"Acting is basically a simple exercise of living life truthfully under imaginary circumstances." - Bryan Singer This directory lived through several transformations: right now it's ACTING ONE -- THR121 Fundamentals of Acting. Basics of Method and physical theatre (Biomechanics). Monologues and at the end of the semester -- scenes. After one week of classes, we are not even done what you need to know about working on the text (part one)! Too many come to acting class without understanding of drama as a language, knowing how to read and how to "write" drama (performance for actors). And I have no other place to send them, this is the basics. Maybe to 200X Aesthetics? But actors' challenges are very specific; not just an exposition, but the exposition expressed in performance. The "5Ws" (who, what, when, where, why), which actor must establish in every monologues or scene, require slow analysis and exercises on each of them! (Another page?)
Dionysus -- Biomechanics

Method -- Apollo

The two gods are to help you to get through the webpages (in addition to Stanislavsky and Meyerhold).
BM: Biomechanics


3 Sisters: Chekhov & Method in Action -- join!

2007 acting2

Go to theory directory! Yes, on acting! 24hour-act, acting, audience, auditions, directing, director, rehearse, system, warmups and more!

2008 --


"Socrates and Plato thought well of the powers of Delphi. Socrates advised his disciples to consult the Pythia. His friend asked whether the world contained any man wiser than Socrates; the oracle replied that it did not. Plato states in the Republic (4.427 B)
It is Apollo who should dictate the most important, the most beautiful and the first of all laws... We shall follow no other guide, for this god who is the traditional intepreter of religion, has settled at the center and the navel of the earth to guide mankind." (B)


Some of the quotes in Russian are still not translated. AA * Acting I : BioMethod

* Acting II : Biomechanics

* Acting III : Method

** Stage Directions : Stagematrix

** Film Directing : Filmmaking for Actors

** Playscript Analysis : Grammar of Drama


Only thing worse than watching a bad movie is being in one. - Elvis Presley "Theatre is not a mirror but a magnifying glass." Mayakovsky Auditions: * Performer’s name
* Short description of situation where character speaks
* Title of the Play, Writer, Character's Name

Be prepare to answer, if asked:
* Attitude/tone of author depicted in text
* What does the character want in the scene?
* What is the goal or objective?
* What is the emotional state of the character?
* Act/Scene of monologue and why did you select this monologue?
* What is this character like?

[ selection of monologue should be appropriate to the ability, age, and sex ]

** Write the character analysis in your Actor's Journal!

UAF info *

THR121 the lesson plans -- when?

Script Analysis Actor:

Theatre Books Master Page *


"Once the Casting is Done, the Art Belongs to the Actor." -Robert Altman

Acting Pages Guide

Summer 2004: each lesson must have a plan, assigments, quizes... but what about the gods and heroes? When will Apollo speak? I would like to hear his thoughts on acting. Speak, dear, speak!..
Naturally, every time I teach the class, the pages are transforming: in content, and -- in organization. service pages: contents * biblio * cover * appendix * references * assignments * books * faq * list * links * new * popup *

I need to keep myself organized, each topic or subject must find its place. Some must be moved to Acting II (Biomechanics) or Acting III (Method) directories. Oh, the vertical hierharchy: new subdirectories for each part of the course: 1 - 5! How long will it to develop it?

Anatoly 2004

What acting means is that you've got to get out of your own skin. -- Katharine Hepburn

... Oh, I wish I can stop and comment on so many quotes I place on my pages -- what does it mean "to get out of your own skin"? Brando died. You never leave yourself while jumping out of your own skin, you better not, because this jump is to find YOURSELF! Your better self...

I (webmaster) am making several new navigation bars; my last attempt to turn webpages "user-friendly"!
Oh, boy, my main question -- how to organize all three levels of acting classes on the same base? First -- marking the glossary on three levels (hyper-links).

What is the difference between Acting 121, 221 and 321? Different tools, the same subject? (For impatient ones and you, who know where you want to go, I placed as many inner links as possible).
Here is my breakdown on training actors: THR 121, 221, 321, Thesis Four levels of acting training:
Acting One, Beginning Acting, we at UAF call it "Fundamentals of Acting." An Introductory course. Text analysis to improvisations, from monologues (midterm) to scenes (finals).
THR 221 Intermediate Acting, Acting Two. In my classes I concentrate on Method acting.
Next -- Advanced Acting. Different non-method techniques. Biomechanics, Laban, etc. Styles -- Commedia, Shakespeare, Modernism (Expressionism, Epic Theatre), Absurdism. And, finally, Advanced Acting Two. Practically, coaching. Working on individual style of acting.

