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2009


Method for Directors METHOD acting for directors * online forum Realism * amazon.com * T-blog *
Quotes & Thoughts:
Michael Caine: I'm a skilled professional actor. Whether or not I've any talent is beside the point. [Film yearbook, 1985]
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I want to cry like the man in Durang's comedies. I do not have to be a New Englander or live in New York. I am supposed to be Russian and sentimental. Let me cry.

It's time to depart, my friend. I will never see you again. It's even more traumatic, that I never saw you. No, no, you can't cry, you are supposed to be optimistic, you are an American. It's okay. Shakespeare never saw me too, while he was alive. What a miss! But what can we do? Cry all the time? We will meet in one place anyway, heaven and hell are ion the same building.

So, time to say goodbye....

Let me cry a little.

I am okay now. Because we are about to talk the Theatre Biomechanics! Yes, it's physical, its' brutal, it's like having a sex in fromt of so many people!

It poved to be indeed the last note for Advanced Acting II and Advanced directing Classes -- starting in the Fall'2000 we will require Senior Thesis for both Graduating Actors and Directors (instead of those classes).

For details see your advisor.

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Theatre Theory Pages
What's next? The directing, my friends -- Stagematix!
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Method: Yoga & Freud
Goodbye to college stage and hello to the big world: I hope that acting classes @ Theatre UAF were practical enough and production oriented for you to make a transition. I hope you learned how to learn and can do it on your own. Because you will be learning for the rest of your life, if you want to have a professional life. "On your own" -- remember it, nobody can't do it for you, the learning. If you still do not understand it, you wasted your time in college.
This page, like all PS pages, is supposed to be about "buisness of acting" -- remember, "show-BIZ"? It's easy to forget about the business aspect of acting, while in school. Forget that you want to be paied for acting! Forget that everything you know about "business" ten times more "business," when we are talking about "acting business"! You think that your 7/11 boss is tough on you for being late? Think about the hundreds in the house waiting for curtain to rise. Your "oops" are not yours anymore, your mistakes could cost us the show. Your "F" in math class is yours, your "F" on stage is ours. It's all about the attitute, actors!

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"There are no formulas... on how to become a great actor, or how to play this or that part... With strong desire, if you work, if you come to know your own nature, and discipline it, then... you will become a true artist." - Konstantin Stanislavsky
Advanced Acting/Directing Class
What's next? Try directing!

Costumary to write about success, but I saw more failiors -- and they have more common traits than the success stories. I think about those, who should make, but didn't, often and longer. Especially, about the ones who had it all to succed...

Talant is a dangerous gift. It makes it easy. On the early stages it gives you a sense of superiority next to other novice actors. And if this is how you measure yourself, you are doomed. The best remedy is always competing with yourself...

I like "better" and not "the best" -- in order to develop your talant you have to struggle with it. If it doesn't grow, it kills itself. Talant in you must be served. It has to be labored. And you can't miss a single day. The bigger the talant, the more work is required. Like with a child, you cannot leave it for a week! You have to be an adult to do it.

If you got your BA in Acting, you must be ready to be an actor. You already invested four years of your life in it; more than enough to act and be paid. More than enough to be ready. If you are not ready by then, you need all the lusk to make it.

I look back on you, who didn't make it, and I lack of will, lack of professional relations with your own self, treating yourself as business. From the moment you made your mind on making money by acting, you see it as a start-up enterprise, like restaurant or shop. Well, usually, it takes a few years before any business begins to make profit. And only if you treat it as a business.

Make a deal with yourself, make a promice. Write it in your journal... If you do not keep your journal -- what I wrote makes no sense.

...

An agent is a person who is sore because an actor gets 90% of what they make. ~ Alva Johnson Realism? In his book of memoirs, "My Life and Art," he related the following episode: On one of their tours in the provinces some members of his company happened to be walking in a park. They came upon a spot which bore such a striking resemblance to one of their sets in Turgenev's "A Month in the Country" that then and there they decided to play the scene in its natural setting.
"It was my turn to make the entry," related Stanislavsky. "As set out in the play, I and Mme. Knipper walked down a long alley saying our lines; then we sat on a bench, just as we used to do on the stage; began to talk, and--stopped, for we found ourselves unable to proceed. In the surroundings of living nature my acting, I felt, was utterly false. Yet people say that we have brought simplicity to the point of complete naturalness. How conventional the things we were accustomed to do on the stage proved to be!"

Last Note from Anatoly

The chain of evolution: spectator -> actor -> director -> playwright

Thinking, Feeling and Acting

Chekhov spent a year writing ď3 SistersĒ and he was a professional writer for over 20 years by then, the famous one (in Russia). How can I assume that I can do it in the shorter period? History proved that he did enough thinking, which is the emotional composition and choreography, so actors can PERFORM it. Am I more talented than Chekhov not to put at least as much work as he did?

I would think that each actor must spend as much time on his or her character as writer -- and more. If you are a professional actor, you know what you are doing at every step. Your choice maybe a wrong one, but the choosing must be done. A professional musician starts his training in his childhood. Actor doesnít because your instrument (soul and mind) isnít grown up yet. All those missed years of training must be compensated. Why any doctor have to go through so much reading and memorization, when he is about to be a surgeon (who is a practitioner)?

Memorizing and delivering lines has nothing to do with acting. If you do it better than nine out of ten on the street, you are not thinking right -- there are 6 million people out there. You do your math to figure out the competition.

