The art of experiencing. What is so flat, what is missing? The experience. What inhabits your body? Why do some people go on and on and yet they are still so boring? And others say only a few words and people are in tears? That is the Method and Stan believed that everyone could learn it, not just for stage, but for life.
Super Objective – What is your goal? Why are you doing it? What is the reason? What do you want and how are you going to make it happen?
What do you expect your audience (the players you are playing off included) to do after your performance? What do you want them to feel? Goal number one.
Thinking that you only have to voice the words is not enough. Words do not make experience. Witnessing other’s experience (yours) creates experience in others. Do you experience complex scenarios solely with one dimension of your being? No, you do not.
What are the expectations? How will you achieve that goal?
Stage Action – Having a Goal is great but does not make an actor interesting. It is the Struggle for that goal. Everyone loves a good struggle. Obstacles, physical ones, and those in the story. Does your character have to fight to get things done? Struggles with ourselves. Work around the goal and experience the struggle. Question yourself and answer those questions with hard, honest answers. Yourself, not others around you. Allow the feeling to be awkward, let go of the need to look good by being authentic.
Suspension of Disbelief – Think of things that touch you emotionally, and use that memory while acting your scene.
More stories that you can visualize while you focus on remaining a character on stage.
Look around attentively, within yourself.
There are heated debates about the importance of suspension of disbelief. A lot of New York actors held the belief that this was a key component to the system, even though it has been said that Stanislavski himself recommended this only as a last resort. I think actors should decide for themselves and try it as an experimental approach.
Jonathan Croall’s new book, Performing Hamlet, gives a decade-by-decade look (starting in the 1950s) at iconic performances of one of Shakespeare’s most well-known characters. The book, published this summer by Bloomsbury in The Arden Shakespeare series, also contains the theater historian’s in-depth interviews with five distinguished actors who have played Hamlet in the 21st century: Jude…