Acting technique Method Acting

Acting technique Method Acting derive from Stanislavski's system It was Lee Strasberg who developed this system into Method Acting. He added procedures and exercises discovered to solve some of the problems Stanislavski had not been able to solve.

The acting technique Method Acting has a variety of exercises. In order to use Method Acting to train your skills it is best to find a good acting teacher. Some of the exercises might bring up unexpected emotions and it is advisable to have someone around who understands what you are doing.

On this page we explain the techniques to give you an insight.

Relaxation

As in any acting technique Method Acting starts with Relaxation. Michael Chekhov called relaxation the "Feeling of Ease". Lee Strasberg said that one of the biggest problems an actor faces is the inability to relax. Strasberg created a relaxation exercise to lose the tension in your body created by your personal life. When this exercise was first developed the actor would simply try to fall asleep in a chair.

The objective is to lose the expressions, mannerisms and energies not necessary for your character. You are trying to break down habits and mannerism.

Observation

An important part of learning to act is as we find it in the acting technique Method Acting to really observe. To understand the character that you play use observation observation of people that behave like your character. How do they move, frown, laugh, talk, sit etcetra. It is important to observe yourself. If your are this person, in these circumstances, this time of the year and century, how would you react on things that are happening in the script.

Being concious of your behaviour, being aware of your little habits, and more, will help you create a reallife character on stage.

If you were to play an atlete, observe a real atlete. How does he prepair, than feel how you would do this. It is not a matter of copying but of understanding how things work.

Sense memory

It is this specific acting technique method acting is famous for. It is of great value for actors. It was developed to make it possible to create a reallife character.

Sense memory is about re-living your emotions in order to use them for character building your role. After all: It must have hurt when your first pet died when you were a child. You've been so sad when you did not get the beautiful doll you asked Santa. And how about maybe when you broke a leg or an arm. That was painfull.

We forget the real pain, fortunately. We remember that it happened but the pain is gone. Although we do not feel the pain anymore, the memory is hidden somewhere in our memory. Sense memory in Method Acting is about going back there, re-live the emotion, recognize and use it when your character experiences the same kind of pain.

Should you have experienced the same emotion your character is going through? NO!! Fortunately when your character is a killer you do NOT have to experience this in order to play the part. But we all had our moments when our parents or a friend, maybe your teacher made you so mad that you thougt: They are so mean, I COULD kill them. That is the feeling you need! Find that anger again and you found the key to play a truthfull killer.

Given circomstances

As an actor you always need to be aware of the given circomstances.