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Robert De Niro: One of the things about acting is it allows you to live other people's lives without having to pay the price. I've never been one of those actors who has touted myself as a fascinating human being. I had to decide early on whether I was to be an actor or a personality.
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Is it possible? Of course. In fact, it's very normal. Formula:
Actor = Character
Theory of Spectatorship
3 SISTERS: showcase
Dionysis -- Biomechanics
ShowCases: 3 Sisters, Mikado, 12th Night, Hamlet, The Importance of Being Earnest, Dangerous Liaisons, Don Juan
prof. Anatoly Antohin Theatre UAF AK 99775 USA (907)474-7751
"Man must be overcame," wrote my favorite German -- and the century later it took place. To put is softly, we are postmodern, post-humans. The technology did what Marx dreamed about; no more this Hamlet-Individual.
I miss this young man -- and the only advise I can give to him and myself: go post-postmodern. Become an actor! Learn how to move from one identity into another, keep chenging them, play... That's what they do, the celebratiers and politices -- where is a mask, where is a face? Who knows? Who cares? Stage is everywhere! Act!
Method can help, if you master the very idea of multiple identities...
Relax, madness under control is white madness -- creativity!
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SummaryPublic: Alone Together
Questions"Very often, in the actor's attempt to take on a character, he will use all sorts of makeup, wigs, and accents. These can be helpful, but they sometimes obscure the real person, and then we have neither the actor nor the character.
Within and Without, Depth and Surface are in all acting. We go deeply into a part in order to come out with fullness and believability. Michael Chekhov wrote of the "psychological gesture." If you put your hand to your head, something will happen to you inside. If you extend your arms wide, something will happen inside. You can start the other way around. You can begin with a memory of something deep in your mind. In every part, however, within and without must be one."
NotesT. Williams: We're all of us sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life!
As a participant . . . you cannot see yourself, but only what surrounds you. . . . You react with your inner nature to what is going on as truly as in real life.
If you sense the truth in a play subconsciously, your faith in it will naturally follow, and the state of "I am." . . . The smallest action or sensation, the slightest technical means, can acquire a deep significance . . . only if it is pushed to its limit of possibility, to the boundary of human truth, faith and the sense of "I am." When this point is reached, your whole spiritual and physical make-up will function normally. -- Collected Works, Vol. II Stanislavsky
and this is why we need --
In the beginning it is best to take subjects which are within your reach, and not too overburdened with complicated psychology . . . but even the most primary kind of exercises must be carried to the point of mastery, of virtuosity in execution. It is not the job of teachers to give instruction in how to create, we should only push students in the right direction, while training their taste, requiring from them the observance of the laws of nature, and the execution of their simplest exercises carried to the point of art, which is to say absolute truthfulness and technical perfection.
Improvisations which they work out themselves are an excellent way to develop the imagination. . . . Student actors who have been trained on improvisations later on find it easy to use their imaginative fancy on a play where this is needed.
In addition to the development of imagination improvisations . . . have another asset: while working on one an actor naturally, without even perceiving it, learns the creative laws of organic nature and the methods of psycho-technique. -- Collected Works, Vol. III Stanislavsky
IDENTIFICATION (ID): both must be present (by definition) -- You and the Other.[ from Total Acting glossary * ]
I am the Other... Anatoly"To be a character who feels a deep emotion, one must go into the memory's vault and mix in a sad memory from one's own life." -- Albert FinneyFrom the (Investment) Newsletter:"In the world of theater, actors are taught that their lines are only the end product of intense external environmental and internal psychological factors besetting their characters. The actors' lines are not the source of the character, merely its final expressions after all the conflicting swirls of the character's "life" have been accommodated and evaluated within that character's individual psyche. To merely speak lines from a page is poor acting because there is no character, only a series of meaningless words. An actor cannot become a character without "being" in that character's mental frame of mind. An actor is a failure if he is unable to explore and learn within his own mental world."
