Modernist Short Research Paper

974 words - 4 pages

Stanislavsky is the father of today's style of acting. Constantine Stanislavsky (1863-1938) was the innovator for method acting. He changed the process of acting in which actors immerse themselves into their characters as much as possible. He wanted acting to change to a realistic art. Stanislavsky wanted his actors to avoid habitual mannerisms on stage (Worthen, 33). He used a method that includes five techniques to help an actor submerge into their characters. The magic if, re-education, observation, motivation and emotional memory are all techniques Stanislavsky used to help mold his actors (Bradford).
The first technique requires the actor to use their imagination. The magic if requires ...view middle of the document...

To prepare for a performance that calls for fear, the actor must recall something frightening and possess the fear they felt at that time.
In 1898 Stanislavsky founded the Moscow Art Theatre where his actors would perform using his unique system of training. He taught his actors to research the role by diving into the script and breaking down the characters motivations. Then recalling their personal experiences and forming a motivation. It is then the actor could achieve a more genuine performance (Bishop, 1999).
Stanislavsky’s methods are still being used in today’s acting. In the article, “Building Characters: The Work of Celebrity Impersonators,” the author writes about how impersonators use Stanislavsky‘s method. Ferris writes, the method is by far a more popular system in contemporary American theatre, film, and television acting but it serves a purpose when discussing celebrity impersonation. When impersonating Marilyn Monroe, the actor uses the method by renting all of Marilyn’s movies, studying every detail from the makeup to body language. Impersonators truly use the method by diving into the character completely (Ferris 2011). A new concept of method acting has recently hit the news is when actors take their performance to an extreme level. Articles titled “Method acting gone too far,” touch base with the extreme actions actors endure to play their characters accurately. One of the more experienced method actors, Daniel Day-Lewis is known for wild means of preparing for roles. Weeks of slouching in his wheelchair got him two broken ribs for his role in My Left Foot. He also forced people to spoon-feed him his meals to better get into character. Tom Hanks lost fifty-five pounds and spent weeks up to his neck in water which lead him to catch risky infection that required surgery for his role in Cast Away. Heath Ledger locked himself in a hotel room for months for the role of the Joker to perfect the villain’s sinister laugh (Gray, 2012). All of these actors went through...

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