The Actor is the Brush; Emotions are the Colors; The Character is the Canvas.
Historical footnote: |
Usually we refer to Biomechanics as a reaction to Method. The irony is that Stanislavsky shaped his System at the same era, in the 20s (although he practiced it from the very beginning of the Moscow Art Theatre).
NB. Sometimes you see the cyrilics, I will translate and comment on the terms and quotations late. "Не то, что есть, побуждает к творчеству, но то, что может быть; не действительное, но возможное." Рудольф Штейнер
Summary“Если не будете как дети — не войдете в Царство Небесное”. Christian concept and Method. Devaluation of the Gift Idea, Acting for Everybody -- "if I can do, you can do it". Artist? Amaturism, if "it" could be learn. Professionalism. The Actor's Paradox.
Questions"How does an actor act? ... How can the actor learn to inspire himself? What can he do to impel himself toward that necessary yet maddeningly elusive creative mood? These were the simple, awesome riddles Stanislavksi dedicated his life to exploring. Where and how to 'seek those roads into the secret sources of inspiration must serve as the fundamental life problem of every true actor' ... If the ability to receive the creative mood in its full measure is given to the genius by nature", Stanislavski wondered, "then perhaps ordinary people may reach a like state after a great deal of hard work with themselves - not in its full measure, but at least in part." - A Method to Their Madness: The History of the Actors Studio
NotesI am not sure where I should write abot "Method's Problems"? FunDaMentals of Acting, Biomechanics? Here? Oh, yes, we all know that Method Acting got a lot of problems. Especially, if it's "Method" and not "Stanislavsky' Systems"...
You see, the formula "Actor = Character" in American interpretation means that every character Marlon Brando plays is the costume Mr. Brando puts on. (The Russian "System" meant that actor must "die" in the character, not the opposite). Therefore our movie stars "play" themselves, which not acting acting but behavior.
Now, the animals, children and my students think that it's enough to be natural (themselves)... and as a result the characters simply die.
Overview"With the postwar boom in education, and, later, the arrival of the baby boomers on college campuses, more courses and degrees in acting and other fine arts were established. And alumni from those acting classes went on to start and teach in still more such programs. Most were centered around the Method of Lee Strasberg--an American variation on the Stanislavsky System developed in Russia early in this century. Strasberg's Method grew out of the Group Theatre's emotionally charged Broadway drama of the '30s and reached its apogee of influence in the Actors Studio in New York in the 1950s."
"The Stanislavsky System and the Method are best suited for training actors to be believable and emotionally truthful in their performances. Those are mandatory traits for naturalistic drama, emphasizing credible situations sliced from everyday life, and handed down to us from turn-of-the-century Russian theater and mid-century Broadway. Film and television -- which count on the well-timed gaze over the well turned phrase -- are similarly Method-dependent."
"Lee Strasberg (1899-1982), a teacher and theorist, suggested that the most effective film performers were those who did not act. Using Stanislavski Method (actors were not to emote in the traditional manner of stage conventions, but to speak and gesture in a manner one would use in private life) he ran a studio to train actors in this new way. Nowadays, ‘The Method’ is taught all over the world. Look out for institutions offering it.
Уровни функционирования внешнего и внутреннего конфликта в драматургической структуре
Внешний конфликт разворачивается на фабульном уровне, внутренний - на сюжетном, если термины "сюжет" и "фабула" трактовать в русле формальной школы. Б. Томашевский фабулу определял как "совокупность событий", а сюжет как "художественно построенное распределение событий" (235; 180-182).
Story vs. Plot: "Сюжет (story) драмы, - пишет М. Я. Поляков, - не просто цепь событий, а система отношений между персонажами" (189; 89). Character "lives" differently on both levels. Compare Oedipus and Hamlet.
* Другой тип конфликта назовем, пользуясь терминологией Л. Выготского, "бессознательным", когда причины душевной борьбы рационально персонажем не постигаются, но человек находится под их полным диктатом. Most interesting.
* Действие, в основе которого лежит внутренний конфликт, не предполагает полного разрешения противоречий с наступлением развязки.
Script Analysis Actor:
Theatre Books Master Page *
THR Theory: PM POV of theatre [ The Society of the Spectacle (Paperback) by Guy Debord, Donald Nicholson-Smith (Translator) 0942299795 ]
The first [proposition] is this: There are no formulas . . . on how to become a great actor, or how to play this or that part. [It] is made up of steps towards the true creative state of an actor on the stage. When it is true it is the . . . normal state of a person in real life. But to achieve that normal living state . . . an actor . . . has to be: (a) physically free, in control of free muscles; (b) his attention must be infinitely alert; (c) he must be able to listen and observe on the stage as he would in real life, that is to say be in contact with the person playing opposite him; (d) he must believe in everything that is happening on the stage that is related to the play.
The second proposition. . . is: A true inner creative state on the stage makes it possible for an actor to execute actions necessary for him to take in accordance with the terms of the play, whether inner psychological actions or external, physical ones. . . . Actually in each physical act there is an inner psychological motive which impels physical action, as in every psychological inner action there is also physical action, which expresses its psychic nature.
The union of these two actions results in organic action on the stage.
That action then is determined by the subject of the play, its idea, the character of a certain part and the circumstances set up by the playwright.
In order to make it easier for you as an actor to take action on the stage, put yourself first of all in the circumstances proposed by the playwright for the character you are playing. Ask yourself: what would I do if the same thing should happen to me as it does in the play to the character I am playing? . . . Find out all the reasons which justify the actions of your character and then act without reflecting about just where your "own" actions end and "his" begin.