When I worked with professional actors I didnít ask those questions I ask in acting class -- they were asking me. They had them and I learned how to understand plays the way they did, so I can question too.

Theatre is about commitment. When you want to become a priest, you change you way of living. There is no acting 9 to 5. Artist doesnít have lunch hour. Itís a way of living. Are you an actor or not? -- You decide. There is no middle ground -- if you are a little bit pregnant, you can act in your normal daily life, many do. It is easy to pretend that you are "actor" than a computer programmer. you can do it throughout your entire life -- nobody cares, because it is YOUR life and can do whatever you want with it.

When I was young, I complained about not having real teachers and mentors. I didnít know that it has to be a self-learning experience. The old saying --Art canít be taught, you can learn it -- means that you are the one who does both -- learning and teaching. How can you know how to learn, if you donít know how to teach?

I had many changes in my life, I even managed to change the culture and language -- one thing dictated those changes (including my marriages) and kept the continuity -- theatre. Yes, I got divorced and defected because I had to SERVE this desire for theatre. There is nothing of real value is free, never. You should know how much you are willing to pay. Acting and directing are very expensive gifts to give yourself, you will paying for it longer than the life of your mortgage. If itís too much, make your mind. Theatre could be a wonderful hobby, better than golf.

I wish I can tell it in Acting One and I try, but they canít listen (like talking about sex with a 3 year old). Look at their answers why they got enrolled in theatre class! I wish I learned what I want before I got my first degree -- in thermo-dynamics. But this is a self-learning process, remember? Nobody knows what is for you, not even you -- you have to discover it and it takes time, labor and guts.

Art is personal, acting is the most personal of all arts, because your material is you. If you are willing to expose yourself for all to see, do go there. There are many safe ways to make a living.

Iíll finish and webpost this note after I read all your journals.

I never liked Stanislavsky because of his badly written books (I'm sure I said alredy), but I understand his frustration with actors, who refuse to understand anything. They want to be more stupid than they are. "Direct me!" As if directors have nothing else to do besides working on actors. Actor is not a violin, but a violinist! Why would anyone try to get it out of you? What is this role for you? Who can answer it, if not the actor himself? Of course, a good director can make "act" even a dog (see commercials).

What do I do as a director? I don't understand what I see -- and I ask. Give it to me right in the first place and I won't ask. Can you take directions? Do you understand what was said? If you about to blaim directors, it's unlikely that you will have any professional future.

http://afronord.tripod.com/students/index.html

Your resumes are in the same directory ďstudentsĒ (if you didnít submit them, you will see it in your grade).

See you at auditions! The Actor should make you forget the existence of author and director, and even forget the actor. Paul Scofield

Seagull
Above: Stanislavsky as Trigorin (Moscow Art Theatre, Seagull by Anton Chekhov). Chekhov loved him as an actor, not as a director.

Stanislavsky
Method2002
: From Inside Out

Summary

Sad... Not really. The real theatre is not in the classroom, but this is the place, where it starts.
Well, in you, I mean.

Questions

Too late. Go and have fun. Do theatre. Biomechanics Stanislavsky: ęWhat exercises resembling solfeggi are needed by him? What scales, what arpeggi for development of creative feeling and experience are required by the actor? They must be given numbers... for systematic exercises in the school and at home. All books and works of the theatre are silent on this score. There is no practical textbookĽ. ( My Life in Art, 166-67)

Notes

I will miss you, Teacher. Come back and we will have a talk in my car, Konstantin. Please, sir? I got used to you, Mr. Stanislavsky. Or come to the directing classes and have your fights with Master...
Next: ps
Ed Hooks: Acting springs from religion. Its roots are in ancient shamanism. Actors take to the stage the way a religious leader, a priest or rabbi, takes to the pulpit. Just as a person wakes up one day and realizes that he must follow God, so too does a person realize profoundly that he must act. A talented actor feels the power of moral leadership at the same time that he is approaching his art with humility. Acting is not about becoming a movie star or being famous. It is an honorable and important profession.

The audience is like a congregation. The people in the audience gather together to share a tribal experience and to hear the wisdom of their chosen religious leader. Think for a moment how you would feel if you went to church and the pastor seemed uncertain of his sermon. You would be uneasy, wouldn't you? That is similar to the way an audience feels when confronted by a tepid or uncertain performance by an actor. This is why the best acting training encourages actors to lead from Day One. In order to act with authority -- that is, in order to act at all -- an actor must believe in her bones that she already is an actor, even if she has a limited resume of acting credits.

I cannot make anybody an actor. Neither could Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner or Constantin Stanislavsky himself. All an acting teacher can reasonably do is help someone who is already an actor to become a better one. Acting class is where we work on technique. The perfect acting student, in my opinion, is one that is passionate about communicating with other people; he feels like he has something to say about life, and he can't stop trying to figure out why we humans do the wonderful and awful things we do to one another. He is an autodidact, likely to keep by his bedside books on philosophy, history and politics as well as texts about acting technique and great novels. He sees the comedy in the human drama.

In other words, a great actor is a person of substance and humanity. The fact that a new student in acting class may never have acted on stage in her life is irrelevant and unimportant to me. There is no "right" time to act, and no resume is required. Passion is all.

http://www.edhooks.com/newslett/feb01.html

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