There has always been a lot of confusion and stereotype around “Method Acting.” This blog is meant to clear the air and disspell the mystery surrounding this specific style of acting training.
“Method Acting” is a term used for the type of acting taught by Lee Strasberg, who was a founding member of the Actors Studio in New York City. The “Method” is still the premier type of acting training employed at the Studio, where I am a lifetime member.
Method Acting addresses the question of how can an actor both really feel AND be in control of what he needs to do onstage? In life, when we are caught in a heated moment, we lose control. In order to accomplish the needs of a script, an actor needs to have the ability to be in control, while also working from one meaningful moment to the next.
Moment to moment work is accomplished by tuning into sensory reality; hearing, smell, touch, taste, sight. The Method involves a combination of the sensory work, which gives us the imaginary stimuli we need to have a certain experience; and concentration, knowing what takes you out and not allowing your mind to drift.
Sense memory exercises are designed to train you to be able to elicit specific responses from your body by concentrating on the stimuli associated with the experience. For example, for the character of Laura Wingfield in “The Glass Menagerie,” the smell, touch and sight of the menagerie in general, specifically the unicorn, should trigger in the actress an emotional response. The object and the concentration which results from attention to it are the basic building blocks from which an actor works.
For more information, or to register for an introductory class, please contact us at Heather@heathersnowclark.com