The third proposition (is): True organic action . . . is bound to give rise to sincere feelings.
Therefore the summing up is: On the stage a true inner creative state, action and feeling result in natural life on the stage in the form of one of the characters.
It is by this means that you will come closest to what we call "metamorphosis," always providing of course that you have properly understood the play, its idea, its subject and plot, and have shaped inside yourself the character of one of the dramatis personae.
The power of this method lies in the fact that it was not . . . invented. . . . it is based on the laws of nature.
The system is not a hand-me-down suit you can put on and walk off in. . . . It is a whole way of life; you have to educate yourself in it. . . . You cannot hope to do this all at once.
With strong desire, if you work, if you come to know your own nature, and discipline it, then with talent you will become a true artist. With the gradual study of the method . . . you will find it is not as complicated in execution as it may appear to be in theory. My system is for all nations. All peoples possess the same human nature: it manifests itself in varying ways, but my system is no deterrent to that. --An Actor Prepares
--Building a Character
-- Stanislavski's Legacy
First, I have to tell you why you shouldn't read the book. Seriously, how many books do we need on Method Acting? Who doesn't know about Stanislavsky? What new possibly could be written about it? The number of bad book on the subject is the best indicator that everything what could be said is said already.
All right, acting for directors. Spin.
Textbook, workbook... Who cares?
I didn't mean to do it. This book (and others) is an accident.
I kept writing notes for my classes -- and the way to keep doing it was to give them the old fashion structure -- book...
About the title "Method for Directors." If directors could benifit from reading the book, great, but I wrote it for "directors-in-actors" (the entire aim is to help actors to divelop mini-directors in them).Stanislavsky: "There are two directions in art of acting: one is imitation of true feelings, another -- re-inaction (stimulation, creation) of true feelings."
If you haven't read all my directories, I don't know how much we can do with the most complex tool you got -- the actor. You see, you must know more about acting, than actors -- you have to direct them. If you didn't master script analysis, how can you help them? If we still have to talk about mise-en-scene (Stagematrix), now it's too late: you have to position them on stage and find the way ythey understand you and feel right... And the designers... costumes, lights, prop....
Listen, your actors cannot think about all that jazz, they have to stay focused on their roles and characters. They have to served by everybody -- and you are in middle! And guess what? Your actors are the prime responsibility until show is opened! Nothing,l absolutly nothing can save the show, if you got lousy acting. You have to get out of them more than they get without you! This is why they need you. And trust me -- they do.
Maybe in antiquity the spectacle wasn't that important, but nowadays actors are the heart of this very complex machine -- the shows. Please, remember, if they won't hold the public like a partner in tango -- the show is doomed....
I hope that my SHOWS directory finally will come in handy: I tried to keep my notes on the recent shows in order for those directories to serve as a showcases (mostly for directors). Hamlet, 3 Sisters, 12th Night, Dangerous Liaisons -- and now "Don Juan" 2003. The pages are broken down, according to what must matter for a director... Each main character has his/her own pages with my notes to help actors to get the sense of my "directions" (interpretation of the play and each individual role).I try not to touch the topics well covered in the existing books on Method. Relaxation, Sense Memory, Concentration, Magic If, Objects Substitution, Animal Exercise, Private Moment, Speaking Out, Moment-to-Moment Justification, Affective Memory, Givens, Strasberg, Stanislavsky.... Read other books first. I based this book on my Advanced Acting classes. Do you know what is "emotional recall"? Objective? Obstacle?new -- Beckett'06: how does Method work in Absurdism? http://www.utmn.ru/frgf/No12/text14.htm -- Семиотический анализ драматических произведений Сэмюэла Беккета
The definitions you can find in Dictionary
My task is to show the System (the original name by Stanislavsky) of the Method -- and I do it from the director's perspective.
Персонажи пьес – не только люди. Это и люди-животные.В “В ожидании Годо” Лаки - это человек-собака...
Reckless, see SHOWSdirectory!
Part I: CHARACTER
Part II: ROLE
Part III: ACTOR
Part IV: Theory in Action
[ overall structure is the same as in BioMethod and BM: from "pre-text" (dramatic literature) to "text" (dramatic experience by spectator) ]
Part 5 -- The samples and analysis. "Showcases" -- mostly Chekhov, 3 Sisters + Oedipus and Hamlet. Spring 2006: Stanislavsky and Beckett.
Start using Михаил Чехов "О технике актера" (Michael Chekhov) in Acting One!
[ Why do I need this preface? I don't. You do. ]
"Душа хочет обитать в теле, потому что без него она не может ни действовать, чувствовать." Леонардо да Винчи
2005 * After so many years of webbing I cannot change the nature of my webpages -- they are what they were from the start; notes, thoughts, points I make for myself for classes and productions. Do they have an independent existence? Maybe, somewhere in the future...
Let me repeat myself (from Film600 and script.vtheatre.net):
Where teaching and studying (research) meet --
Theme-thought, according to different playwrights (Shakespeare, Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov and so on) and directors (Fillini, Kurosawa, Tarkovsky, Bergman pages).
Connections with other themes (list): family, gender and sex...
Finally, my own practical investigations: shows.vtheatre.net (only recently I began to make themes pages, Don Juan 2003, for example).
And the nonfiction (writing), of course: HIM, Father-Russia, PostAmeriKa, Self, POV, Tech (gatepages are in WRITE directory).
Yeah, yeah, there is more -- "philo" pages, metaphysics: in theatre theory directory, for instance (topics-bar: space, time and etc.)
Plus, Virtual Theatre and Book of Spectator!
Web? Oh, this is just medium. Like stage, screen, writing...