thr121 - pre-acting *
121 Journal (2002 sample) I'll talk about your journals, during our conferences (one-on-one), bring with you all your paperwork for the class.



I still get too many questions on "journal writing"... 3+ enteries/week: 100-200 words each. Write about the class, your work outside of class, textbook reflections, review of UAF shows... I thought that this stuff is self-explainatory. See the samples!


* All acting students are required to keep a journal in order to record observations, class notes, character work, script analysis, etc.

"DAY BOOK": All students must keep a Day Book that should be written in (A MINIMUM OF THREE PARAGRAPHS) every day that the class meets. It will be collected and evaluated periodically by the instructor. It should include:
1. All class notes on lectures and discussions.
2. Reflections on exercises and discussion.
3. Reactions to class readings.
4. All notes given to the students by the instructor and peers on Improvisations, scenes or monologues.
5. Character notes. * Acting I : BioMethod

* Acting II : Biomechanics

* Acting III : Method

** Stage Directions : Stagematrix

** Film Directing : Filmmaking for Actors

** Playscript Analysis : Grammar of Drama

UAF shows review sample form *


Important, very important! Especially, if you have no habit of writing journals.


How to bring together various aspects of acting training -- scenes in class, reflections on the shows they see, work on their characters in the shows, reading? [I will post the samples of actor's journal on all three levels -- Acting One, Twoo, Three).

Spring 2002. Several people in Acting II class are the members of the cast of the Dangerous Liaisons, but I do not know how much they use the journals for their character development work. We are using Method & Realism Forum for electronic posting, which is an extention of the Actor's Journal with the summaries from their their acting diaries. I do not see that many posts, although the characters keep evolving during the process of rehearsals. I think they do not know how to work with themselves.


Denceny, Tourvel, Emile -- I have pages for each character. Stanislavsky asked his actors to write diaries and letters staying in character. Danceny's letters to Cecile, many. I should ask to do the improv in class -- to hear those letters by Danceny and Tourvel (to Valmont). What takes place, when their characters are not on stage? You have to reconstruct (invent) lives before and after the events of the story! What is Danceny ten years later? Emile?

They think that everything is in the text, but the play is only DIRECTIONS for the show!

How else can they develop the inner monologues for the characters in the Endgame (class project)? Do they understand how important to have THEIR own texts in order to make their characters alive? Hamm's thoughts outside of the written by Beckett...

I bet, when they read the textbook -- Actors on Acting, they think, what the hell they are talking about? How complex! How to use it?

Sara [...]
Theatre 221
April 2003 (part II)

2/18/03: I like how class is going; everyone seems to be having a great time. I have been going over the chart that you gave us to figure out how to bring my character out more. It seems to be working because I am not lost in the text I can actually get past it now to show my emotions. I liked TroyĘłs monologue he had a great accent and I thought he did a great job. He did so well that I could envision this fight with the Mexicans and the guy laying in puke. He used his glass three times and he did good to show us that he was in a bar drinking. He just needs to deliver his lines better to get us up to the climax. I thought Tim did a great job on his monologue. He had great voice gestures and body language. He did a good job when he ran in front of us and yelled in our faces. He too needs to build up his climax more though otherwise we will never be able to get it.

3/4/03: Randy and BreannĘłs scene was good. I liked the fact that they seemed like they were really together. They made it believable that they were really getting into a fight over their different sexual opinions. Class seems to be going good. I think that some people just need to practice a little more and they will be able to get their parts down. I canĘłt wait to see the scenes. Because some of the people in class are doing great with their, monologues already. I need to practice me second monologue before I can do it in class. I think it will be good though. I am enjoying just practicing it while everyone else is practicing on his or her scenes. My partner and I have gotten a scene together but I donĘłt know if it will work for us. It is more dramatic and I am more comedic.

3/6/03: We talked about the epic theatre today, and how your methods will equal naturalism. We are also seeing how the individual equals the actor who can bring out the character in the play. You must be able to identify with your character in order to portray them successfully. I like how in some movies the actor will get out of their role to look at the camera who is really the audience and talks to us in different aspects. Some examples are in Ferris Bueler's Day off and Pretty in Pink.

3/11/03: I thought Honey, Tim, and Jeff's scene needed a lot of work. I thought it was a comedy and it didn't seem like a comedy to me. I didnĘłt laugh at all, maybe a few chuckles. I didn't think it was good enough to keep me engaged to fully understand it. The triangle rules didn't work for me. JeffĘłs drunk needs to be toned down a little, so we can actually understand what is going on. He seems like the drunk going into a bar feeling totally sorry for himself, and sits there talking to the bar tender while he gets totally obliterated. Other than that, it could be good if they could practice a little more on it then it could work. But Jeff needs to out and get drunk to know what it feels like. So he will be able to act it out better next time.

3/13/03: I like the statement the acting = reacting. The audience must react to what we are portraying in order to get the play. They must be able to get the subliminal messages within the script to fully understand what is going on within the play. When you get past the text and can bring out the subtext that is when the audience will get what you are trying to portray. I think that the best actors are the ones who don't have to even think about it. They can just get up on stage and do it. They don't get nervous before they go on, they can just feel the script and bring it to life.

