2008 :

... I do not teach this course for 3 (?) years; time to tink about formatting it for cyber-users. AA

"Acting is like trying to get at some certain truth, some common denominator, some exchange, some connection, that makes us feel a certain truth in ourselves. The way of acting that you really try to finally learn is how not to act. That's where it's at. Acting is not acting." - Al Pacino Acting provides the fulfillment of never being fulfilled. You're never as good as you'd like to be. So there's always something to hope for. Glenda Jackson

Personal. Listen, I ask you to do what I do myself. Take notes, write, think, read, do your homework -- the webpages are the example of it. Anatoly 2002 Last weekend I had my auditions for the "Importance of Being Earnest" -- and for several days I keep thinking about the actors who came to audition -- and did not get the part.

Leaving aside those who weren't right for the part, what about the second, the third choices? What about my students whom I do know and know what they can do?

Aha, here is the problem. I shouldn't know it! They should grow and, when I see them next time, they should be bigger and better. You do the show to grow, actor!

You have to be actor every day, all the day!

I give a simple answer; if you went through all my pages: there is no part-time artists!

If can't do it, get yourself another profession. If you want to do theatre, forget about everything else. I mean it. Literaly. You won't have time for anything else, if you indeed to do what you must do.

Do it for a year -- and see. Do it for ten years...

By then we all will know you and your name.

You don't believe me?

You see, you want to "play" actor.

Theory of Spectatorship
Let me finish what I started on Last Note. They get their grades, what they don't the straight evaluation -- personal and professional. Straight recommendation -- drop it now! Just forget it! Get yourself some other major, because in acting you can't fool your most important spectator, director and partner -- you! Acting is about "pretending" and, if you are pretending thta you are learning acting, there is no room left for pretending of being a character. You are busy with the social games. Get yourself a profession, any other profession, where it's okay. Not on stage, kid. Not here.
Dionysus -- Biomechanics

Method -- Apollo

Goodbye and see you in other classes!


Overview of the Acting One and intro (preview) of Intermediate Acting (Biomechanics-focused). Recommended: Douglas A. Russell’s “Period Style for the Theatre” (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1980). (list)


Acting & Directing Class Final Presentations Friday, May 2, 2003 Free!


I made my mind. On PS pages and in the last part of every acting directory I will write about "business of acting"! Yes, about what is out there, when the "schooling" is over. What you should be ready for... Film Casting and other "casting" pages: Cast in directing, Typecast in BioMethod, Actors and Cast in Method. Plus, Auditions. "Theatre is not a mirror but a magnifying glass." Mayakovsky

It should be said at the begining or the end of this course (or maybe both):

Sometimes I question the very proposition taht my students do not know much about acting. Sometimes, I think that they know too much -- and everything they know is wrong.

First, the "talent thing." It's nice to have a talent, but talent doesn't make you a professional. Talent forces you to become professional, but you can forc3e yourself even better.

Second, the luck.

Well, this element of luck is everywhere, but in our daily existence we do not count on it. Why in the most important things we should place "luck" in the center?

Where did they they come from, these myths?" Simple. We need the ready exuces for skipping the work. Of course, we are looking for easy way, the shortest, the less painful. It's normal. But the problem is that the shortcuts do not work. It's not about how to get there, kid, the question is what will you do when you are there?

Art, unlike sport, is very democratic, very open for everyone. Because it's not about our physical limitations, but the spiritual body, which is under our control. "Self" is formed by us, not by nature. I can't change the constitution of my body, but I can change my mind, my inner composition -- and I have my enrire life to do it.

There are too many psedo-myths to list. You know them, you practice the wrong.

I have to pause -- because out there so many who make what I wrote trivial. The "know-how" workshops by the croocks, to make money on you...

... Well, now what?

Yes, it would be good to make the pages useful for others. Readable.



pre-acting = acting 101 *

BARNES SPEAKS : I should've remembered the advice: don't write anything you can phone, don't phone anything you can talk, don't talk anything you can whisper, don't whisper anything you can smile, don't smile anything you can nod, don't nod anything you can wink. It would have been a lot easier winking my way through life...


