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«Моя система для всех наций, - отмечает он в записной книжке. У всех людей природа одна, а приспособления - разные. Приспособления система не трогает».

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Observation and imitation: Watch the silent movies. Besides bad acting, there are many "big movements" BEFORE the titles appeare. Remember, my friend, that the conflict between what I see and what I hear ALWAYS must present! Otherwise you are losing subtext... Do you follow me?

Pre-Acting

Sorry, I am not done with the topic.

Did you read the Acting Directory (Fundamentals)? Did you read Biomechanics?

The problem is that it's difficult to mix them both (Stanislavsky and Meyerhold) in classes and on webpages. "Pre-Acting" is the term introduced by Meyerhold, who hated Stanyslavsky' System and loved Stanislavky as an actor (he was Meyerhold's first teacher of theatre). Meyerhold often used Stanislavsky as an example of great "pre-acting"!

Pre-acting is "actor's exposition": once character is introduced, you must maintain his main physical traits throughout the entire role. But pre-acting also serves as intrudiction of the situation through character's reactions (Remember, acting is reacting!).

Strictly speaking, pre-acting never ends and could be called "acting" as long as you remember that not a single sentense can't be spoken without visual preparation for it. I have to see it coming, guessing, focusing on what will be said in a second.

Therefore we better rethink what we call "pauses" -- that is the moment, actor! Writer gets silent and gives stage to you!

Are you ready?

In class before actor speaks first line I require to establish some 5W's by preacting (monologue study). I need to see the conflict, I need to SEE that famous "motivation" (including the motivation for speaking the first line).

When we do acting on camera this pre-acting requirement becomes even more crucial (closeups). Please, see film acting pages, "acting ios reacting" means little if we do not understand that we have to react to ourselves (our own thoughts, feelings, visions, past, future), and -- react to camera (subtext page). In short, this is Acting with the camera.

The same in live theatre; you have to know how to act with the public, how to turn them into your partner, to use their thoughts and feelings for reactions!

Consider pre-acting as your "must have" element of monologue, I say. I won't let you go for your words, until I am ready. Your character's words could come out only as a reaction to what I feel. [ I use the "ball exercises" in class for demonstration: the moment you enter the stage, you threw the ball (action) to me and you can continue only after I throw this "ball" back to you. When do I do it? Only when I am ready (understood the situation and the character-in-situation and interested in "next"). More so, I say "hold" don't give it to them, let them do the begging, lure the opublic into act, make them into "drama machine"! ]

Since the body language counts for most of the message in communications, you have to start with the medium of this expression. You must establish that this is "SHOW" business.

"I don't see it!" cried Stanislavsky at rehearsals -- and drove his actors crazy.

I have to see before I hear anything...

PS

Non-verbal acting. Subtext and Countratext (bring your own samples in class).

[ the original pre-acting page is missing ]

Questions?

What is the difference between "subtext" and "countra-text"?

«Ее нельзя вызубрить, ее (System) можно усвоить, впитать в себя, так чтобы она вошла в плоть и кровь артиста, стала его второй натурой слилась с ним органически однажды и навсегда, переродила его для сцены». Stanislavsky

Stanislavsky stresses that "system" (Method) can't be applied mechanical, the applications are in each individual actor and in each individual situation. System is more of a mindset and actor's attitute, the "second nature" (direct quote).

As in athletics, you have to drill it until you do not have to remember it.

This is why we do need training!

Porfessional actor does it not inspiration, but because he is in control, because he is a MASTER. Inspiration is born because of sense and joy of commanding yourself, public, space, time, text...

Pre-acting is an indication that you are actually in business of acting, without it -- you still reading, the playright's text in front of you, not behind. You are mere a messenger, not an artist.

Homework

Take a monologue (on your right), find the pauses and bring to class your suggestions for "acting in pauses" -- pre-acting

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

NB

Talk about the topic again at Biomechanics

Focus on this topic is in "Acting Three" (Method) after we are done with the "Fundamentals" and "Intermideate" (Biomechanics).

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