METHOD ACTING and Biomechanics for DIRECTORS and Actors

Method Acting & Biomechanics with Anatoly Preface
* Fundamentals : when will I have time to update this ACTING 101 ? See Acting2 pages!


video & web


acting *
"Every artist was first an amateur."- Ralph Waldo Emerson Originally this was the only directory on acting, so you will face the pages of the different levels. I keep moving the texts to Method Acting (Acting III) and Biomechanics (Acting II) directories. Also, some -- to the Theatre Theory pages.
Preface Text-Only Method

In this directory I try to find the web version of the etextbook.

If you can't find what you are looking for in this directory, go down to the 200X Files, or to the Biomechanics and Method directories.

[2002. I hope that by Dec. the pages will get their forms...]

Historical References to "BioMethod": the ideas of Michael Chekhov ( psychophysical approach) - Improvisation as a Method of Rehearsal, psychological gesture, emotional content, conception and role of will, space and action etc.


A word or two about the titles I use for this book -- "Pre-Acting" and "BioMethod"... Pre-acting? I believe that the real acting is done by the public, their dramatic experience is the final text we "write" (using the scripts, which usually assigned this name -- texts). BioMethod? If we believe that the spectator's dramatic experience is the true theatrical result, what the difference HOW do we produce it? Through physical or other actions and means -- use whatever you need to let them LIVE through drama! The division between Method and Biomechanics becomes nothing more than our "stage" business, question of the techniques. So, they, the public, spectators, do ACT, we only pre-act, like conductors and composers who produce the sound out of the orchestra.


What a zoo! Two gods, two great directors (Teacher and Master) and now --

ET ET: a true (space) alien, who is your student rep; he learns the most complex human activity -- acting! (hyperlinked to student pages)


Acting I : BioMethod

Acting II : Biomechanics

Acting III : Method All directories are constructed as "books": title, intro, chapters, appendix, list, biblio. The web is confusing? Yes, there is no visible linear structure, but not that much, links pages? Get used to web-reading, kids.

* The Myth of the Born Actor
[ The Technique of Acting by F. Cowles Strickland; McGraw-Hill, 1956 ]

The Purpose of the Stanislavski System: "It should be remembered that Stanislavski was himself a well-trained and skillful actor before he felt the lack in himself which led him to the studies from which he finally evolved the exercises and the discipline which have come to be known as the Stanislavski method. His autobiography is very clear on this point. Through experience, learning by trial and error, by observing great actors and frequently imitating them, he had learned the technique of acting and then had found that technique was not enough. But he never claimed that technique was not essential."

* There are several reasons why the techniques of acting are not so obvious and so easily recognized by either actors or audiences as the techniques of other arts. Perhaps the most important of these is that in the art of acting the artist himself becomes his own instrument, his own medium. The violinist is never confused with either his violin or the musical composition he is playing. Stradivarius created a violin capable of beautiful tone, but his art is not confused with the art of a Kreisler or a Menuhin who plays the violin and brings forth the tone; for it is easily demonstrated that a less capable violinist cannot produce as beautiful a tone from a Stradivarius violin as can a virtuoso and that a master violinist can produce a good tone from a less satisfactory instrument.



* Glossary *


Acting is a matter of giving away secrets. Ellen Barkin
Read title and intro pages; it should give you an idea about this directory. I do teach acting; mostly Intermediate and Advanced. I try to introduce the Biomechanics in "acting one" and in THR221 (mostly), doing the Method in the Acting Three.

Maybe I am wrong. Biomechanics is very complex technique -- but the Method is too.

Think about what is the main objective of "Fundamentals of Acting" -- how to cross the line of becoming a professional actor. Remember the Meyerhold's formula (suggested by Stanislavsky): actor = artist + medium? How to start when the both actor-acrist and actor-medium are not developed?

First, to understand the duality of your task. Understand that you have to work on both -- the artistic "body" of actor in you and -- on craftmanship. The connections between the two are obvious, but we need to separate them in order to go deeper into both (professionalism is those specific techniques and knowledge).

Start with this "doubling" (or folding) process: the Greeks believed that any thought processes is a dialogue with onself. Learn how to talk with yourself. Yes, yes, use this "split personality" model -- it's good for any artist. You many voices speaking in you; performance must be multivocal, because you use several different language at once. Separate the composer (artist) and performer (medium) and tech them to help each other.

Again, consider this class as an introduction to both mechanisms of acting (inner and outer) and, when you are ready, move on up!

Acting One is a bit about everything -- Fundamentals and Introduction, required for all theatre majors and recommended (by me) for all undergraduates. How do we start? With this natural appreciation acting. We do like actors and acting. Why? Because the child in me never dies; we love games to play. We better be young -- we need to learn, the whole life is about learning. Theatre is the center of this human gravity, where we start the process in our youth and where we have to return to continue ....

Dionysus -- Biomechanics

Method -- Apollo

[Notes on your Drama and Theatre ancient gods.]


BioMX is about movement. Method is about emotional movements: e-motions.

If one doesn't work, go for another technique. You don't have to bother with Method or Biomechanics, if you do not need to.

See Beckett Page: for the class project (Spring 2002 finals) we will be using Endgame.

In acting and directing classes I use one-acts for the second part of the semester.


Read Intro in your textbook. Get familiar with the webpages. Subscribe to a forum, where you will be posting your papers. Must have a monologue and a first draft of your resume for the first class.

Start writing your Actor's Journal.


I have to remind myself that I am writing about the basics of acting! [If I am lucky, I hope to get to the complete manuscript soon and submit it to the POD (print on demand) publisher before 2003. Get on my mailing list, if interested.]

Next: intro

Stanislavsky: «Remember this practical piece of advice: Never come into the theatre with mud on your feet. Leave your dust and dirt outside. Check your little worries, squabbles, petty difficulties with your outside clothing -- all the things that ruin your life and draw your attention away from your art -- at the door».

A few words about navigation and the road signs. (I keep working on it!)

The banners and logos you see on my pages:

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[ main banner for (Film-North) ]

FN -- eye
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Flash banner "" takes you to Film Analysis pages.

Popup alert here and there is for my film email

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Well, this is in theory, of course. Other signs and symbols are self-explanatory: film books and etc.

[ POV, nonfiction pages ]

and the Film600 directory -- flash banners "Wrong Theories + Bad Subjects" [ film as philosophy ]

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Confusing? I pay for Yahoo and Tripod -- and they gave new, shorter domain names:

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Oh, yeah! Virtual Theatre! Several symbols, depending of what aspect of VT is in focus -- stage, film, web and etc.

[ what does it? I don't know. Dancing! ]

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Books directories. Film : Easy to remember?
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Writing: (Russian)

Plays: -- did you see this flash banner? Well, this directory for my new plays-in-progress. In Russian. You are in English directory: (click -- and you will get to the title page).

Web: and the flash banner with the same URL. Wait! SHOWS: -- no logo? I can't believe it!

If you see my photo Anatoly -- it must something about me: resume, bio, cv... [ one day I will make it better! ]