Did you say, "Dramatic acting"? Acting is always dramatic. We don't have staff to teach musical theatre, but come and audition for spring musicals and operas.

I use two approaches -- Method and Biomechanics. From INSIDE and from OUTSIDE. Biomechanics is a less known technique, but very useful in class or during the rehearsals, when I have no time for training. I switch from one to another, when one is not working.

Of course, acting should be linked to other disciplines, including references to directing and dramatic structure courses. Check out directing pages and Film600 Page.
My situation is simple. I have a semester for each level. I break it into 12 classes, 3 hours each week, 24 "contacts." Plus, the homework. The first two-four weeks are the most difficult ones.
The draft of a textbook on acting I call "24 HOUR ACTOR" -- because we act around-the-clock and one can get through the book in one day. My ideas on acting -- PRE-ACTING page. And Re-Acting (not posted yet).

... Yes, the two gods of theatre have to wait....

Acting is a mysterious and therefore an extremely complicated subject. To make it simple we need some "acting theories." We need to have this basic terminology in order to communicate in class and on stage.
Performance, Theory, and Dramatic Analysis. Directing is in between. Without understanding the fundamentals of performance semiotics, it's practically impossible to teach theatre. After students learn how to separate WORDS and ACTION linguistically, something like "subtext" becomes obvious.

Updates: 2004 *


Yes, directors must read books on acting. Actor is your main tool, director!
Actors, director is your best public!


Keep your own notes! [ Notes from the first short meeting in my acting 121 class of Teacher (Stanislavky), Master (Meyerhold) and I, Anatoly. ]

TEACHER. Anatoly, I think that they, the stidents, do not understand my Method. You mixing it with God only knows what!

MASTER. You have to drill them. Forget this Method! It has to be in blood, the body should know, the actor's flesh must be creative!

TEACHER. Oh, please! They have to understand the inner process, they leaqrn how to feel, their imagination must be creative...

MASTER. Don't give me nonsense! What do they know, what do they know, what memories do they have? They didn't even live long enough to have your fricking "emotional recalls"!

TEACHER. Anatoly, don't listen to him. He is such a radical. Revolution is not in forms, Mr. Meyerhold, dear. The kids must discover themselves from within...

MASTER. In action, Mr. Stanislavsky, in motion, old man! They don't need to analise everything to death...

TEACHER. Don't "mister," young man! Study my System!

MASTER. Study my Biomechanics! This is the real method for real actors!

TEACHER. Study acting! Study actors!

MASTER. Study theatre! Study directing!

TEACHER. Study psychology! Study human soul!

MASTER. Study human body!

TEACHER. Study life! Study the Great Russian Realism masterpieces!

MASTER. Down with your Realism! We need Revolution in Theatre! We need new forms!

TEACHER. Chekhov is the bigest revolution in theatre!

MASTER. Gogol!


MASTER. Expression!

TEACHER. Emotions!

MASTER. Ideas!

THEATRE. Stage...

MASTER. Public...

[ I left, let them to argue, the old fools! This is why I call this Acting One directory "BioMethod"! ]

.... Above are the subjects, topics, issues, keywords will be studying in Acting I, II and III -- from two different views: inside (Stanislavsky) andf outside (Meyerhold). Who is right? Both. You simply need to know when and how to use one or another. [ You can see their faces, Stanislavsky (Teacher) and Meyerhold (Master) on many pages in the right table. The Greek goods of theatre are new -- will see, if they could be usefull (I want to bring in the mythology of performance with different categories and images -- spirits, ghosts, angels and demons of the theatre cosmology). At University of Alaska I teach Acting Two with the focus on Biomechanics and Acting Three -- on Method. ]

Some online scenes and monologues are acting webpages, some on directing pages, most are in shows.vtheatre.net (plays I directed) and/or in Plays Directory (mostly classics). Use it!

Actors, if you do not know drama and text analysis, you will get lost on my pages (trust me, it's easy to get lost in my notes). You should know a least something about directing to understand both great directors and their relations with the playwrights. Consider yourself in the middle: playwright -- actor -- director. Yes, in the middle, because you are the only one on stage to face the public! You are in the middle of this bridge between the past and the future, between yourself and the others, between known and unknown...