"The virtue of dress rehearsals is that they are a free show for a select group of artists and friends of the author, and where for one unique evening the audience is almost expurgated of idiots." Alfred Jarry
When you go into the professional world, at a stock theatre somewhere, backstage you will meet an older actor--someone who has been around awhile. He will tell you tales and anecdotes about life in the theatre. He will speak to you about your performance and the performances of others, and he will generalize to you, based on his experience and his intuitions, about the laws of the stage. Ignore this man. --Sanford Meisner

I don't know if I should give this advise at the very beginning of the book: take it easy. Don't struggle with yourself, with the typecasting, with which technique to use -- so many things you have to struggle, therefore -- accept the natural laws of theatre. Free yourself for a true fight. Trust your instincts (Dionysos), trust your judgement (Apollo). Trust the masters of drama. Trust the public.

Look, there is a lot of BS in life. Especially, in theatre. Everything is not tangible, subjective, emotional... The further are away from professional acting, the more BS you get. Where do you get most of it -- in acting classes.

First, the PC climate on campuses. Second, the education system -- you pay. Should we tough with you, who pays our salary? If you are to waste your time, you would waste mine and everybody's else. Third, the HS anti-educational training. Twelve years of it, when "they teach" -- instead of you learning to learn.

My list of problems is long.




"theatrical youthfulness"

The first essential to retain a youthfull performance is to keep the idea of the play alive. That is why the dramatist wrote it and that is why you decided to produce it. One should not be on the stage, one should not put a play for the sake of acting or producing only. Yes, you must be exited about your profession. You must love it devotedly and passionatly, but not for itself, not for its laurels, not for the pleasure and delight it brings to you as artists. You must love your chosen profession because it gives you the opportunity to communicate ideas that are important and necessary to your audience. Because it gives you the opportunity, through the ideas that you dramatize on the stage and through your characterizations, to educate your audience and to make them better, finer, wiser, and more useful members of society...

You must keep the idea alive and be inspired by it at each performance. This is the only way to retain youthfulness in performance and your own youthfulness as actors. The true recreation of the play's idea -- I emphasize the word true -- demands from the artist wide and varied knowledge, constant self-discipline, the subordination of his personal tastes and habits to the demands of the idea, and sometimes even definite sacrifices. (Stanislavsky)


Practical applications of theory are in training. And first of all, your (mental) attitude. Understanding and realization that movement must be dramatically structure. All changes must be expressed physically in space and time. Period.

If you think it's too complicated, you are right, and you should know what is ahead of you in Method Acting. Could you progress without knowledge of acting theory? Could you be an inventor without an engineering degree? Be a CEO without MBA? A musician without knowledge of solfeggio? A surgent not knowing the anatomy? There are no short cuts in any profession. Sooner or later you have to learn it, if you stay with the profession.

But first, we have to change the attitude about studing acting.

"Those who work in improvisation have the chance to see with frightening clarity how rapidly the boundaries of so-called freedom are reached." Brook [1] 425
[ "Brook" page in directing? ]

"Right Attitude" means that you have to seek limitations in order to have the freedom within the rules. With horror and amusement I saw thousands in NYC, who are after ten, twenty, thirty years after the graduation, still trying to break into business. The grand illusion is that acting is easy, sipmle and fun.

Since most of acting skills are acquired through experience, it's exteremely difficult to bring it in formulas, terminology and rules. Acting theories are relatively new. Most of the theatre schools appeared only half a century ago, but mass society, which is a communication society today, asks for mass market for acting. This is how-to-do-it-yourself acting book... I thought.

Discipline isn't possible without limitations. Instead of your mind's limitations get the laws, which will teach you by giving the true limits.

I am sure that I like the constructivist terminology (mechanics, building a role, and etc.), I believe that we discover things (which only looks like our inventions).

