Stanislavsky: «Our demands are simple, normal, and therefore they are difficult to satisfy. All we ask is that an actor on the stage live in accordance with natural laws».
|I'm a skilled professional actor. Whether or not I've any talent is beside the point.
- Michael Caine
You relationships with the text are the same as with the partner on stage: give and take! But in order for you to add to the drama (through performance), you need to understand the text! How else can you come with interpretation and choices, if you do know how to take from the text offered you by the palyright?
SummaryCharlie is a TA in the Fall 2003 (big class).
QuestionsUse your weaknesses; aspire to the strength. -- Laurence Olivier * Fall 2004: new textbook *
NotesNot "Part I," but "Act I" -- see the difference? -- What's become of my past, when I was young, happy, and clever, when my dreams and thoughts were exquisite, when my present and my past were lighted up by hope? Why on the very threshold of life do we become dull, drab, uninteresting, lazy, indifferent, useless, unhappy?... Our town has been in existence for two hundred years -- there are a hundred thousand people living in it; and there's not one who's not like the rest, not one saint in the past, or the present, not one man of learning, not one artist, not one man in the least remarkable who could inspire envy or a passionate desire to imitate him... They only eat, drink, sleep, and then die... others are born, and they also eat and drink and sleep, and not to be bored to stupefaction they vary their lives by nasty gossip, vodka, cards, litigation; and the wives deceive their husbands, and the husbands tell lies and pretend that they see and hear nothing, and an overwhelmingly vulgar influence crushes the children, and the divine spark is quenched in them and they become the same sort of pitiful, dead creatures, all exactly alike, as their fathers and mothers... The present is hateful, but when I think of the future, it's so nice! I feel so light-hearted, so free. A light dawns in the distance, I see freedom. I see how I and my children will become free from sloth, from beer, from goose and cabbage, from naps after dinner, from mean, parasitic living... [in a rush of tender feeling]. My dear sisters, my wonderful sisters! [Through tears] Masha, my sister!
[ Andrey, 3 Sisters ]
Script Analysis Actor:
Theatre Books Master Page *
LESSON 1: Intro to the stage. LESSON 2: The Voice. LESSON 3: 5 Senses. LESSON 4: Playing Objectives. LESSON 5: Characterization. LESSON 6: Preparation/entrances. LESSON 7: The Scene.
Don't act, think. -- David LeanForget everything: your resposibility is character![ Andrey, 3 Sisters ] HIGGINS. There! Thats all you get out of Eliza. Ah-ah-ow-oo! No use explaining. As a military man you ought to know that. Give her her orders: thats what she wants. Eliza: you are to live here for the next six months, learning how to speak beautifully, like a lady in a florist's shop. If youre good and do whatever youre told, you shall sleep in a proper bedroom, and have lots to eat, and money to buy chocolates and take rides in taxis. If youre naughty and idle you will sleep in the back kitchen among the black beetles, and be walloped by Mrs. Pearce with a broomstick. At the end of six months you shall go to Buckingham Palace in a carriage, beautifully dressed. If the King finds out youre not a lady, you will be taken by the police to the Tower of London, where your head will be cut off as a warning to other presumptuous flower girls. If you are not found out, you shall have a present of seven-and-sixpence to start life with as a lady in a shop. If you refuse this offer you will be a most ungrateful and wicked girl; and the angels will weep for you. [To Pickering] Now are you satisfied, Pickering? [To Mrs. Pearce] Can I put it more plainly and fairly, Mrs. Pearce? [ Pygmalion, Bernard Shaw ]
First, the attitude. Understanding and realization that movement must be dramatically structured. Changes must be expressed physically in space and time.
If you think it's too complicated, you are right, and you should know what's ahead of you. Could you progress without knowledge of acting theory? Could you be an inventor without engineering degree? Be a CEO without MBA? A muscian without knowledge of solfeggio? A sergeon without knowledge of anatomy? There are short cuts for a professional. Sooner or later you have to learn it, if you want to stay with professional acting.
But first, we have to change the attitude about studying acting (Brook, 425). With horror and amusement I saw thousands in NYC who are after ten, twenty, thirty years still trying to break into business. The grund illusion is that acting is easy, siple and pure fun.
Since most of acting is acquired through experience, it's extremely difficult to bring it in formulas, terminology and rules. Acting theories are relatively new. Most of American theatre schools appeared less than half a century ago, but mass society, which is a communication society, asks for mass market for acting.
Okay, treat it is "how-to-do-it-yourself" acting book.
Discipline isn't possible without limitations. Instead of your mind's limitations get the laws, which will teahc you by giving the limits.
I don't like constructivist terminology (mechanics, building a character, and etc.), I believe that we discover things (which look like inventions) (Berook, 428). Of course, there's a danger that it could ber taken mechanically, as the only answer, not a tool. (429)
Well, I will use it -- the science of the art.
Listen, Holy Theatre = space is to become subjective, transformed through and ny actor... The last church of the soul, heart and mind...