[ check out the tests archives ]

Next: intro

stage movement list (amazon) * Part of the Master Classes In the Media Arts video library, ACTING ONE, DAY ONE features best selling theatre textbook author Robert Cohen as he illustrates his four basic principles of acing: goal, other people, tactics, and expectations. Cohen offers an exercise in which students must first recite the American Pledge of Allegiance, then dramatize it's text. A great starting point for the study of all acting methods and styles.
35 minutes

acting.freeservers.com: ACTING IS STORYTELLING; is, always has been and always will be. KEN FARMER

KEN FARMER: The actor must first know the story; in fact, under The Millennium System©, knowing the story is the New Age Actor's first responsibility. [Notice I did not say "plot"; there is a great difference between story and plot.] He must know each event down to the tiniest detail in proper sequence (all stories have a sequence of events; one thing happenend first, one thing happened second, etc.). He then must create his character. Stories are told by and through the characters by visualization and by coloring the events with emotions.

PATTERNS of EXPRESSION: Today, the actor or creative artist, must work out his own uninhibited patterns of expression, get out of his head, create his character, play and stay in the moment. He should never negate or resist an impulse of the character; all lines (or the emotional content thereof) of dialogue will cause the character to (a) stand still; (b) move back; or (c) move toward. The movements (toward or back) may be half an inch or half a mile; even if it is infinitesimal, especially on film, it is a byproduct of listening and responding to the other character's dialogue/action or your own character's. "Listening is the single most important thing an actor can do during a performance." - (Meryl Streep) "Don't listen to the words, listen to the person." - (Jack Lemmon) * acting.freeservers.com : "Directors are learning (at least some are) that they get better performances "when they set actors free, to give them openendedness (freedom to explore); create a space, or perimeter, where actors feel empowered and have room to let go and enjoy letting their creative juices flow." (James Cameron) Every major actor I know or seen interviewed, has stated that they preferred a director who understands the acting process and allows them the freedom to create. A Director should tell the actor what he wants from the character, supply the vision, not how to do it. He is not there to give acting lessons; film making can cost twenty thousand dollars an hour and up (way up), he does not have the time. "I don't look for a puppet or someone to recite the lines when I cast, I look for actors who can bring something special to the story, hopefully something no one has thought of yet. I look for creativity." - (Ron Howard) The professional actor must commit his creative responsibility to the story and to the character."
CREATING CHARACTERS: The actor, after learning and knowing the story, starts to create his character beginning with the given circumstances as supplied by the writer, inserting his own given circumstances, (visible physical characteristics he cannot change; height, weight, race, etc.; notice I did not say "gender", we have men playing women and women playing men, makeup does wonders) then creating a comprehensive BACK STORY of the character. Second only to knowing the story, the BACK STORY is the most important responsibility of the actor. Repeating: the BACK STORY is the second most important responsibility of the actor. With it, he creates a character that is anyone but himself, it is always a fantasy character from a creative imagination that is based on someone else. You can shape your character to anything your imagination can deliver. "A man isn't an actor until he commands a technique which enables him to get an impression across into the heart of an audience without reference or relation to his own individuality. The better the actor, the more completely is he able to eliminate the personal equation." John Barrymore - On the flip side; the poorer the actor, the more he must rely on his own personality (personal equation) in his attempt to tell the story.
"What is Acting" is Chapter 1 of Ken Farmer's book, "ACTING IS STORYTELLING©": The most important steps in acting lie in preparation. IN PREPARATION. It is the key to good acting; learning the story, researching and creating the character and lastly, learning the dialogue. All of these things must be done before you can even approach the stage or set. The actor cannot begin to "eliminate the personal equation" in the absence of preparation. There can be no creation in the absence of preparation. There can be no true performance.... in the absence of preparation.

I read and write my notes before the classes; I do not have time to write much after I come home. And this is why the notes can't make it to the textbooks' stage. I collect the quotes, which seems to be relevant to topics and issues (main directory). The root pages (chapters) cover what is missing in the assigned textbooks... If do not see the subjects of interest in BioMethod, check the Biomechanics and Method pages, they might be there. I have enough of "title" and "intro" pages in all directories not to write anymore "guide" pages. I do not think that the webpages will ever pass the "notes" form; if I get to the textbooks (print), the "texts" will be there.

Sorry for the errors, I hardly have time for [proofing] reading... AA