For today: Fantasy vs. Reality Method Acting Movie time QuickWrite Discussion Small group readings Character Analysis for scenes 3 & 4 Method acting is a phrase that loosely refers to a family of techniques by which actors try to create in themselves the thoughts and emotions of their characters in an effort to develop lifelike performances. It can be contrasted with more classical forms of acting, in which actors simulate the thoughts and emotions of their characters through external means, such as vocal intonation or facial expression. Origins: Constantin Stanislavski Stanislavski's system is a progression of techniques in acting used to train actors to draw believable emotions to their performances. “Emotional Memory” “The Method of Physical Action” “The Magic ‘If’” American Tradition: Lee Strasburg The Group Theater in New York in 1931 The Actors Studio with Kazan Non-profit lessons and workshops for actors Kazan, in his autobiography, wrote, "He carried with him the aura of a prophet, a magician, a witch doctor, a psychoanalyst, and a feared father of a Jewish home...” The human being who acts is the human being who lives. That is a terrifying circumstance. Essentially the actor acts a fiction, a dream; in life the stimuli to which we respond are always real. The actor must constantly respond to stimuli that are imaginary. And yet this must happen not only just as it happens in life, but actually more fully and more expressively. Although the actor can do things in life quite easily, when he has to do the same thing on the stage under fictitious conditions he has difficulty because he is not equipped as a human being merely to playact at imitating life. He must somehow believe. He must somehow be able to convince himself of the rightness of what he is doing in order to do things fully on the stage. -Lee Strasberg Notable graduates of the Actors Studio: James Dean Paul Newman Marilyn Monroe Al Pacino Marlon Brando Jack Nicholson Dustin Hoffman Harvey Keitel Alec Baldwin Robert De Niro Christopher Walken Sean Penn Dennis Hopper Director Martin Scorsese said of him, "He is the marker. There's 'before Brando' and 'after Brando.'" Actor Jack Nicholson once said, "When Marlon dies, everybody moves up one.“ Studied under Stella Adler Before Method: Classical Acting Gone With the Wind Casablanca Wizard of Oz After Method (AM) Movies Taxi Driver The Godfather As we watch, note how Brando “lives” his character. Also note how Vivien Leigh, who plays Blanche, is a model of “classical acting.” Reflect on the performances of Brando and Leigh, and their efforts in the craft of acting. Discuss how their notions of acting fit in with Williams’ thematic discussion of past vs. present or fantasy vs. reality in Streetcar. What explanation does Blanche give for having lost Belle Reve? How does Stanley’s attitude toward Blanche change in Scene Two and what evokes that change? What is the implication of the “Napoleonic Code” as it relates to Stella and Stanley? Sum up the exposition Williams defines for "The Poker Night" Scene. Why does Williams integrate the Van Gogh painting? What is the implication of the reference to “primary colors,” including the “bold” colors of the linoleum, the shirts, the watermelon –“the raw colors of childhood’s spectrum”. What is your impression of the scene between Blanche and Mitch? Clarify your response with specifics from the text. Read through Scene 4 Complete the other side of the Character Analysis sheet for scenes 3 & 4. This will be your homework for next time.