3/27/03: I liked learning about the different styles and techniques of the earlier thespian periods. How the Greeks did not use scripts and they weren't directed. They just went on stage and performed either to get booed off or applauded. They built theatres and separated theatre from the more ritualistic earlier forms. I liked also that the Romans took most of their history and culture from the Greeks. It shows that they weren't original enough to come up with their own arts. The commedial art is the art of comedy that is done by professionals where they move around place to place. They perform their plays that are usually half-scripted and then they explain after the play what just occurred in it. While physical theatre, was performed by most people; out in the streets or in city squares. They were not done by professionals but by the people of the town who were trying to show their talents.

4/1: I liked how we did the typecasting to figure out which typecast, we are. I knew that directors did a typecasting but I didn't know that it was so extensive that they actually broke it down between comedy, drama, and the age of a person. Well, I knew about the age for most parts you can't, have a kid playing an old woman in a film. That just doesn't work out. Some of the kids in the class didn't classify themselves right I didn't think. Some of them classified themselves as an actor that can portray all of the parts even though they really can't. I am not perfect but some people think that they are better than they really are. They should really figure out what they can and can't do. I am really no one to judge but sometimes people should realize that there are people who can and people who can't. I classified myself as the comedic heroine, because I think that I either make or steal the show with my comedic abilities. I like to make people laugh as long as they are laughing right along with me, then everything is all right.

4/6: When we were talking about laughter and how it is the way to make anyone feel better I really believe that. It doesn't matter how bad of a day you have had as long as somewhere is there to make you laugh it will be all right. It doesn't matter whether it is someone performing on stage or one of your friends trying to cheer you up it has the effect to lighten up all tragic or emotional situations. As long as there is a character to play the comic relief then there will always be comedy even in drama. It is also a mechanism for growing up. As we get older our humor changes. We all go through different stages. At first, everything amuses us and then soon you develop your own sense of humor that can either be really good or really dry. I know a lot of people that think everything they do is funny and most of the time it is the stupidest things you can even fathom doing or saying. The part with the different conflicts equals different contrast is a good way to explain things like this too. You see that in different situations you will get a different reaction for the play.

4/8: I never knew how much of a percentage was really communicated on those different levels. I couldn't believe that most people only get what your body is putting out instead of the actual language and para-language. Then again, if you think about it; you know someone is angry when they have their jaw set as if you say something to me and I might just punch you sort of look in their eyes. I guess acting is mainly body language because you have to get beyond just the text alone in order to get your message across. In order to become the character you need to let go of the text and work beyond it and really develop the role you are playing. When the actor can become the role, he/she is playing; then we know it is good when we wonder what will happen to the character or characters in the future.

4/15: I couldn't understand why we were talking about the different sexual aspects of theatre; but then again, I guess it is everywhere so it is something that needs to also be portrayed in film or theatre. Love is a dramatic thing no one can deny that. I know that if you love someone and they love you when things don't work out, there is so much heartache that most people break down. When you have lost someone that you, love you think you will never find it again. I think you can find love again but it will be on an another level than what you and the other person had. It is a trying thing the matters of the heart, I should know mine was just broken. I am not so sure if I think that sex is part of the answer to the questions of love. If your heart is there then when you have sex, it will be making love instead of just a physical pleasure. If you can feel the difference when having sex with someone, you care about and someone you donĘłt know, then it could be part of the answer. You know everything is better with someone you have an emotional attachment to.

4/17: I thought everyone in Don Juan did a great job. Rose and Chip were great. I knew a few other people in the play who I never thought were or would be actors but I thought they did surprisingly well. I was impressed with the whole thing. I thought that it was very funny and entertaining. I went to the show on Fri. There weren't that many people who were getting really involved in it and I couldn't understand why. I guess it was really good the night of the free preview but I couldn't make it because I had to go to work right after I saw you. All in all, I think it went great though. It may just be because they had such a wonderful director too. I can't wait to see what Rose and Chip do for their scenes. She is so very talented, she can pull off anything, whether it be dramatic or comedic, she's got it. Chip too, he is so funny. When he does those accents they kill me, they are so funny. I think that class went really good this semester. I hope we have as much of an entertaining bunch next semester too.

Sample 2002


Check Journal Page in Method Directory. Perhaps, one the problems with the Method applications is that we, instructors and directors, do not believe in it. We still debate the validity of Stanislavsky!


"What should I write about?" They ask... They see movies every day, more I see -- and they don't think about the star-actors? No opinion about good and bad performance? How about developing an opinion into an analysis?

What is bad acting? They ask. Simple. Bad performance is when I do not see much of the actor's work -- mostly delivery of the text ("text in front of actor"). No role, only the character written by the writer, the camera work by derector... Where the actor's art?

["bad acting" as improv in class]


This is the core of your homework! If you have problems keeping your journals, you do not know how to work with yourself on your own.

[in Acting II, or at least III, I can reqire them to POST their journals-in-character, as we do it with the cast, according to Method]


Write everything. The more the better! And read it, too. As often as possible. Look at yourself in this mirror. If you know how seriously write about yourself, you will make a true carrier, my friend.