Total Actor & Total Director
«We are aware that the conductor is not really making the music, it is making him -- if he is relaxed, open and attuned, then the invisible will take possession of him; through him, it will reach us». Peter Brook
Actor = Artist: Actor as a Dramatic Expression of Spectator's Sense of Story.
We step on stage always from the audience; our transformation from spectator into actor is dramatic. Coming on stage we leave behind us -- the public. We remember our first theatrical existence...
Audience is "Given Circumstances" -- it's not only inner and outer situation of my character. Performance "Givens" and I, space, text, public. I and public are united by space (theatre as an aesthetic situation provided by the theatre-building). Time, now -- and text (role) brings the separation (and indentification at the same time).
Even with no language I position myself outside of my own experience (rehearsals, repetitions create non-real experience).
I am Many, I have to have more than one out there. Without "them" I don't have "timed space" to react to...
Audience: Birth of Actor...
Featured Pages: Film Directing NEW :
Transition from Actor (II) to Specticle (Part III): Adolphe Appia Light and Space, Gordon Craig The Artist of the Theatre (138, 147)
Read Konstantin Stanislavsky Creative Work with the Actor (109)
George Bernard Shaw The Art of Rehearsal (192)
Tyron Guthrie An Audience of One (245)
First, read Acting One! Stanislavsky: «In spite of my great admiration for individual splendid talents I do not accept the star system. Collective creative effort is the root of our kind of art. That requires ensemble acting and whoever mars that ensemble is committing a crime not only against his comrades but also against the very art of which he is the servant».
SummaryDirecting Genre: Hamlet, Mikado, 3 Sisters
Questions?Read: KONSTANTIN STANISLAVSKY (1863-1938) Creative Work with the Actor; A Discussion on Directing [APRIL 13th AND 19th, 1936] "Directors on Directing"
NotesWhat is for finals? One "class project"?
Together with acting classes! REHEARSAL * (from Latin hirpex - "large rake used as a harrow". Rehearse means "re-harrow", or to "go over again". It originally meant "to repeat" (mid 14th century). It wasn't until the late 16th century that it came to it's modern meaning.) * A session when actors are called to work through some scenes from the play in private. A TECHNICAL REHEARSAL is the first time when technical elements (lighting, set etc.) are combined with actors. A DRESS REHEARSAL is a performance of the show as it will be on opening night.
"The highest and final aim of every true artist, whatever his particular branch of art, maybe defined as the desire to express himself freely and completely." Michael Chekhov 'To the Actor'
acting basics *
Lee Strasberg On Acting
"It seems to me that, in common with many of the other areas of knowledge which have been explored in the twentieth century, it is important to stress that one of the basic emphases in the knowledge about theatre today is the idea that the theatre is essentially a creative art. The fact that it uses the script as a basic item should not be interpreted as making it only an interpretive art. An interpretive art is an art in which one uses material in the same art to imitate. And in this sense, we should recognize the theatre as today being a creative art.
I would say that the most characteristic part of the theatre is unquestionably the actor. The theatre can do without scenery; it can do without the director; it can often do without words. But it cannot do without the living actor. When you have no actor, you have no theatre. Once you have an actor, you have theatre.
When you compare the various versions, let’s say of a performance of Hamlet, by different actors, you will find that they bear very little relation to the original, whatever the original may be. In fact, we hardly know what the original is intended to be or is intended to mean. Each time we see an actor in that part we are really seeing an actor creating a new character. He may get his ideas obviously from the author, in the same way that a painter who paints a certain object in nature is receiving his ideas and impressions from that object, but what he does is dependent intrinsically on his own creative capacity, on his own imagination, on his own understanding, and on his own skill.
With every art we argue very much as to which is really creative and which is only imitative. On the whole we tend to think that the creative thing, the creative approach, the creative method, if you wish, demands a fresh, original and spontaneous experience of whatever it is that is being dealt with. Wherever that experience is only derived as an imitation of someone else’s experience, it therefore, even when very good, tends only to be skillful, rather than to be creative. However, on almost any definite given object in any field, there is a wide area of difference of opinion as to what people will call it. We are up against the certain difficulty that exists in separating "creative" from "noncreative" in any area."
Why should an actor not walk on someone else's line?
What is the difference between running a scene and working a scene?
"Ðàáîòà àêòåðà íàä ñîáîé" *) Âàæíî, ÷òîá îòíîøåíèå ê ðîëè àðòèñòà íå òåðÿëî åãî ÷óâñòâåííîé èíäèâèäóàëüíîñòè è âìåñòå ñ òåì íå ðàñõîäèëîñü ñ çàìûñëàìè ïèñàòåëÿ. Åñëè èñïîëíèòåëü íå ïðîÿâëÿåò â ðîëè ñâîåé ÷åëîâå÷åñêîé ïðèðîäû, åãî ñîçäàíèå ìåðòâî.
