Anthony Quinn: Having talent is like having blue eyes. You don't admire a man for the colour of his eyes. I admire a man for what he does with his talent.
[Sunday Express, 1960]
Why do I say Method Acting for Directors? I thought that I can let Actor Stanislavsky to address directors about the craft and art of acting. What they know themselves about performance, what they expect and ask from the actors, how they can help them to the roles right, how they can learn to play such wonderful intruments and condact the symphony of drama....
SummaryThe general qualification for auditioning performers is previous performance experience documented by resume.
On occasion, an inexperienced person is cast in a limited role when by audition there is demonstrated performance potential. Once cast, performers generally keep that role as a repertoire cast member when the "Theatre Co." goes on tour [summer fests and regional]. There are exceptions to this rule when deemed in the best interest of the production. There are company rules by which all performers are expected to abide and a percentage fine system when performers do not abide. Each cast performer is issued a copy of these rules for review and signature along with a performance contract. All casting is done by a per production contract only. Performers are paid on a per performance basis. The pay scale is based on the role and performance credentials. [non equity actors]
QuestionsWhom the gods wish to destroy they first call promising. ~ Cyril Connoly "Stars"? Street smart, working-class aristocracy.
NotesStanislavsky: «Unless the theatre can ennoble you, make you a better person, you should flee from it».
Grotowski: Teпepь пoгoвopим o пoнятии "тeaтp aнcaмбля". Я пpeдпoчитaю выpaжeниe "тeaтp aнcaмбля", пoтoмy чтo онo шиpe. "Teaтp гpyппы" -- oднo из тeчeний тeaтpa aнcaмбля. Этo тecнo cвязaнo c пoявлeниeм peжиccepa. Peжиccep, в ceгoдняшнeм понимании, пoявилcя лишь в XX вeкe. Bce пpoизoшлo пo инициaтивe князя Mейнeнгeнa, Cтaниcлaвcкoгo, вcex eгo yчeникoв, включaя Meйepxoльдa, вcex тeчeний в миpe, кoтopыe и пpивeли к coздaнию тeaтpa aнcaмбля. Дo этoгo peжиccep -- нe cyщecтвoвaл. Toт, ктo нaзывaлcя "peжиccepoм", практикoвaл в тeaтpaльныx ceмьяx, был дoбpым дядюшкой, гoвopил: "Дopoгaя мoя, ты дoлжнa вoйти в этy двepь, cecть cюдa, нa этoт cтyл, a зaтeм выйти чepeз этy двepь". Peжиccep пoявилcя вмecтe c вeликoй тeатpaльнoй peфopмoй. *
B нacтoящий мoмeнт вeликaя тeaтpaльнaя peфopмa зaкoнчeнa, миpy иcкyccтвa yгpoжaeт кoммepциaлизaция, мы oкaзaлиcь пepeд лицoм xyдoжecтвeннoй кaтacтpoфы в тeaтpe. B нacтoящee вpeмя импpecapиo бepyт нaпpoкaт aктepoв для oпpeдeлeннoй пьecы нa нecкoлькo нeдeль peпeтиций и пpeвpaщaют aктepoв в paбoв, кoтopыe дoлжны лишь выпoлнять фyнкцию для экoнoмичecкoй индycтpии. В Европе пoкa нe тaк зaмeтнo, нo этo вpeмя нacтyпaeт. B Aмepикe подобная cиcтeмa yжe yбилa тeaтp aнcaмбля, cиcтeмa "напрокат" нaчaлa yничтoжaть тeaтp aнcaмбля в Aнглии. Пoд пpeдлoгoм нoвoй экoнoмики и нoвoй кoммepчecкoй идeoлoгии oтмeняют вce, чтo былo oткpытo вo вpeмя вeликoй тeaтpaльнoй peфopмы.
