In the picture above, you see a group of actors on stage rehearsing a curtain call (a snap from the last show I was in, actually). What you can’t see in the photo is a group of actors that each have their own process and way of creating a character and bringing that forth to the stage with the other actors. There are many different acting techniques out there that you can follow, but, I see that techniques are like suggestions that can be intertwined and used in unison to create a system that works for each individual actor. While there are so many different methods and techniques, I will focus on the most popular methods used today: Stanislavski, Meisner, and Stella Adler.
In this blog post, I will be going over the Stanislavski method but stay tuned for future blog posts where I’ll be going in depth on the other methods as well.
Konstantin Stanislavski was born in Russia in 1863 and passed away in 1938. His technique can also be known as “method acting.” The whole point of method acting is for an actor to get a grip on real authentic emotions from past experiences in order to develop a true-to-life character. For example, if the character you have been cast as has a scene where he/she gets broken up with by their significant other, you may want to draw emotion from the time you had a devastating breakup. But, what if you’ve never experienced that before? Draw emotion from another time in your life where you felt the way you imagine your character to be feeling in that moment.
This method of acting can be used in both on-camera and stage environments and is still being taught in acting classes at all levels. There are countless books, articles and videos that speak on Stanislavski’s life and his system that he developed, like this one I have hyperlinked for you here.
Again, there are countless acting techniques out there and I will touch on more of them in future blog posts. Remember that each actor eventually creates their own personalized acting technique that is typically a mix of the systems and methods we will discuss here. Don’t be afraid to explore all different methods and systems and eventually, you will find your technique.