Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Are You an Actor Looking to Master Your Character Development?

Are You an Actor Looking to Master Your Character Development?
Character development is one of the greater challenges an actor faces and can greatly be improved when certain techniques are put to use.  After all, great character development is the key to engaging your audience and creating a great film.  At the New York Acting School for Film and Television, we understand the need for mastering different skills. 
Are You an Actor Looking to Master Your Character Development? 
Actors everywhere use several well-known acting techniques to develop their characters and deliver their material and the one we are going to touch on today, is method acting. Method acting actually involves a series of approaches but its overall aim is to develop life like performances by encouraging the actor to replicate the emotional experience of the character through his or her own emotions.
In essence, in method acting, the actor is asked to internalize the emotional life and thought processes of the character. The actor is expected to literally feel the same emotional impulses as the character would in circumstances described in the script. The classical approach, in contrast, focuses on externalizing these processes of character development by developing a certain set of skills (i.e. voice, movement, imitation etc.)
The Technique

Method acting approaches vary, but they usually follow roughly the same process:
  • Real Life Observation  – In developing the character, the actor must first spend time observing how the character’s real life counterparts move and operate in the world. Where do they go? Who do they interact with? How do they interact?
  • Emotional Memory – Key to the method acting approach is the shift away from the actor’s portrayal of emotion toward the actor’s internalization of that emotion. The actor is expected to feel the emotion rather than simply pantomime it. This process is typically enabled by the memory of a past event within the actor’s own life that triggers the same emotion.
  • Character Motivation – The actor needs to ask a series of questions to determine motivation: how would the character react in the given situation? What situations would need to occur to motivate the character in a particular direction? What events would trigger particular emotions within the character.
  • Re-Training – The method acting approach focuses on the portrayal of lifelike and “believable” characters rather than theatrical caricatures. The actor is expected to readjust the way s/he thinks and feels to fit the portrayal of the character.

To learn more about Method Acting, and other forms of character development, please contact us at the New York Acting School for Film and Television today. We have many classes and coaches waiting for you to take the step toward bettering your career. 

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