I am now considered to be the UK‘s Leading Expert on Method Acting and I have been featured on the BBC, in The Sunday Express, The Metro and The Stage, and I run my own acting school in London. The following exercises are commonly explored in method acting courses as a fundamental part of actor training.
Let me take you through key areas of the technique.
It was discovered by psychologists in the early part of the 20th Century that the best way to stimulate an emotional response from a human being is through their senses in conjunction with their memories.
It is assumed that we perceive the world through our senses. We see, hear, smell, touch, taste. This is what excites us as human beings. It is also understandable that the memory of these senses can influence us. For example, we are all hungry, the thought of our favorite food, and began to drool, or hear a song that reminded us, a relationship that we have. Our memories are closely linked with our senses.
In The Method, the acting training shows the actor how to use their personal memories through their senses to produce particular and real emotional responses. For example, if two characters in a scene are going through a break up, the actors involved may work on some sort of experience of loss in their own lives. This could be the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job or the loss of an experience they enjoy.
Through carefully structured acting classes and courses, Method Actors train themselves to fuse the real emotion that is produced with the event and character they are portraying.
Christopher Walken trained at a very famous acting school called The Actors Studio in New York. He took acting courses and acting lessons with Lee Strasberg.
Christopher was asked what it was in scene when it shot to think about the end of The Deer Hunter, where it plays Russian roulette and if it kills.
He said that when he was younger, his parents made him go to summer camp – he hated going – and the experience filled him with a sense of abandonment, loss and anger. He said that he felt his character was experiencing similar feelings, so he thought about that event during the scene. Christopher Walken understands that events from his own experience can expose the experiences of the character on a much deeper level. This type of work is advanced Method Acting and requires years of acting training to accomplish.
The animal exercise helps to recreate an external physicality separate from the actor‘s own.
This exercise has been embraced by many Acting Schools and Drama Schools all over the world, including Drama Schools in
London. an important aspect in the quality classrooms.
The actor picks an animal that they think reflects the character they are playing. It must be a wild animal, not a domestic pet and not a reptile. The reason reptiles are not allowed is because they are cold blooded and we are warm blooded. The use of birds is also limited.
Once an animal is picked, the actor studies it at the zoo in intricate detail. They research the psychology of the animal, as it provides a great insight into its behaviour and thought processes. For example, Rhinos get a reputation for being an aggressive animal. But the reason Rhinos attack is because they are short sighted and cannot clearly see what is approaching, so they charge to protect themselves. This could be an interesting trait in a character.
The actor then recreates the animal‘s physicality in detail. They get down on all fours or adopt whatever position necessary, and recreate how the animal moves, eats and sleeps. Once they have a strong sense of the animal‘s physicality, the actor then stands up, starts to humanise the animal and says the character‘s lines – incorporating the new physicality.
This exercise is of great effect by the method actors like Marlon Brando, who played an ape in A Streetcar Named Desire, and a bulldog “The Godfather” is used. It’s worth a look to see on these shows, as the animal is manifested in human form.
Method improvisation techniques differ from the norm. Method Actors will use affective memory improvisation. This is when they change the affective memory they are thinking about and explore other memories to produce a different experience within the character.
They tambÃ©m use ” Where I am now? ” Boarding ” , to understand where the actor accurately as it really goes to feel at the moment trying during a scene and the USA ¡ – lo as one forÃ§a in the scene.
For example, Dennis Hopper says, if it has knowledge of external events during a scene where it assumes. It speaks of a moment where a scene of one film that it perceives that the person continuity observing the length of its cigarette to hear. razÃ£o for this was that, when the called director ” Cut” , that she would guarantee the continuity person must, of cigarette to the side of Dennis was accurately the same length as in the previous scene. Hopper I found this engraÃ§ado, and comeÃ§ou to laugh at the scene that involves the Ã© exterior made in its work.
These are just some of the techniques used by the world‘s leading Method Actors. Many Method Actors continue their acting training by taking acting courses and acting classes with leading Method Acting teachers. These exercises build unbelievable concentration and really stimulate real emotion, ultimately leading to emotionally charged and moving performances.
There is more to acting than is commonly realised, and the human body (the actor‘s instrument) is capable of very much more than the conventional reality.
The UK‘s Leading Method Acting Expert
“Brian is a Acting Coach with over 18 years experience in the industry and is The Leading Expert on Method Acting in the UK. He has taught actors appearing in London?s West End shows to high profile films. Brian recently appeared on the BBC2 programme ?Murder Most Famous? teaching TV Actors; Sherrie Hewson (Coronation Street/
Emmerdale) and Angela Griffin (Coronation Street/ Holby City) Method Acting techniques. “