Method Acting

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The Application of Method Acting to Shakespearean Text Preface~ * I never really believed that acting could, or should for that matter, be taught. There is no concrete way to act. For some people, the ability to do theatre, and to do it well comes naturally; for others, it does not. I have always held the conviction that to teach acting is to rob the art of it's truth, it's beauty.

Over the summer, I performed in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. I was directed by someone who really made me understand the harsh realities of the "business," and yet at the same time, gave me a deeper appreciation for good theatre, and the intensity that goes into creating it. Through watching him on stage and listening to him, I have gained new insight to my own future in acting. I realized what a sloppy actor I am, and how much refinement I desparately needed.

I still believe that you cannot teach someone to act. However, I do know that someone's inherent acting abilities can be refined. Now, the kicker here is how? There has to be some sort of common language among actors and directors that can be used in maturing theatre techinique. By developing the system of method acting, Konstantin Stanislavski did just that. He created continuity in the refinement of technique, and thus allowed communication to occur within the acting realm. * For years I have unknowingly used various aspects of the "method" in my own acting. When my mentor told me to read Stanislavski's system by Sonia Moore, I was expecting some sort of ephiphany which would immediately broaden my whole theatrical outlook. Thus was not the case. Stanislavski strove to give an actor control over the phenomenon of inspiration. (Moore; 1974) He did this by creating...