Method: Mono, Monologues I, Monologues II
Biomechanics: Mono I, Mono II
Acting One: Monologue, Mono I, Mono II
The Actor Paradox:
... the great mystery, the great paradox of theatre. If you have a bad actor, he disappears entirely. ... A bad actor is swamped by his role and so he doesn't really know what he's doing... He has become his role. But he has become like a racing car where the driver turns into the car so there is no longer anyone driving it. ...
However, the greater the artist, the truer the actor, what happens is that his personality gives way to his individuality. In other words, the personality - which is a lot of external habits and mannerisms which we all recognize one another by, which we live by - yield to the role. But within the role - and the image I've used is like a hand within the glove - the true individual is totally conscious and filling the space, so he doesn't disappear. One can almost say that he appears, the more completely he has surrendered to the role. And that is why a true artist reaches this paradox: every fiber of him is invested with the role, and yet within in it, there is a space of complete freedom in which he is fully in control.
Peter Brook [ ]
The Art of Acting -- Two Levels:
... One of the exercises I like to do with actors is to ask them to hold up their hand and clench their fist very, very tightly. And then I say to them, "supposing that we take a photograph of that clenched fist, can there be any difference between your fist genuinely clenched because you are angry, or now clenched tightly as possible because I've asked you to clench it?" And of course you can see that there can be no difference, not only externally, but even internally. A clenched fist is a clenched fist. Exactly the same way, the actor should so totally invest his role that whatever angle you put your microscope on, you shouldn't be able to detect two levels.
... Because in the case of the cultivated Western actor, you can actually see that the man is performing. ... Which is why a lot of Western acting is busy and demands a lot of superficial activity, which signals to the audience that the actor is working hard. And that is an essential mode of virtuosity among Western actors.
... Now you can choose between the two forms of theatre art, and I personally believe that the art which vanishes completely is superior to the art of virtuosity, where you're conscious of the skill of the performer.
Brook [ source ]
Acting (Re)considered: A Theoretical and Practical Guide by Phillip B. Zarrilli; Routledge, 2002 - 1: General Introduction - Part I: Theories of and Meditations on Acting - 2: Introduction - 3: The Actor's Presence - 4: On Acting and Not-Acting - 5: “just Be Your Self” - 6: The Actor's Emotions Reconsidered: - Part II: (Re)Considering the Body and Training - 7: Introduction - 8: An Amulet Made of Memory: - 9: Meyerhold's Biomechanics - 10: Etienne Decroux's Promethean Mime - 11: Actor Training in the Neutral Mask - 12: Bali and Grotowski - 13: Culture is the Body - 14: My Bodies - 15: “on the Edge of a Breath, Looking” - 16: The Gardzienice Theatre Association of Poland - 17: Effector Patterns of Basic Emotions - Part III: (Re)Considering the Actor in Performance - 18: Introduction - 19: Brecht and the Contradictory Actor - 20: Dario Fo - 21: Forum Theatre - 22: Resisting the “organic” - 23: Rachel Rosenthal Creating Her Selves - 24: Task and Vision - 25: David Warrilow - 26: Robert Wilson and the Actor - 27: Anna Deavere Smith
Lev Vygodsky On the Problem of the Psychology of the Actor’s Creative Work. [ The Collected Works of L.S. Vygotsky, Vol. 6 ]
comedy scripts Monty Python's Flying Circus
Directing is the art of falling in love. It is difficult to love playwrights, their plays are the best of them, you fall in love with stories... Next, you fall in love with actors, the characters in your actors! You see what nobody else sees, something from the future... The biggest obstacles are the writers and actors themselves. You have to find the way to remove them from the view of the public. Thier egos, who needs it now, at the sacred hour when the gods speak!
Best is to see Method and Biomechanics directories.Mozgovoy: "A violinist has his violin, but I am my own violin and the director is my tuning fork."
Lesson I : Directors & Acting
Lesson II : Tragedy Hamlet, Casting
Lesson III : Character and Role
Lesson IV : Ensamble & Rehearsals
Lesson V : Prop and Costumes
Lesson VI : Set and Action
I will try to introduce both techniques -- Method and Biomechanics, using the SHOWS directory, but most of the showcases are for part four. Of course, I would focus on Dangerous Liaisons, because I direct it (Spring 2002) + Don Juan 2003.
If you are writer, you don't have to explain anything -- you write and hope that somebody will read, understand and enjoy it. But director "writes" with bodies and souls of actors... of course, they better understand you! And you better understand them!I hope that you read what I have to say about being in love with writers for stage, I said nothing about love. Playwrights (good ones) are almost all dead, but actors are alive. And if you know how to love dead guys, you could make your actors to fall in love with YOU! Yes, yes, you have be in love with you! You are right there, not the writers. You are to judge them -- and how they need it, your love! If you don't know how to love actors (even bad ones), you are not a director (and you will never be a director). Anatoly, what are you saying? How can I love a bad actor?
There are no bad actors, only bad directors.
Actor is your child -- how could your child be a monster? You simply do not know how to open his mind, heart, soul? And this is why they better be in love with you. You must trust you, they should desire you...
It's impossible not love them. Look, they take the texts of unknown to them people, they follow your directions, they face the strangers in the house... And you are hiding behind them! You are not on stage, the lights are not you -- and if you can't make them do what you and Shakespeare can't, you better love them! You and Chekhov are nothing without them!