Why would the financial advisor be interested in acting? Acting is a behavior. You have to behave (live) as ACTOR, meaning "living as your characters"! This is the core of the Method. "it has been said that actors have no character, because in playing all characters they lose3 that which Nature gave them, and they become false just as the doctor, the surgeon, and the butcher, become hardened." (Denis Diderot, The Paradox of Acting, Actors on Acting 169).
Do you understand it?
When Aristotle introduced the idea of mimesis he didn't stress the pre-conditions of imitation -- identification. Imitation is (one way of another) an understanding, connecting yourself with the subject of imitation. That's the basis of Stanislavsky's theory of acting. Spectator identifies himself with both -- character (fiction) and actor (real). Interesting, we do treat character as real. We're forgeting that Hamlet is "played."
Definition: Spectator = Character = Actor
Of course, the identification is never total. That would be madness. We still remember that theatre is theatre."Nobody "becomes" a character. You can't act unless you are who you are." -- Marlon Brando
Instead of identification (ID) with the character reacting to the character.
Distance (through A-effect) with your character.
You are your material. Struggle (conflict) with the material -- and overcoming the material.
Balance between the fixed and the freedom. "Actor's choices." First, second, third choice. If you don't have at least three, you are not ready to choice. Go back and do you home work.
MASTER GESTURE"The soul desires to dwell with the body because without the members of the body it can neither act nor feel." Leonardo Da VinciMichael Chekhov begins his work THE PSYCHOLOGICAL GESTURE with those words.
Could we laugh at "confession"? We would like to?
The idea of Comedy Mask and Method.
EXRECISES: The folding, postmodernists call it -- doubling. Come to the mirror: here it is -- we begin to act immidiately, we making faces, the face we would like others to see as ME!
HOME WORK: "Inner Gesture" for your character (define). Several choices. Presention in class.
Above: Stanislavsky as Trigorin (Moscow Art Theatre, Seagull by Anton Chekhov). Chekhov loved him as an actor, not as a director.
Method2002: From Inside Out
Each dramatic and artistic image, created on the stage, is unique and cannot be repeated, just as in nature.
Without an external form neither your inner characterisation, nor the spirit of your image will reach the public. The external characterisation explains and illustrates.
An actor is called upon to create an image while he is on the stage and not just show himself off to the public. . . . All actors who are artists, creators of images, should make use of characterisation.
There are some actors, for whom the image they have created becomes their alter ego, their double. The image never leaves them. . . . They constantly watch the image, not in order to copy it, but because they find themselves under its spell, in its power, and they act thus or thus because they are living the life of their image. --An Actor Prepares
--Building a Character
NB: Read "Actors on Acting" textbook.
INNER CREATIVE STATE ON THE STAGE
When an actor comes out on the stage before an audience he may lose his self-possession from fright, embarrassment . . . [or] a sense of overwhelming responsibility. . . . At that moment he is incapable of speaking, listening . . . thinking, feeling . . . , or even moving in an ordinary human way. He feels a nervous need to gratify the public, to show himself and to hide his own state . . . (which we call a mechanical, theatrical mood).
I clearly realized the harm inherent in the mechanical, theatrical mood, so I began to search for some other spiritual and physical state while on the stage which would be beneficial rather than harmful to the creative process. . . . My observations taught me . . . that in the creative state a large role is played by the absence of all physical tension, the complete subordination of the body to the actor's will. . . . Then I perceived that creativeness is first of all conditioned by the complete concentration of an actor's entire nature.
So an actor turns to his spiritual and physical creative instrument. His mind, will and feelings combine to mobilize all of his inner "elements." . . . Out of this fusion of elements arises an important inner state . . . the inner creative mood. The habit of being daily on the stage and in the right creative state is what produces actors who are masters of their art. --An Actor Prepares
--My Life in Art
Not only possible, but required.
Art is beyond the possible. You hear a lot of stories about artists and madness.
Art is a controlled madness and artists is a master of this art.
To perform is to double your existence, to add another life (your character) to your life.... This is the power and the attract of the art -- you are gaining anthoer, new life!
