Did you hear the one about losing and gaining weight super quick – maybe the one about turning yourself inside out and mentally torturing yourself to feel an emotion, or what about the one where you become someone else? These bat crazy things are what bat crazy Method Actors do, right? Wrong! These are all misconceptions of Method Acting that have been thrown around the industry by people who have picked up tidbits of information of some actors method of working, who actually know very little about it. So today I want to share with you something you probably didn’t know about Method Acting.
Something you probably didn’t know about Method Acting
“The Method” is what all actors have used whenever they have acted well. Lee Strasberg came to this conclusion after spending MANY years studying actors, and why one night they could act well and another night they couldn’t, why in one scene they were inspired and in another they weren’t.
So you see, whenever you have moved your audience truthfully, without gimmicks or tricks YOU have used The Method, whether you label yourself a Method Actor or not.
What is The Method?
The Method is a technique that literally forces you to keep asking “who am I?”, to understand yourself on such a level – the experiences you have been through, the stuff stored in your unconscious mind that has conditioned you – so you can truly empathise with the characters you play, to live through them truthfully. See, there is no becoming someone else because it is simply not possible.
How do I use The Method?
In its simplest terms you marinate your imagination with your life experience VIA concentration to find unique, moment by moment, truthful BEHAVIOUR (as a result of the circumstances of the play/script) that no other actor can copy.
You live through the imaginary given circumstances of the life of the play and character with your own life experience.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? And it really is, but the actors personal problems stand in their way and make this process so much more difficult. So Lee Strasberg created exercises for each of the actors problems, so every actor could access the truth and move the audience. And that is what makes The Method so wonderful – it looks at each actor on an individual basis and each actor, then understanding their own problems of inexpression, finds their own Method within “The Method”. The Method does not take a one size fits all approach, and you will never come across two Method Actors who follow a paint by numbers way of working. Each Method Actor has their own method of working and I highly encourage you to work with The Method to find yours.
The one rule of Method Acting
Yes there is one rule that all actors everywhere have to follow, whether you are a method actor or not and that is, your triangle must be flowing if you are to create unique, moment to moment, authentic human behaviour
Your Method Acting Triangle consists of three very important things
How you get your triangle flowing is your method of working, unique to you – remember this isn’t a one size fits all approach. But I must warn you that if you take any one of those three things out of the equation you will resort to bad acting & using tricks to find the truth, and no matter how fancy your tricks are fraud will always be fraud.
Don’t be swayed by the audience telling you how amazing you are, that’s just a good old ego boost, be swayed by the audience who is quietly captivated, the one who is with you on your journey, unaware of acting tricks – that’s when you’ve used The Method.
What has resonated with you the most? I love to connect with you! Let me know in the comments box below or share with your acting friends, it could be just the thing they need.
Here’s to your success!
Don’t give up, just keep learning
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If you found these tips useful, you can grab yourself more tips completely FREE. Louise O’Leary is a professional actress, method acting coach and Artistic Director of StandBy Method Acting Studio. Her mission is to help as many actors as she can achieve their acting dreams and become the best actor they can be. Join the hundreds of actors around the world who have downloaded her eBook “Respect your craft, discover my top 45 method acting secrets to launch your career“. Download here and be on your way to acting success today!
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