method acting w/anatoly *
Acting is the expression of a neurotic impulse. It's a bum's life. The principal benefit acting has afforded me is the money to pay for my psychoanalysis. ~ Marlon Brando
An actor is only merchandise. ~ Chow Yun-Fat
Film Acting * Actors ought to be larger than life. You come across quite enough ordinary, nondescript people in daily life and I don't see why you should be subjected to them on the stage too. ~ Donald Sinden
SummaryFall 2003 updates are @ act.vtheatre.net
QuestionsI don't that I can cover all five parts in Five Approaches to Acting, but 1. Getting to the Task (Stanislavsky), 2. Playing Episodes (Biomechanics & Epic Theatre), 3. Building Images -- maybe.
Part IV. Inhabiting the World of the Play and Part V. Telling a Story -- for Acting II?
Method: Yoga & Freud
NotesI have to explain the difference between actors and acting * In Greek mythology, Actor was the father of Menoetius and Astyoche. He was king of Opus in Locris.
Unfinished business from Acting One: "Who is your favorite actor?" I ask. The answers are so generic, they could apply to any and all of them ("uniques, creative, dramatic" and etc.) "What is his/her secrect?" I ask... They behave as customers, not the cooks. Appriciation instead of practice! I need the secret recipes by the star-actor (how else they became "starts" if nor the novelty of their products). Silence. "Don't you understand, I want to know, so I can repeat it, do it by myself?" I need it, I have to develop my own secret formulas and tricks...
Alfred Hitchcock: Well, for me, it all starts with the basic material first. Now, the question of when you have the basic material... you may have a novel, a play, an original idea, a couple of sentences and from that the film begins. I work very closely with the writer and begin to construct the film on paper, from the very beginning. We roughly sketch in the whole shape of the film and then begin from the beginning. You end up with around 100 pages, or perhaps even more, of narrative, which is very bad reading for a litterateur. There are no descriptions of any kind - no 'he wondered', because you can't photograph 'he wondered.'
AH: The method actor is OK in the theatre because he has a free space to move about. But when it comes to cutting the face and what he sees and so forth, there must be some discipline. I remember discussing with a method actor how he was taught and so forth. He said, "We're taught using improvisation. We are given an idea and then we are turned loose to develop in any way we want to." I said "That's not acting. That's writing." And that is why method actors today always turn up on set with a new script.
Vasiliev: Последние годы я стал разрабатывать метод, который позволял бы инициативу от режиссера передать актеру, разрешал бы актеру стать автором своей роли. На первых порах мне удавалось, но у этого прекрасного начинания оказалось свое трагическое завершение. В конце концов актер -- автор своей роли, превращается в актера -- анархиста своей роли. Режиссер теряет управление труппой и -- навсегда, причем чем выше мастерство актера-анархиста, чем выше его превосходство, тем больше он настаивает на безоговорочной самостоятельности. Когда все звезды самостоятельны, очень трудно удержать в мире эту карту звезд, невозможно. Свобода для актера приводит к разложению его личности.
Would it be better to position the vertical (intellectual) as the Apollo line and the horizontal as the Dyonisus (emotional) line?
But "sensing" is the opposite of "feeling"?
In Biomechanics I stress the notion of e-motion: feeling is nothing less than potential energy (of motion). What is sensing?
... In another of his books on acting and playing, "An Actor Prepares," Stanislavsky held that "in our art you must live the part every moment that you are playing it, and every time." In order to accomplish this aim he evolved his "psycho-technique" for the release and free play of proper inspiration, which has its sources in the subconscious mind. He made it impressively clear that an actor who is to be prepared in this manner must have an excellently trained physical and vocal apparatus. His body and his voice, according to the director, must respond to the creative work of his emotions "with precision."
I wish I could propose a new course required for theatre majors -- The Basics of Spectatorship. After all, all theatre "professions" start there. Spectator is a theatrical innocent lover...
Spectator is the beginning of THEATRE, he is the creator of the show...
You don't believe me?
But of course! There is not a single decent book on the subject! I mean, theory of it (not the textbooks on theatre appreciation).
I am sure somebody will write this book one day. The new Virtual Theatre will make this old secret too visible. You, the spectator is about to be in control of the spectacle...
I see, you do not know it yet.
Well, you are in control of ANY show. Peter Brook calls it dead theatre, when public is not the theatre.
What do you think you paying for?
To see, to watch?
No! To write, to act, to direct!
Listen. I got three expressions: looking left, looking right and looking straight ahead. -- Robert MitchumStanislavsky: «An Actor must work all his life, cultivate his mind, train his talents systematically, develop his character. He may never despair and never relinquish his main purpose - to love his art with all his strength and love it unselfishly».The most important thing in acting is honesty. If you can fake that, you've got it made. George Burns
See Acting classes: THR121 Fundamentals of Acting, first. Intermediate and Advanced @ Classes Gateway Page. Theatre is about ACTORS. Director and playwright are there only to serve them.
Stage = Event. An act. An ACTION...
Without it (ACTOR) the whole process is useless. Actor is the end of this road between thought and feelings.
Read about spectatorship to understand it...
Since I teach both film and theatre, I have to state it upfront -- only stage produces trained actors. Acting profession always will stay there.
In the twenties Eisenstein developed theory which name is know as "typecasting."
Camera and director have some much artistic powers on the screen they do not have to depend on actors and acting. We can make everything "act"!
Life performance is where actor is the king.
What does make a good actor?
Here again we have to remember the situation of life show -- the public. The sense and communication with them, all and each one of them -- actor's mode.
The great actors are not known to masses...
Jung: "An inflated consciousness is always egocentric and conscious of nothing but its own existence. It is incapable of learning from the past, incapable of understanding contemporary events, and incapable of drawing right conclusions about the future. It is hypnotized by itself and therefore cannot be argued with. It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must strike it dead" [ THR321 Advanced Acting -- Spring 2006? ]
I plan to post the closeups (film); to illustrate the combination of Method and Biomechanics techniques in acting for camera.
Each acting directory has new pages "Film Acting" (I, II, III).
Homework: "My favotite movie actor" in your journals... and justification. Explain his/her secrets! Yes, yes, the good ones have them -- and you should uncover them in order to use by yourself!