Пoчeмy нeoбxoдим тeaтp aнcaмбля? Пoтoмy чтo бeз aнcaмбля нeвoзмoжeн xyдoжecтвeнный тeaтp. Heльзя cыгpaть oднy пpeмьepy c нeизвecтными людьми, чтoбы пoтoм пoйти в дpyгoe мecтo, пpoйти чepeз вce yнижeния пpocлyшивaния и дeлaть eщe что-то. Taким oбpaзoм, пpoдaeшь, чтo yжe имeeшь. Hyжнo дeлaть быcтpo, нyжнo, чтoбы тeбя пpиняли, знaчит, нyжнo пpoдaвaть, чтo пpинecлo ycпex вчepa. Taк мы пpoдaeм, чтo yжe знaeм. И тo, чтo yжe oткpыли, cнижaeтcя в кaчecтвe. Этo yжacнo! Ha caмoм дeлe, кoгдa paбoтaeшь нaд пpeмьepoй -- гoтoвишь cлeдyющyю, кoтopyю cдeлaeшь чepeз тpи или чeтыpe гoдa. Имeннo тaк пpoиcxoдилo в Teaтpe-Лaбopaтopии: мы выпycтили "Гaмлeтa", кoтopый посчитали кpaxoм, нe я тaк cчитaл, а кpитики, ocoбeннo -- пoлитики. Ho нecкoлькo лeт cпycтя пoявилcя "Apocalypsis cum figuris", кoтopый был пpямым продолжением "Гамлета". Делаешь что-то, а на самом деле готовишь неизвестное, что сделаешь через несколько лет. Это возможно лишь если есть ансамбль. Правда, что жизнь театральной труппы коротка. Профессор Коженевски из Польши говорил, что жизнь труппы равна продолжительности жизни собаки: десять-четырнадцать лет. Но их еще иметь нужно, эти десять-четырнадцать лет. Таким образом, факт исчезновения театра ансамбля я рассматриваю как исчезновение художественного театра. Искусство как созидание -- это открытие неизвестного. То, что уже признано, то, что уже найдено, не творчество. Именно усилие -- к неизвестному придает искусству созидательность. Когда я говорю, что Станиславский стал в конце концов гениальным, это не только потому, что открыл великую методу, но в большей степени потому, что он был в поиске, всегда в поиске, и в конце концов природа награждает за поиск. Каждый актер, когда он находится в настоящем поиске, начинает источать чудесный свет, это природа вознаграждает его за поиск, за уход от известного к неизвестному. Итак, если определить как искусство -- искусство открывать неизвестное, то искусство Неизвестного невозможно в театре импресарио.
[ Stanislavsky ]
"Create your own method. Don't depend slavishly on mine. Make up something that will work for you! But keep breaking traditions, I beg you." StanislavskyArchetype: A symbol, usually an image, which recurs often enough in literature to be recognizable as an element of one's literary experience as a whole. Carl Jung used the term "archetype" to refer to the generalized patterns of images that form the world of human representations in recurrent motifs, passing through the history of all culture. Since archetypes are rooted in the collective unconscious, they may be conceived through the psychic activity of any individual, be it in the form of dreams, art works, the ancient monuments of religious activity, or the contemporary images of commercial advertising. Such archetypes as the "innocent babe," the "unheeded prophet," the "philosopher's stone," and many others which also have their source in the primitive darkness of the unconscious, are repeated in numerous works of cultural creation.
This page is connected with COMEDY (genre) and CHARACTER (hero) pages: both have to be established. Everything else you can do is on the top of the first fundamental choices.
If you read Biomechanics pages, you understand actor "writes" his "texts" (performace) and is required to define his "game." Type is the rule, no less than gender or age (the exercises we do in class). We can't go any further in developing your character unless the choices are made.
Start where you are -- look at yourself! Are you tall? Play it. Short? Play it to the extreme -- make yourself shorter! Very short! Comedy asks for extremes -- give it, be big in your acting choices.
Every personal physical characterization is for your charcter, give it away (you got it for free). Parody yourself and you will get this comedic hero. Remember, "below everage" (Aristotle)? Make this type below yourself! Make it simple; go only after the obvious.
The problem is that we do not know ourselves....
Don't fight it.* Audience is the most important member of any cast.
Each of us has a God-given design; your body is something like a situation, make it work for you. Yes, you are and should be a type. It's not the end of your artistic life, my friend, but a starting point.
At the time when the modernist revolution brought the ordinary to center stage, Meyerhold returned to traditional types of Commedia del Arte. Since in Russian tradition of repertory theatre artistic (chief) director builds a "team," Meyerhold thought about a composition of acting body of his theatre capable of playing many plays. Amplua -- natural gravitation of actor to dramatic organization of stories developed by centuries of tradition. Hero and villain, a friend (helper) of a hero, a victim, etc.
Here is Meyerhold's list of types:
[ Auditions in Theatre Theory. ]
Socialite ("Fat" from French)
Common type hero
Character Comic Actors (young)
Hero of new drama
2. FemaleTragic heroine
Common dramatic heroine
Young common comic
Young dramatic character actress
Young comic character actress
Heroine of new drama
Dramatic character actress
Comical old woman
So? Who are you?
This is your home work -- think about it. It will help you to do the selection of monologues, should help you with your acting choices. Look at well known actors -- who is your favorite? Why? Go for impersonation. This is a labor of self-recognition, getting comfortable with your medium -- yourself.
Find our modern equivalents to the Meyerhold's list.
In your Actor's journal describe yourself.
What are other (good) limitations?
By age, of course.
This classification needs to be compared with another Meyerhold's "Silver Age" (Komisarjevskaya Theatre) period (Symbolism). Commedia del'Arte casting is restoring physical qualities of actors. Good.
Limitations are good for you!
Each actor is a different instrument, each character is a different melody...
I can put in visual composition terms, too.
Harmony in each role, harmony in all!
Conflict in each -- and conflict in all.
Do you want to understand the laws of casting? Use nothing but common sense; think about yourself, the spectator!
All answers are in one place -- the AUDIENCE!
If you understand PUBLIC, do theatre...
Too simple to understand?
