Sanford Meisner.ppt - Sanford Meisner Communion Meisner felt that the connection between actors was vital to the life of a scene and that when that bond

Sanford Meisner.ppt - Sanford Meisner Communion Meisner...

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Unformatted text preview: Sanford Meisner Communion Meisner felt that the connection between actors was vital to the life of a scene, and that when that bond was broken, the acting lost that special quality and power. So in his teachings he focused on one of the most ignored elements of Stanislavski’s system: Communion Communion cont… He believed that the dynamics between people, the body language, the tone of the voice, the quality of exchange between one human and another was the stuff theatre was made of. His definition of acting was “living truthfully under imagined circumstances” so how does an actor accomplish this task? Approach to communion An actor, when asked to look must think about whether they are looking and seeing, or just trying to look like they are looking. It is about really doing what you are doing, this is an essential element of the Meisner approach, he calls is the reality of doing. Now, consider the people you are working with in a scene – and realise your work will depend on theirs. Just as mountain climbers are roped together because their safety depends on it, so your scenes will live or die depending on the invisible rope connecting you together. That rope may stretch thinner, it may grow stronger, it may even fray, but it must never break. Word Repetition Game The purpose is to really make us listen to each other, it places the focus outside of ourselves and onto the other person. With a partner the actors repeat simple sentences – they could be simple like “your shoes are red” to more personal questions like “do you get nervous at auditions” which could eventually lead to “this question upsets you” It is about truthfully playing the reality in front of you, not forcing the emotions but instead giving full value to the feelings that were aroused. It is about beginning to work off your partner’s response to determine your own and between the two of you, you are in an action reaction dance that creates a palpable flow of energy. The Knock on the Door It involves 2 people – 1 of you will be in a room doing something that is very difficult – a challenge. It must be something that demands your full attention. Once you have established your activity your partner enters the room. Then use the word repetition, eg your partner says “what’s up?”, you are annoyed at the intrusion and repeat in a sarcastic tone “what’s up?” they repeat what’s up, you sense a change in the tone and go with it…you say “I’m tied up right now? And so it goes on…It is about responding truthfully to the other person, you must respond to the person within the circumstance. If you really are doing this, you will not be aware of the audience – this is about what Stanislavski called the state of “public solitude” It is about establishing a living relationship with our fellow players. It is also about being present in every moment, Because we are not certain how our partner is going to respond, we must really listen, and in order to do that, we must be alive in every moment. This is called moment-to-moment acting. When it comes to scenes Meisner wanted his actors to learn their lines by rote and on their own. To learn the lines with no inflections and preconceived way of saying the lines. Meisner believed that dialogue came from feeling and circumstances. Goal is to make a flow happen on stage and to do this an actor must pick up the impulses not the cues, if you want to nod them do so – this interaction that comes from impulse (not from your lines) creates a lively exchange between the characters. Imagination Meisner was greatly influenced by Chekhov, who felt that emotions could be aroused by the imagination. In Mesiner’s work, the imagination too play a strong role in the generation of feelings. But for Meisner, this should occur offstage before an entrance (the energy of feeling), Once on stage, the circumstances and the other players should be fuel enough for the continuance and natural change of an actor’s feelings. As an actor, you must enter the space with something going on; with a full inner life. From there, the emotion will change depending on the circumstance of the scene. This is called preparation. Particularisation This is Meisner’s word for Stanislavski’s “magic if”. Eg. If someone in a scene calls you a “peasant” and your character is supposed to feel outrage, you yourself may not feel it. In such case, you particularise that moment by finding a label, such as “fascist” that would outrage you and act as if that person has called you a “fascist”. Character For Meisner, this is the “how” of acting. Playing a character does not mean that you leave yourself behind. But it also does not mean that you are only yourself. As Stanislavski pointed put, an actor uses himself when he plays a character, and in order to make the character’s behavior believable, the Meisner actor uses preparation and particularisation. ...
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  • Fall '18
  • maya

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