Beginner’s Guide: How to Become a Method Actor

Method Acting Tips

Here’s how to become a better method actor.

Time and time again, we see people mention method acting, and quite frankly, people don’t really know what they are talking about.

Method acting is not a dangerous form of acting. In fact, method acting is not made specifically for film. It’s derived directly from the work of Stanislavski, Eugene Vahktangov, and Meyerhold and hundreds of actors use it every day without any trips to the mental hospital.

One of the biggest misconceptions is “sense memory”.

Sense Memory: This is a process by which your brain, remembering the sensation of a previous sensory experience, will recreate that experience.

This is a biological fact. Think about your favorite food. Can’t you almost taste it? Smell it? See its details in the air if you focus? That’s sense memory.

Strasberg created a large system of exercises to train the actor to reexperience basic sensory experiences. Some of his exercises were created to simply gain the reality of something, such as tasting a food or feeling a temperature.

In many plays, characters drink alcohol, sit in the sun, are cold, etc. With practice, an actor can re-experience these sensations without sustained mental or physical effort, and simply feel affected by these circumstances and have them affect their behavior on the stage.

Thus, if your character is drunk, you get that sense memory going before your entrance and just let it affect your objective, actions, etc.

BIG TRICK OF SENSE MEMORY:

The exercises are pretty much there so you get used to believing in imaginary things. Your brain always knows what you’re doing is bullshit, you can’t escape that.

But as your brain and your body are inseparable, when it’s real for your body it eventually becomes real for your brain, and vis versa. It’s just training to get you used to believing in what’s not real in a way that it feels real for you.

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