The Meisner Technique Part 2
The Meisner technique is great if you feel self-conscious as an actor. If you’re having a hard time being spontaneous or relating to the other actors on stage, this may be right for you. Since it will help you take the focus off yourself, it’s also a good acting method to deal with stagefright.
A working knowledge of Meisner acting will come in handy when you work with very spontaneous actors who give a different performance every night or every take. On the other hand, exclusive use of Meisner techniques can be tricky when you’re dealing with a non-responsive actor or when you’re auditioning and not getting much from the reader.
The Meisner technique is particularly effective for film acting because it delivers very subtle performances from actors and a lot of different takes for a director to choose from. Since the method of Sanford Meisner is very internal though, you’ll want to complete your studies with movement, speech and voice classes, as well as a good character workshop.
There is a strong emphasizes on “doing.”
One of Meisner’s famous quotations that illustrates the emphasis on “doing” was “An ounce of behavior is worth a pound of words.”The questions “what are you playing?” and “what are you doing?” are asked frequently, in order to remind actors to commit themselves to playing what Stanislavski called a “task” or “objective,” rather than focusing on the words of a play’s dialogue. Whether there’s silence, dialogue or an activity they all require the actor to find a purpose for doing it.
Actor traditional line-memorization methods that include vocal inflections or gestures are avoided. These traditional approaches merely increase the chance the actor will miss a “real moment” in service of a rehearsed habit or line reading, the technique assumes. Meisner actors learn lines dry, “by rote,” without inflection, so as not to memorize a line-reading. When the line is finally to be delivered, its quality and inflection is derived from the moment of articulation.
This week’s challenges:
1. Choose a scene from any script you like and read through the scene without inflection, emotion etc. Work out your given circumstances, character relationships, background, objectives etc)
2. Do a self tape and upload to the group for feedback or attend a virtual class.
All of us are consisted of three parts: our Body, our Soul and our Mind. If you are to live a truly fulfilled and happy life, you must develop and take care of all three of them.
Start listening to their cries and desires. Maybe your body is telling you that you are completely out of shape, it says that it needs to be exercised and that it doesn’t feel comfortable. Go ahead and do it, stretch at home, go in the gym, jog on the street. Or It may be saying it needs a good rest, if so do that! Take time out of your day to actively rest your body. Lie down on the floor when you get home from work for 10minutes, book into a spa, spend a weekend resting!
Perhaps your soul wants you to see some dear person that you haven’t talked to in a while. Maybe it is a dear friend of yours, your brother or sister, or perhaps your ex-girlfriend or boyfriend. Do it, listen to your soul, go on a cup of coffee and spend some time with that person. It will fill your heart with joy!
What about your Mind? Maybe it’s telling you to listen to some special piece of music, to learn a new language, to clear up your garden or buy a new bike, or simply that it is time to meditate and calm it. Whatever its needs, step into action, and do it!