Studying acting is a lifelong commitment that one has to work on. If you are an aspiring screen actor or stage performer, mastering your craft should be your topmost priority. Working on your passion is the first step towards receiving offers and experiencing the perks of being a performer. You must be willing to take yourself out of your comfort zone and explore various acting techniques that can effectively convey the scriptwriter and director’s goals.
You may have a comfortable, signature way of acting, yet as a student, you need to expand your horizons and learn more techniques to become more versatile in your art. The more you prepare yourself and be open to know different kinds of acting techniques, the higher your likelihood of getting accepted in a performing arts centre in Brisbane, New York, or wherever you want to earn your acting degree.
Here are some basic acting techniques you should learn and master:
Started in Russia, the Stanislavski Method is the forerunner in bringing the idea that acting should be realistic. Its originator, Konstantin Stanislavski, invented this method as a counter-method in the prevailing schools of acting that focused on presentational, superficial, and performative styles. Stanislavski changed the drama trend and since then paved the way for a more realistic style practiced until today.
Actors using this acting style must base their actions on several questions, “What do I want?” or “What do I need to make the other character do?” to perform the role. The actor is free to imagine the scenario and the imaginary stimuli and freely includes his/her interpretation on how to perform the function.
Classical Acting Technique
Classical acting comprises several acting styles used in one instance. Scholars have a hard time arriving at one formal definition of the classical method as it takes influences from Stanislavski’s system and Michel Saint-Denis. It wants to focus on every detail about the actor’s instrument. Doing this may entail focusing on the actor’s body, voice, imagination, and ability to analyze the script and bring their character to life. Actors using this technique are physically and vocally open and free. At the same time, they have training in interpreting texts.
This style of acting derived inspiration from the Stanislavski system. Sanford Meisner developed this technique in the 1930s while working with Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler in New York. In the end, the three of them parted ways and started their acting schools.
In Meisner’s approach, the actor has to get out of his head, stop intellectualizing the script and act out of pure instinct. In this way, the actor will stop using established habits or affectations and start being open to new acting styles that may instinctively come out. Meisner encourages actors to be ‘in the moment.’
With a few exercises, this technique encourages actors to be spontaneous and free to eliminate any predispositions or judgments and perform instead of ‘reading’ the lines.
The Chekhov technique is a reaction to the Stanislavski method. Its proponent Michael Chekhov, the renowned playwright Anton Chekhov’s nephew, wants to take the Stanislavski method as he felt it too naturalistic. He likes actors to include the use of their subconscious mind and the universality of humanity in performing.
In this technique, the actors use physical exercises to take the actions to a higher level. Using psychological gestures, the actor will transform the internal need or desire into a motion. Repeating such exercises will lead the actor to understand the character’s emotions more and use them as input in their acting.
You may also like to master the Method Acting Technique, Practical Aesthetics Acting Technique, Uta Hagen Technique, and Viola Spolin Technique. So, how to become an actor with no prior experience? The most convenient way to do it is to read and study. Familiarize what moviemakers want. You may want to know the operations involved in theater.
Reading many books about theater and sample plays will give you rich information about the world of acting. Though you may be passionate about starting your acting goals, experts advise not to jump right in and move to a bigger city to pursue this dream. Start with local schools and open your doors to local opportunities as well. There may be regional auditions and training that you can tap before moving on to the ladder’s next step.
Though the main goal is to become an actor, discovering your special skills may also increase your likelihood for directors to notice you. These ‘accessory’ skills are amazing stuff that may catch a director’s attention, thus helping you land on acting gigs easily. It is also best to start working on your identity that you want to project to the public. Your branding matters as this is how the public can remember you.