Mono Studies: Chekhov, The Swan SongSVIETLOVIDOFF: When I first went on the stage, in the first glow of passionate youth, I remember a woman loved me for my acting. She was beautiful, graceful as a poplar, young, innocent, pure, and radiant as a summer dawn. Her smile could charm away the darkest night. I remember, I stood before her once, as I am now standing before you. She had never seemed so lovely to me as she did then, and she spoke to me so with her eyes--such a look! I shall never forget it, no, not even in the grave; so tender, so soft, so deep, so bright and young! Enraptured, intoxicated, I fell on my knees before her, I begged for my happiness, and she said: "Give up the stage!" Give up the stage! Do you understand? She could love an actor, but marry him--never! I was acting that day, I remember--I had a foolish, clown's part, and as I acted, I felt my eyes being opened; I saw that the worship of the art I had held so sacred was s delusion and an empty dream; that I was a slave, a fool, the plaything of the idleness of strangers. I understood my audience at last, and since that day I have not believed in their applause, or in their wreathes, or in their enthusiasm. Yes, Nikitushka! The people applaud me, they buy my photograph, but I am a stranger to them. They don't know me, I am as the dirt beneath their feet. They are willing enough to meet me... but allow a daughter or a sister to marry me, an outcast, never! I have no faith in them.
APOLLO: Anatoly, please, do not call it "textbooks"! It's a book or not book. Good book, or bad book. Book or music...
DIONYSUS: I second it! It's poetry or epic. Lyric or dramatic.
ANATOLY: All right, all right! A book.
Table of Contents All chapters conclude with “Summary.” List of Exercises. Preface to the Ninth Edition I. PREPARING YOURSELF. 1. The Actor in You. The Skills of the Actor. Observation Acting and Your Personal Growth. Discipline. 2. The Creative State. Tension and Excessive Effort. Restful Alertness. Experiencing Wholeness. Relaxation. The Here and Now. 3. Centering and Moving. Your Relationship to Gravity. The Pure Center and the Voice. The Actor's Use of Center. Grounding. Your Changing Relationship to Gravity. Phrasing Movement. 4. Gesture. Communication through Gesture. The Genesis of Gesture. Implied Gestures in the Text. 5. Voice. The Voice and Emotion. The Source of the Voice. The Cycle of Energy. Tone Production. The Voice and Inner Dynamic. The Voice and Attitude. Using Your Own Voice. 6. Speech. The Process of Speech. Nasal Sounds. Oral Sounds: Vowels and Diphthongs. Oral Sounds: Consonants. Projection. Speech, Context, and Character. Further Training of Body and Voice. 7. Working with Others. The Bodily Center and Relationship. Commitment, Support, and Communication. Transaction and Teamwork. II. ACTION. 8. The Flow and Shape of Dramatic Action. Action and Reaction: The Life of the Scene. The Shape of Drama. Drama and Conflict. 9. Action for the Actor. Action According to Stanislavski. Action in Life. Internal and External Action. Believability. Indicating. 10. Action and the Acting Process. Public Solitude. Dual Consciousness. Action and Emotion. Action and Character. Personalization and the Magic If. The Acting Process. 11. Needs, Actions and Objectives. Wants and Needs. Actions and Objectives. Defining Productive Objectives. Connecting Action with Others. Spontaneity. 12. Playable Actions. Defining Playable Actions. Units of Action. The Given Circumstances. 13. Beats and Scenes. Analyzing Beats. Scene Structure. The Score of the Role 14. Through-Line and Superobjective. The Superobjective. III. CHARACTER. 15. The Function and Elements of Character. Dramatic Function. Functional and Likeness Traits. Categories of Character Traits. Physical Traits. Social Traits. Psychological Traits. Moral Traits. Economy of Characterization. A Character Checklist. 16. The Character's Mind. The Instroke of Reaction. Choice. Automatic Actions. Direct and Indirect Action. Not Doing: Suppression. 17. The Character's Language. Word Choice: Text and Subtext. Rhythm. Melody. Imagery. 18. The Character's Body. Personality in the Body. The Character's Center. The Flow of Bodily Energy. Physique and Personality. Body Alignment and Character. 19. The Character's Emotion. From Action to Emotion: Working from the Outside In. From Thought to Emotion: Working from the Inside Out. Emotional Recall and Substitution. The Role of Emotion in Performance. IV. THE WORKING PROCESS. 20. Finding the Content. General Auditions. Specific Auditions. Preparation and Homework. Early Read-Throughs. Getting Up and Off Book. Exploring the Action. Establishing the Score. 21. Developing the Form: Scale and Blocking. Getting Up and Off Book The Stage. Directions on Stage. The Scale of Performance. The Groundplan and Setting. Blocking. Justifying the Blocking. 22. The Rehearsal Process III: Preparing to Open. Shaping and Pacing the Performance. Making Final Adjustments. Technical and Dress Rehearsals. Growth after Opening. 23. The Actor at Work. Supporting Each Other. Free and Open Communication. You and Your Director. The Fear of Failure. The Desire for Success. Your Sense of Purpose. Afterword: Transformation. Appendix A: Sample Scenes. Cheers. Zoot Suit. Appendix B: Useful Plays. Appendix C: An Action Checklist. Bibliography. Notes. Glossary of Acting Terms. Index.[ The Actor at Work, 9/E Robert Benedetti, California Institute of the Arts ISBN: 0-205-41850-3 Publisher: Allyn & Bacon ]
Combines Stanislavski's “Method” with techniques drawn from contemporary psychology to teach students a broad range of approaches to the acting process.
Stresses the sense of purpose, personal discipline, and the ethics of acting.
Introduces the basics of acting for the camera, an area of growing interest to students today.
Contains an appendix of sample scenes that can be used as exercise material for students and an appendix of useful plays for students' further reading and practice.
Divides speech and voice material into two distinct chapters to provide additional focus on each of these important topics.