The decision to go into acting takes a great deal of commitment and openness. To truly excel in a program and make the most of one’s time, you must be willing to push yourself outside your comfort zone and be open to exploring different acting techniques to deliver the best performance.
There are a few tips I need to share with you before delving into the techniques of acting.
As you walk into the audition room, for the judges, your audition had begun. You need to show the judges how much self-confidence you have. Walk into the audition ground exuding so much confidence. If you don’t have one, fake it. Take a deep breath in and out. Look straight into the eyes of the judges. Don’t be scared. Tell yourself you can make it. Then relax yourself. The judges did not grow Dracula teeth overnight. So they won’t eat you up.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular methods and acting techniques:
Famous for his “repetition” exercise The Meisner Technique is based around the concept of “truthful acting.” Sanford Meisner, who pioneered this method, encouraged his students to live truthfully under any given imaginary circumstance. The approach to this training is having the actor act on their emotional impulses – essentially, leading with their heart as opposed to their brain. The work emphasizes openness, honesty, and listening above all.
In this technique, you have to leave- in your character. This is what I call being –in- character. You will have to be physically and emotionally involved in the role you are given to play. As if you are really living out your own life on stage. This is why some actors can cry real hard on stage and at the same time evoke the same feeling on his audience.
The Stanislavsky method requires that an actor use his emotional memory when approaching the work. This requires an actor to recall past experiences and memories and bring them into any given scene or character they are bringing to life. Theoretically, an actor should ask themselves: “How would I react if this was really happening to me?”
One of the world’s most frequently taught acting techniques, Stanislavski inspired scores of future teachers including Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner, and Lee Strasberg. Think emotional memory recall, spiritual realism, and self-analysis.
In this technique, you are expected to do a mental recall of any emotional experience you have had, that may help you in your acting. you picture the scenario and ask yourself what you are to do in such a situation if you were to be the character. this is what is called self analysis.
Lee Strasberg’s Method
In this method, actors should intensify their connections to the work by imitating their character’s experiences within the context of their real lives. By doing this, one should be able to reach a greater understanding and a richer connection to the emotional states of their characters. Lee Strasberg’s actors intensify their connections to the work by mimicking characters’ experiences within the context of their own (real) lives, and reaching deeper connections and understandings of their characters’ emotional worlds.
This technique is focused in two parts: Act Before You Think and Think Before You Act. Script Analysis and Performance Technique classes focus on analyzing a script by understanding the story and given circumstances, and then going through the process of choosing an action and making specific choices that will create a character.
Actors are taught to focus on what is literally happening in the scene and focus on the pursuit of an action. Developed by David Mamet and William H. Macy, script analysis explores what the character is “literally doing,” what the character “wants,” distills this down to a playable “action,” and finally personalizes the choices through what is called an “as if.” The second part of the technique is called Moment. Through a course called Moment Lab, students work on a variety of exercises, including Repetition, designed to overcome self-consciousness and teach the student to fully put their attention on the other person and act spontaneously and truthfully based on what they see.
Practical Aesthetics is dedicated to telling the story of the play simply and truthfully in line with the playwright’s intentions.
There are other techniques like that of Stella Adler, Michael Chekhov, Uta Hagen, and Viola Spolin
Stella Adler’s approach is also built on that of Stanislavski, but imagination is emphasized over emotional recall; in her words, “You have to get beyond your own precious inner experiences.”.
Michael Chekhov created a famous “psycho-physical” technique which draws on physical actions and mind-body connection to create a sensual approach to the character.
It’s all about realism for Uta Hagen. Students are taught to “substitute” or “transfer” their own memories into the experiences of their characters, building deep connections based on their own personal truths.
Viola Spolin’s “theater games” approach inspires students to respond immediately and live in the moment. Her technique focuses on self-direction and improvisation.