I always say to students: Do not fear, give it -- and you will gain. Give everything you got to your character -- and you will get it back, and more!
Write about limitations of Method in your Actor's Journals.
Lesson #60 or 90 min
1. review (previous class)
3. new key terms & definitions
4. monologues & scenes
5. issues & topics
6. questions, discussion, analysis
7. in class work
9. improv & games
12. online, journals
* new : teatr.us
The first qualifier of an actor’s type may come through the submission of the headshot and resume which are what agents and casting directors will screen applicants by first.
Being the right age for the role.
Having the right physical dimensions for the role.
Having the right kind of voice for the role.
Having special talents the role requires, like dancing.
Able to take direction when it is given.
Having the right set of skills obtained through training and years of experience.
A match with the theatrical requirements of the role. For example, if the part calls for someone to “take charge” (dominate the proceedings) the actor should indicate this ability. INNER IMAGES AND HEARING
As long as we are acting creatively this film (an unbroken series of images) will be thrown on the screen of our inner vision, making vivid the circumstances among which we are moving. . . .
As to these inner images. . . . is it correct to say we feel them inside of us? We possess the faculty to see things which are not there by making a mental picture of them. This inner stream of images . . . is a great help to the actor in fixing his attention on the inner life of his part.
The same process occurs when we are dealing with sounds. We hear imaginary noises with an inner ear. --An Actor Prepares
Since these three forces form a triumvirate, inextricably bound up together, what you say of the one necessarily concerns the other two. . . . This combined power is of utmost importance to us actors and we should be gravely mistaken not to use it for our practical ends. . . . Actors whose feelings over-balance their intellects will, naturally, in playing Romeo or Othello, emphasize the emotional side. Actors in whom the will is the most powerful attribute will play Macbeth or Brand and underscore ambition, or fanaticism. The third type will unconsciously stress, more than is necessary, the intellectual shadings of a part like Hamlet or Nathan the Wise.
It is, however, necessary not to allow any one of the three elements to crush out either of the others and thereby upset the balance and necessary harmony. Our art recognizes all three types and in their creative work all three forces play leading parts. --An Actor Prepares
System, Method and Reincarnation, Resurrection ...
I may also say, to turn the phrase around, that although these imaginary objects and images are suggested to us by outside life they nevertheless are first shaped within us, in our imagination and memory.
It is only against the background of such explanations that we can accept the term "inner vision." --An Actor Prepares
-- Collected Works, Vol. II
[ Stanislavsky ]
The most important [difficulty] is the abnormal circumstance of an actor's creative work. . . . Other [non-performing] artists can create when they are under the influence of inspiration. But an actor himself is obliged to call forth his inspiration at the exact time he is advertised to come out and perform. . . . The very best that can happen is to have the actor completely carried away by the play; then regardless of his own will he lives the part. . . . subconsciously and with inspiration. No such genius exists. . . . Therefore our art teaches us first of all to create consciously . . . because that will best prepare the way for . . . inspiration. Realism, and even naturalism, in the inner preparation of a part is essential, because it causes your subconscious to work and induces outbursts of inspiration. . . . We need a creative . . . subconscious and the place to look for it above all is in a stirring objective. . . . When an actor is completely absorbed by some profoundly moving objective, so that he throws his whole being passionately into its execution, he reaches a state we call inspiration.
If today you are in good form and are blessed with inspiration, forget about technique and abandon yourself to your feelings. But an actor should remember that inspirations appear only on holidays. Therefore there must be some other well-prepared course for him to follow and which he can control. . . . The easiest one for him to establish is the line of physical actions. . . . Let him absorb all the technical means at his disposal until they become second nature. Let him adopt the given circumstances of his part so completely that they become his very own. Only then may his ultrasensitive inspiration decide . . . to emerge, and take into her power and direction his creative initiative.
Give up chasing this phantom, inspiration. Leave it to that miraculous fairy nature. --An Actor Prepares
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