Saturday, July 16, 2005

On ACTING: "The Method"

I get a lot of inquiries asking "What is the Method?"

The Method is a course of acting study, a series of acting/emotional insights, developed by the early 20th cetury Russian actor/director/teacher Constantin Stanislavski. He created a series of acting exercises and acting techniques to aid his Moscow Art Theater actors to create emotionally real and deeply impactive acting. In devising such exercises as 'emotional recall' and 'sense memory', he relied very heavily on the brilliant psychological and emotional insights of his somewhat co-contemporary, Sigmund Freud.
Stanislavski's theories and practical work on acting was studied and imported to the United States in the 1930's by such New York based groups as 'The Actor's Studio', The Group Theater, the Neighborhood Playhouse and HB Studios. 'Method' teachers such as Lee Strasberg, Uta Hagen, Stella Adler and Stanley Meisner developed their own unique variants on Stanislavski's 'Method', and created the teaching wave in New York that produced exciting actors such as Marlon Brando, James Dean, Julie Harris, Karl Malden. Kim Hunter, Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy.
Actors must remember: before "The Stanislavski Method' became'The Method', it was a method...and still is. It is a brilliant, powerful teaching and training tool.
But many roads lead to Rome; many techniques lead to good acting: emotional truth delivered to an audience in powerful form...whatever the method of getting to that result.


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