BioMethod : acting one *
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I'll using this page for two 2003 classes!
Fall 2002 -- get on my mailing list!
NEW: Subdirectories: 1-2-3-4-5
SummaryUse eGroup for the Fall 2003 class: wwwilde
Notes[ Archive Page ]
You see their faces (Meyerhold and Stanislavsky) in both directories (Stage-Matrix and Method for Directors) and those are the next zones to go after you are done with the subjects of the Acting One.strasberg.com: "Acting is generally agreed to be a matter of less mimicry, exhibitionism, or imitation than the ability to react to imaginary stimuli." PS, notes pages.
Five Approaches to Acting, David Kaplan (textbook)Part I. Getting to the Task
Part II. Playing Episodes
Part III. Building Images
[ see acting2 pages ]
[ ... ]Lesson Plan:"Trained Actor"
1. Review (Textbook Reading)
2. Scenes (homework)
3. New material
4. Shows: discussion
Review the terms introduced
Cold Reading: "When you get that big break (an opportunity to read for a role in a film or TV program), you will need to audition. Most auditions are conducted at the offices of the Casting Director. You will be required to read what are referred to as "sides." What this consists of is a small portion of the script (usually several pages). In some cases you will be able to acquire these in advance, and in other cases the sides are given to you when you arrive. Generally, someone reads opposite you and you actually act the role out. Many scripts, along with dialog, will give basic emotions, however, you may ask the Casting Director what your motivation is. This will better aid you in reading the lines appropriate to what they are seeking in the role. Often there will be multiple people there at the same time waiting to read for the same role. You will read and then leave, hoping to receive a call from them (or your agent) with the good news."
-- improvisation strasberg.com: "Stanislavsky suggested that the actor, in approaching his work on a scene ask himself four questions: (1) who he is (character), (2) where he is (place), (3) what he is doing there (action and intention), and (4) what happened before he came there (given circumstances). The answers to these questions provide the actor with the necessary background for his performance, helping him to create the scene. In approaching the play in its entirety, the actor must subject his role to more intense analysis: he must search for the spine, or the kernel, of the play as well as its division into separate sections or units of actions. He must discern the beats of the play (i.e., the smallest units of dramatic action into which each role can be divided) as well as the rhythms of the play as a whole. He must determine what adjustments must be made in his performance for each of the other characters. For some plays an additional element is necessary: the overall mood, or pervading texture, that surrounds the play or out of which the play stems. The attempt to determine it, however, may lead to an excess of verbal and mental gymnastics that are of little actual value, unless the actors have been trained in the proper procedures. The actors must act out the elements involved in the analysis in order to receive any concrete benefit from it; otherwise it may remain superficial or merely intellectual."
Acting Intro @ Theatre w/Anatoly"Inside the Actors Studio" (Bravo, cable) -- Famous actors, directors and writers reminisce about their careers and the philosophy behind their careers.
System of the Method:
Meyerhold + Stanislavsky
for Directors & Actors
The Book of Spectator
Indicate where it's 221 BM (Meyerhold) and 321 Method (Stanislavsky' picture).
THR121 Fundementals of Acting (who?)
The subdirectories 1-5 will be developed by the end of 2002. Rehearsal process: This is primarily the time in which the director's conception of the play must be harmonized with those of the actors; it is of immense importance that the actor approach the rehearsal in a creative frame of mind, ready to enlarge both his own and his colleagues' interpretations. Without a logical sequence of rehearsals, the actor's creativity cannot be properly stimulated. Without an understanding of the psychology of the rehearsal procedure, much of the work of the actor and the director may be defeated in production. There are, for example, significant possibilities in the reading rehearsal, in which the actors, usually seated in a circle, read aloud from the script and discuss its meanings as they proceed through it. There is enormous value in improvisation, when it is understood and used correctly. The relation between the individual actor and the ensemble is welded during the rehearsals, and they are the proper time to encourage the actor to begin to develop his movements to block the scene, to memorize his lines.
Select YOUR character, key scene and monologue.
Make and keep your notes in class!
Here, the class notes!
... Diderot's "Paradox of Acting." The most significant statement on acting is Diderot's "Paradox of Acting". Because of its polemic brilliance, it remains the most widely known essay on acting. It has found little acceptance within the profession, though its famous paradox-that in order to move the audience the actor must himself remain unmoved-is still highly regarded.
