PDF To the Actor: On the Technique of Acting

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Moreover, actors often have an unreliable sensory appreciation of their performance. They may not be aware of excessive or unnecessary tensions, or they may sense it but not understand how to change what is going on. Through studying the Alexander Technique actors become aware of their habits of 'misuse'.

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Alexander work includes hands-on work as part of the process. The teacher - with gentle touch - listens in kinesthetic terms to what the actor is doing and offer suggestions and directions for the actor to create improved use.


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Actors and non-actors have the capacity to self-direct themselves and change habits of misuse to improve their performance. Through self- direction the actor creates new ways of performing so as to not impede actions. Among the benefits are a lengthening of the musculature, improved general use and functioning and the re-kindling of accurate sensory appreciation. The play was a rigorous test for the actors, including strenuous fight scenes and the demands of being onstage for most of the production.

Michael Chekhov – Michael Chekhov International Academy – Berlin

Through our work together, Mr. Rickman and Ms. Duncan were enabled to have ease and lightness during the performance, despite the emotional intensity and physical demands of the roles.

They created the 'spiritual life' of the part. Of this experience Rickman wrote: "With the best intentions, the job of acting can become a display of accumulated bad habits, trapped instincts and blocked energies.

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Working with Tom and the Alexander Technique to untangle the wires has given me sightings of another way. In the US, he landed in New york. Later he headed to Hollywood.

All approaches to acting in America and Europe stem from the pioneering work of Constantine Stanislavsky. His unending quest for truth on the stage resulted in a revolution in the way an actor prepared and presented a role. In America, his system arrived in a nascent form and was arguably not developed, leaving us with naturalism as the actor's highest artistic achievement.

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Most popular acting methods and techniques

This work has found its way back to Europe as a result of the American cinema and now prevails as the dominant approach to acting. Stanislavsky's research continued, however, and took him beyond naturalism. Among his followers, were three of the most important theater artists of the 20th century: Michael Chekhov, Yevgeny Vakhtangov, and Vsevolod Meyerhold.


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  4. Constantine Stanislavsky: Twentieth Century Russian Actor and Director, contributed tremendously to the process of acting as we understand and know it today. Michael Chekhov: An outstanding Russian actor, director and teacher of acting who lived and worked in Russia, in different European countries, and in the USA. Yevgeny Vakhtangov: Actor, teacher who died as a young and very promising director, and whose name is associated with an existing School and a Theater in Moscow. Vsevolod Meyerhold: Actor, teacher who became the premier Socialist Director of a new form of theater in Soviet Russia until he was persecuted and killed under Stalin.

    These artists helped the naturalistic theater flourish until they understood, along with Stanislavsky, that actors were artists; they needed to move away from the mere "photographic" representation of life by seeking truth in more inspiring ways.

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    They believed strongly that life on the stage needed to be bold, expressive, and theatrical. Consequently they developed imaginative methods using psycho-physical techniques, exercises that use the undeniable connection between the body and psychology, movements and principles that generate various sensations and emotions. They found these techniques liberated and excited the actor to truthful expressions.