I have had arguments and debates with other fellow Actors behind the scenes about Method Acting. Method Acting was the first style of Acting I picked up freshman in college. I read books from Stella Adler to Uta Hagen. As I grasp certain methods and teachings, I come to find myself grasping the idea of Methods, but I just felt it wasn't a natural or genuine process. Then I came to fully understand the concept of it; what Method acting to me is. A system to construct an emotional foundation built within your personal experiences to develop a character, or yourself.
There's a huge war within understanding the power of the art of Acting. Like a continuous loop of hypnotic nirvana of creating a world of disbelief only to believe that your intuitions truly exist. Your brain is on fire, your brain is on drugs. Some may say, those passionate people take the art way too far or serious. But we all somehow and someway, are all performers. We all contribute to the skill of Method acting. Once I heard what Method Acting was, it was like someone telling me, "You can be WHATEVER you want." This may seem a bit far fetched and unrealistic, but to me nothing was impossible. Yes, Method Acting can be dangerous, only because some may go to lengths to achieve a certain realism to perform the character. Whether the character is on drugs or the character is a bit crazy, take our beloved amazing Actor, Heath Ledger, who played Joker in Batman. A prime example of Method Acting. His performance was so realistic and disturbing, that even some actors on set were horrified.
Method Acting is the unlimited source of developing your emotional identification within the character. A system evolved by Stanislavski. Having read "The Stanislavski System: The Professional Training of an Actor" written by Sonia Moore. At a given part, Stanislavski expressed that we should develop our own Method to really define your emotional construction and foundation. We aren't built in life experience, just like every person, we can relate, but we experience situations a little differently. This resonated with me, only because I find other Methods sort of to be just checklists. That's it. I wasn't trying to keep my emotional system in check, or what needs to be done to achieve actual performance. I get enough of that at work, smile when you are told to. I needed to really acknowledge an emotional system that was mine, and how I express it is my own progression or mistake to understand to develop my physical interactions within my everyday life.
Think of Method acting like phases we developed within our lives. As we grow up we like to follow trends or inspire to become something we indulge in. Till this day there are trends, as adults, we aspire to be or become. The spark of interest pushes us to create new emotional connections. Eventually, the craze just becomes a phase. Like Method Acting, we aspire to become, it is a privilege to step into another form of freedom to express one's created life. Later, when done, we get to learn something highly important that we can implement in our lives.
During college, studying at the Jean and Knox Theater, I had the honor of playing the Phantom in, The Phantom of the Opera. This to me was an opportunity to really perform at my best, so I went into this world of "what" and "who" the Phantom was. For two months, I disconnected myself from friends. Stayed majority of the time in complete darkness. I later developed the belief of not being likable every time I came into rehearsals. This became a genuine feeling. Then of course, only finding the light within Christine building this sort of trust within her. What I was doing, and who I've become. overall, that performance answered their questions. My battles within my everyday life were more of those who really didn't understand. There have been a handful of times I was told I was "out of my mind" for becoming a Method Actor by other actors, friends, and family. Realize, we develop certain emotional systems and foundations to assist our passion in whatever endeavor we choose. So what's to say, mine is any different.
Who Am I Today
Throughout my performance, whether big or small, I take it highly seriously. Although, as I get older, I am starting to realize the certain effects it has on me. I wouldn't want to not have a chance to really develop who I really am. So given the opportunity, I found ways to separate certain consciousness to give the respected habits I developed in their own spaces. When I worked on the Short Indie Film, "Curbside" Directed by Andrew Hamed. I played a character who believed that nothing comes best after high school. Living life day-to-day, smoking and drinking. Now, I am no smoker or alcoholic today, but during that time I dove into this world that my everyday life was just that, sitting on the curb smoking. After have finished shooting this film for eight months, it took me a month to really release my grasp on Josh. The habits of smoking and living vicariously. This is where I knew I had to do something to immediately jump out of that state quickly and fast. I began to meditate. A perfectly great way to compartmentalize being within your reality, there and now. Another thing I do is I don't ever reread any scripts I have completed or characters I embodied. Certain memories or situations are left behind on the screen or on paper.
Having read this may have been a bit complicated. As it is to me writing this, only because I believe that the development of Method Acting is, like what Stanislavski said, always evolving. Great examples would be performance done by James Dean or Marlon Brando in contrast to actors today like Leonardo DiCaprio or Christian Bale. Realism changes, that's the beauty of Method Acting. You evolve when everything else does as what you develop and perform can be an evolution of performance. Today, I am careful about how I use this foundation within my performance. Developing my reality first and filling it with my own experiences as a priority. While being highly considerate of those who are close, and whom I love.