Yes, I direct before I cast, but I do not rehearse!
Oh, there is a big difference in director's mind between the two stages of living the show.
For days I can't get used to the "new" show after I casted it.
I rehearse in order for my show and our show to meet...
Well, there is their show as well -- but know little about it; it's between the play, my actors -- and you, the public.
I do not like to see my shows. I can't revisit the past...
The modern movement often called method acting is also often referred to as "the Stanislavski System" after Konstantin Stanislavski who pioneered the ideas in his teachings, writings, and acting. His most influential books are the autobiography My Life in Art, and his trilogy of books set in a fictionalized acting school as a pretense for his own teachings, An Actor Prepares, Building a Character, and Creating a Role.
Many others have taken the place of Stanislavski as prominent method teachers. Perhaps the most successful and worthwhile being Michael Chekhov, Anton Chekhov's nephew; Vantankov, a Stanislavski student and protegй; Uta Hagen, the author of "Respect for Acting"; Richard Boleslavski; and most importantly Lee Strasberg who had a great impact on both The Actor's Studio and the Group Theater, which were method acting strongholds, labs for experimentation, and the equivalent to nursery schools for many of the greatest actors of the late 20th century.
A separate, though closely related, school of Method acting was championed by Sanford Meisner, another Group Theatre pioneer. Meisner broke from Strasberg on the subject of "sense memory" or "emotion memory", one of the basic tenets of Method. Meisner's theory thus revolves around being fully in the moment of the character, and experiencing all sensations as the character would, while his contemporaries used their own experiences as springboards into the emotional life of the character.
THE UNCONSCIOUS. A basic tenet: All products of the unconscious are symbolic and can be taken as guiding messages. What is the dream or fantasy leading the person toward? The unconscious will live, and will move us, whether we like it or not.
Personal unconscious. That aspect of the psyche which does not usually inter the individual's awareness and which appears in overt behavior or in dreams. It is the source of new thoughts and creative ideals, and produces meaningful symbols.SYMBOL. A name, term, picture which is familiar in daily life, yet has other connotations besides its conventional and obvious meaning. Implies something vague and partially unknown or hidden, and is never precisely defined. Dream symbols carry messages from the unconscious to the rational mind.
Collective unconscious: That aspect of the unconscious which manifests inherited, universal themes which run through all human life. Inwardly, the whole history of the human race, back to the most primitive times, lives on in us.
ARCHETYPES. These primordial images reflect basic patterns or universal themes common to us all which are present in the unconscious. These symbolic images exist outside space and time. Examples: Shadow, animus, anima, the old wise person, the innocent child. There also seem to be nature archetypes, like fire, ocean, river, mountain.
PERSONA. The "mask" or image we present to the world. Designed to make a particular impression on others, while concealing our true nature.
SHADOW. The side of our personality which we do not conscousnly display in public. May have positive or negative qualities. If it remains unconscious, the shadow is often projected onto other individuals or groups.
ANIMA. Archetype symbolizing the unconscious female component of the male psyche. Tendencies or qualities often thought of as "feminine."
ANIMUS. Archetype symbolizing the unconscious male component of the female psyche. Tendencies or qualities often thought of as "masculine."
DREAMS. Specific expressions of the unconscous which have a definite, purposeful structure indicating an underlying idea or intention. The general function of dreams is to restore one's total psychic equlilibrium. They tend to play a complementary or compensatory role in our psychic makeup.
SYNCHRONICITY. The meaningful coincidence of a psychic and a physical state or event which have no causal relationship to each other.
SELF. Archetype symbolizing the totality of the personality. It represents the striving for unity, wholeness, and integration.
MANDALA. The Sanskrit word for circle. For Jung, the mandala was a symbol of wholeness, completness, and perfection. Symbolized the self.
AMPLIFICATION. To get a larger sense of a dream, a kind of spreading-out of associations by referring to mythology, art, literature, music. ("Where have we heard this before."
ACTIVE IMAGINATION. A concept embracing a variety of techniques for activating our imaginal processes in waking life in order to tap into the unconscious meanings of our symbols.
PSYCHOLOGICAL TYPES. People differ in certain basic ways, even though the instincts which drive us are the same. He distinguished two general attitudes--introversion and extraversion; and four functions--thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuiting.
Extravert: Outer-directed, need for sociability, chooses people as a source of energy, often action-oriented.
Introvert: Inner-directed, need for privacy and space; chooses solitude to recover energy, often reflective.
Thinking function: Logical, sees cause & effect relations, cool, distant, frank, questioning.
Feeling function: Creative, warm, intimate, a sense of valuing positively or negatively. (Note that this is not the same as emotion)
Sensing function: Sensory, oriented toward the body and senses,
detailed, concrete, present.
Intuitive. Sees many possibilities in situations, goes with hunches, impatient with earthy details, impractical, sometimes not present.
... Now you know what I take into a considiration casting every show. Anatoly [Jung's tests -- I have other criteria, many]http://mythosandlogos.com/Jung.html