To succeed in acting, you have to know how to get into character. And to get into your character, you have to understand the role you’re playing almost more than you understand yourself. You’ve got to know their habits, fears, dreams and wounds. This is how you not only develop the character, but become them. This is also known as Method Acting. This method calls the actor 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.
Here are the main points and processes:
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?
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.
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.
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.
Method acting is a great way to practice authentic and believable character development and can be applied in all forms of acting from stage to camera. It allows you to become an incredibly convincing character. We at the New York Acting School for Film and Television teach this and many other skills you need to succeed in front of the camera. Contact us today to find out more about our classes and coaching options.