"The great system of Stanislavsky, which for the first time approached the whole art of acting from the point of view of science and knowledge, has done as much harm as good to many young actors, who misread it in detail and only take away a good hatred of the shoddy." (B 428)
Of course, there's a danger that it could be taken mechanically, as the ONLY answer, not a tool. Any power tool is dangerous too.
"At least one can see that everything is a language for something and nothing is a language for everything." (B 429)
Actor is a carrier of theatre. He alone creates the space and time of performance. He is a magician. We rediscovered that a shamsn was not at the beginning, but always with actor.

"Holy Theatre" = space is to become subjective, tranfigurated through and by actor.

Are you ready for ACTING?


The visuals : ...


"That is why the last method Stanislavsky formulated lies at the basis of our theatre teaching. With us, the student's education always begins with a study of the main elements of organic behavior: attention, communication, physical action, logic and truthfulness." Toporkov [528]

[ Russian Theatre Files -- ]

My emails are on every page. Theatre UAF address is on your right.

If comments -- use the guestBooks.

Next? Many places to go and learn.

Acting II and III



Acting & Virtual Theatre? See vActor

Go to Acting Two: BioMechanics!


4.16 2002: We open Dangerous Liaisons in two days and I'm thinking about my cast and my students. About what they got through the process and what is ahead of them. They are young and so much could be done. They need directions no less then their characters...
[ use shows.vtheatre.net ]


Actor became a celebrity. An outcast who not long ago couldn't be buried together with other Christian souls, now is a role model. He is a king. He could be president. When in our past could we find an equivalent of this cult? Thery are not only famous, they are rich and famous. Why such a transformation? because they perform for our global village? Or becuase this global village has new values and priorities? What do we pay them for? For entertainment?

"Entertainment" is very silly and very American idea, anothe big lie which mass culture wish to preserve. Come on, it's just a game, relax, only escapism from our real drama -- life... We are not taking it intellectually seriously, we play it down. Dreams, illusions, not like church, bank, job...

Media is our church and celebrities are our priests. They do not have an autority of kings but they have the power. We can't treat them too serious because they represent different gods -- us. But check the time we spend with them -- they are our family, relatives...

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.

Next: Directing

Film acting?
Film Directing -- Actors Michael Chekhov (1891-1955) was the nephew of the playwright Anton Chekhov, and considered by Stanislavsky to be his most brilliant student. For the last hundred years, in America and Europe, most approaches to acting stem from the pioneering work of Konstantin Stanislavsky. But with time Stanislavsky and his disciples moved far beyond their original ideas: They developed a theater that was bolder, more expressive and imaginative, using psycho-physical techniques that liberated and excited actors.

The psycho-physical approach is most fully exemplified and realized in the work of Michael Chekhov. Chekhov developed an approach to acting that affords the actor access to resources within himself – feelings, will impulses, character choices – that are based not merely in personal experience as they are in "Method" training, but on the actor's imagination and physical life.

Chekhov settled in the USA in 1939, and moved to Hollywood in the 1940s. Prominent actors who studied with him there were: Gary Cooper, Marilyn Monroe, Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, Clint Eastwood, Leslie Caron, Anthony Quinn, Ingrid Bergman, Jack Palance, Lloyd Bridges, and Yul Brynner (who wrote the preface to Chekhov's To the Actor.). Chekhov died in 1955, before his work became widely known, but it has recently been rediscovered: the last fifteen years have witnessed a growing enthusiasm for Chekhov’s extraordinary artistic legacy, as theaters and theater institutions actively search for broader and more creative approaches to the art of the actor. Wilde

* an article called "the price of greatness" discusses the connection between creativity and mental illness. Some fun statistics this 10-year study came up with--(there are fallacies, but it's interesting) In a study of 1000 "creative" types (including arts and literature critics), this person found that:
Alcohol Related Problems
34% poetry
41% fiction
60% theater
29% art

Drug Related Problems (included "prescription" and "illicit")
10% art
24% theater
19% fiction
17% poetry

Depression and Melancholia
50% art
34% theater
59% fiction
77% poetry

13% poets
17% actors

4% art
6% theater
17% poets

Suicide Attempts:
"In our sample, poets have the highest rates (26%) followed by actors (23%).