Later, in examining many parts he had played, especially that of Dr. Stockmann in Henrik Ibsen's "An Enemy of the People," a role he felt was better suited to him than any other in his repertoire, he became aware of how much his characterizations had been based unconsciously on his memories. With the passing of time, however, the memories and the feelings aroused by them were lost, and he began to repeat mechanically the fixed appurtenances of the role - the movements of the muscles, the mimetics of the face, eyes, arms, and body, and the physical signs of absent emotion. This led him to the perception that creativeness on the stage demands a condition he called "the creative mood." To the genius on the stage, this condition almost always comes of itself, and less talented people receive it less often. Although everyone on the stage receives the creative mood sometimes, none seemed able to control it with their own will.
Stanislavsky's description of the problem thus far had reached the point at which all previous examinations had stopped. By going further and inquiring into technical means for controlling the creative mood, Stanislavsky laid the foundation for the modern approach to the actor's problem. Stanislavsky had no intention of creating inspiration by artificial means; rather, he wanted to learn how to create favorable conditions for the appearance of inspiration by means of the will. He emphasized that this problem could be evaded. Other artists may create whenever they are of mind or feel inspired, but "the artist of the stage must be the master of his own inspiration and must know how to call it forth when it is announced on the poster of the theatre." If he is unable to find a conscious path to unconscious creativeness, the actor is forced to rely on the superficial aspects of scenic craft and theatrical cliches.
Stanislavsky believed that the problem could be solved through advanced psychology, especially the concept of "affective memory" described by the French psychologist Theodule Ribot in the 1890's. Although there has been confusion and misunderstanding about it, and its very existence has been questioned, the concept of affective memory is of prime importance for the understanding of how spontaneous and emotional experiences occur and can be repeated on the stage.
Affective memory is a reliving of past experiences - likes and dislikes - when an analogous situation recurs. Something that has brought pain is anticipated with dislike the second time. The dislike, which is felt immediately, rather then remembered, is like a residue of previous appraisals. Affective memory may be linked directly to the memory of a traumatic experience, as the same situation or a similar one recurs, or to an experience that bears little apparent relation to the original, if the memory has been repressed. Of course, an experience need not necessarily be traumatic to leave an affective memory. The concept of affective memory has found a place in several schools of psychology, including the Freudian and the Pavlovian, though different explanations have been offered (compare M.B. Arnold, "Human Emotion and Action," in Human Action, ed. by T. Michel, 1969 p.173).
The concept embraces both sense memory and emotional memory. The latter term was used by Stanislavsky in his later work to refer to the experiences of an intense and explosive nature that are so necessary for the most dramatic moments in the theatre. The concept of affective memory is essential to an understanding of how the actor functions and the faculties that have to be trained to develop his talent. It is unusually sensitive affective memory that enables the actor to respond to events that must be imagined on the stage and to repeat performances. This point was stressed by Stanislavsky's great pupil Yevgeny Vakhtangov, who emphasized that literal emotion - emotion that derives from the presence of an object that actually stimulates it - cannot be controlled and cannot be relied upon to provide the level of response that is required in every performance.
The use of affective memory is not limited only to acting. Wordsworth defined poetry as originating from "emotion recollected in tranquility." Marcel Proust, in a long passage in "Swann's Way," brilliantly described the working of affective memory and illustrated precisely the way in which it can be recalled. Instances of its presence can be multiplied from all the arts - literary, visual, or musical. But though in other arts it can function consciously, the actor must learn to use is consciously to satisfy the unique conditions under which he must create.
The "Method" is the name by which the totality of Stanislavsky's ideas have become most widely known. The Method represents a development of his procedures based not only on his writings but also on his actual achievement in his major productions. It includes the work of Vakhtangov, who demonstrated that Stanislavsky's ideas apply to the essential problems of the actor in any style and not only the realistic style most often associated with them. The Method became widely known in the mid-20th century largely through the work in films of actors such as Marlon Brando, Rod Steiger, and Geraldine Page, who had studied at the Actors Studio in New York City. These actors made a powerful impression and showed a remarkable ability to bridge the gap between stage, screen, and television to an extent that aroused excitement and interest in the rest of the world. So strong was the fusion of performer and role that many of the traits of the character were confused with those of the actor, which led to serious misunderstanding. But at mid-20th century an American style of acting was being born."
Film-North * Anatoly Antohin * eCitations *
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