Fall 2003 The Possessed directing showscase *
Stanislavsky’s influence has led to collaboration between director and actors.
That can lead to dependency.
Actors and directors should be aware not to let actor be too controlled.
Collaboration – coaching.
Advises, inspires, encourages.
Helps actor see other dimensions.
Both actor and director are engaged in mutual creative enterprise.
?Cameron & Gillespie: Actor-Director relationship can be seen in a number of ways:
The director as parent -- authoritarian
Guru -- visionary
Therapist -- "trust me"
Seducer -- emotional attachment
Victim -- cajoler
Playground Director -- fun and creative
Green Thumb -- let’s grow—little planning
Lump -- vague
Amalgam of above is probably best
Preparation and adaptability necessary
Less actor coaching as performance approaches
His monologues and scenes in my class
Laws & Rules
Subtext: bottom (new)
1. Cold Reading (your or their scene)
2. Script Analysis (Situation, Composition, Characters)
3. Actors' choices and ideas.
4. Your concept and directions.
5. Homework for the next rehearsal and Notes.
6. Communications (save as much rehearsal time as possible, I use eGroups to keep in touch with the cast and crew 24/7)
7. Each actor is a "text": you must know how to read it. Individual rehearsals. During the "table period" I have one-on-one time with each of them.
8. Don't lose the director's perspective: actors are tools, instruments, medium -- you must know how to get the sounds from them the way a musician get it from a piano, or a painter uses colors.
9. Reflections (list the problems you have with each of them and rearead until you solve the problems and got new ones)
10. See each actor in long terms perspective (his or her future); what they have to do next (year, two, ten years from now).
Part III. Space-in-Time = Chronotope
A (Mozgovoy): No, I disagree! But it is perhaps the very plight of Russian cinema these days ....
What I particularly like about my film roles is that I am unrecognizable. Of course, what actor needs first is to fully understand himself, but the very next necessary step is to fully understand your character and to see how different you are from your character. One of the major exercises for actors is to watch other people and absorb their manners and movements and expressions. My professor, Boris Zon, used to say about that: start from yourself but go as far as you can! This is what I am always trying to do.
@2001-2005 film-north * "Disney, of course, has the best casting. If he doesn't like an actor, he just tears him up". - Alfred Hitchcock
Q: What does it take to be an actor?
A: ... If I had to give a complete definition of the actor's job, I'd probably say that it means to produce the right emotion at the right moment in the right place.
Woody Allen ANNIE HALL (in class with actors)
The Subtext of Him and Her is in
boldface italic below each line of
(A party. Her and Him look out over the apartment balcony. They're six feet apart trying desperately not to notice each other.) HER Hi! Oh, God, nobody cool says Hi. HIM Hello! I'd love to take her out. I hope my deodorant's working. HER Nice view. He's talking to me! And he'll hate my silly dress. HIM (Taking a furtive step toward her) Just look at the clouds over there. I've got to find out who she is. HER I'm Leslie . . . What a stupid name. He'll hate it and hate me. HIM Neat dress. I just love her name.
The skills and knowledge an actor must possess vary from the general to the specific. Generally, the actor must possess solid physical health, physical and vocal agility, and mental agility. analysis and synthesis, research, process and communication skills are also critical to the actor's work. actors must learn to work collaboratively in the ensemble setting as well as achieve a discipline to work individually. And above all, an actor must have a passion and enthusiasm for life and learning.
Actors must possess a basic core of skills and both general and specific knowledge on a wide variety of subjects. It should be remembered that individual actors will develop and be encouraged to develop their own special skills:
Exposure to and training in a range of approaches to acting (Stanislavski, Grotowski, View Points, etc.)
Facility with language (including verse)
A personalized warm-up
Theater history (American and world)
Dramatic Literature (American and world)
Understanding the contemporary world and American theater scene
Art history (styles and periods)
Research skills in the library and beyond
Experience in other art forms (dance, music, opera, etc.)
Communication and interpersonal skills
Mastery of a foreign language
Functional knowledge of humankind through the study of history, politics, sociology, psychology, etc.
Ability to read music, sing, and play musical instruments
Understanding of dramatic form and structure
Vocal skills: solid vocal production and articulate speech; work with dialects
Physical skills: period movement, tumbling, juggling, fencing, and a variety of dance skills
Understanding of a variety of thought processes
A solid knowledge of and sensitivity to all other areas of the theater. An actor is best served by an undergraduate program which combines the study of craft within a liberal arts setting. In addition to faculty actors in the department and guest artists who act as role models and practical experiences, it is also the humanities and sciences which enrich and enliven the student actor's sensitivity to the world.
It is important for students to keep in close contact with their advisors for on-going discussion and evaluations of their work. Actors might consider study-abroad during the junior year as well as summer training and summer stock work. http://www.skidmore.edu/academics/theater/acting.html
2007 -- acting2 group
1. Actor + Play
2. Actor + Actor
3. Actor + Space
4. Actor + Self (Public)