the act of acting

As a critic examining theater performance, the method acting styles preached by Uta Hagen and Stella Adler sort of become a standard bearer by which all acting should be judged if for no other reason than these two women subscribe so deeply to their own teachings.

Obviously there are the rare cases where someone is a born natural and can switch in and out of character at will. The method approach seperates itself from those rare instances because mastery of the technique demonstrates a supreme dedication to a craft. Just by the videos we saw that provided us glipses of what the two women at work in their respective classes, we can see that the method technique is a learned process involving much trial and error. The actor is not necessarily acting, but rather drawing from a multitude of talents to convey what the viewer sees on stage. They are contorting their image to convey a particular feeling, as well as drawing from past experience that allow them to give a realness to their portrayal, all while maintaining complete control over their every action from hand gestures to facial contortions. What I can only assume is an arduous and acute task.

Again there are some rare instances of solid actors who need not completely immerse themselves in the method technique, but when witnessing someone who completely captivates the audience, I now realize that the process entails a much greater understanding than simply knowing how to act.


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