it happen – great insight!
Ellen: layering on things, emotions, animal stuff – great!
Caroline: I’m a big thinker, using animal allows me to forget that and bring spontaneity and emotions
John: don’t overthink things, being a bear made me spontaneous and free. In this way, the exercise got me out of my head
Max: astrology idea and complimentary emotions. Gives us a good blueprint for the character
Niketa: the animal work really helps find the character
Jasmine: great character work, just do it
Erin: Animal work! What animal can I use for this piece?
Alice: feeling things intensely is requisite, essential
James: the 3 steps really help you embody the character
Tom: you can become the energy of the animal from your own interpretation and vison of what the animal is
Anna: the discipline of visualising the place. We need to put in the hours, must practise!
Katie: the journey to a scene is great, walking into the place where the scene occurs, stripping off layers and putting more on
Florence: the animal is awesome, I was very sceptical when we started but now let’s try it, it might work, might not, worth trying!
Grace: smell, texture, be alive to these things, there is more to explore!
Mariana: essential to trick your brain into speaking English (as it’s my second language) Working with the Wolf helped me pull it all together
Karen: be more cat!
Michel: animal helped me feel my way through the piece, how I’m speaking rather than what I was saying
Gergo: animal, tricky to interpret but very interesting work
Agustin: great consistency of 3 steps into Method Acting. There is a method to applying the method. Loved the animal exercise, helps change your performance.
Great class, Daniel, thanks!