Method Acting Training
EFFECTIVE INTENSIVE TRAINING
The empowering and unique body of work evolved by Lee Strasberg over several decades and commonly known as Method acting is a complete and total technique with various stages of the process to unlock the actor’s greater potential. Central to his work is to empowering pieces of the technique known as BASIC RELAXATION & SENSE MEMORY. The various units of studio and online work are designed to introduce, develop, and integrate this approach to acting into your current understanding as an actor. Whether that be a full-time professional or brand-new beginner.
Each unit, either face-to-face or online will be tailored to focus on the stages you need to learn to develop your understanding and application when dealing with character, text and narrative. Each class instructs and develops your practical abilities to unlock a more creative and empowering flow of thought impulses and emotions. Therefore your characters & text will become genuinely organic, authentic, spontaneous, exciting and surprising. If you’re not enjoying your work the audience won’t be either. Actors who purely construct a performance eventually become bored by the predictability. The focus of Strasberg’s is to unlock an ongoing creative and explorative relationship with the material you’re working with. In such a way that each time you are in front of a camera or on stage, you keep discovering, playing, and creating. Therefore each time you’re working, from an audition onwards, you’re not only able to develop your professional career to truly grow your craft and greater creative ability.
You start with a systematic introduction to the tools and techniques of Lee Strasberg. There are other components of his work that come into play during scene study. In technique, an in-depth and detailed journey is taken with the two powerful and central technique exercises known as Basic Relaxation and Sense Memory. This starts with 2 Induction classes which cover an opening talk leading to learning and then practising Basic Relaxation, the second class ten brings in Sense Memory
There are many strands of methodology, such as Sandford Meisner, Uta Hagen, Stella Adler, as well as the famous works of Constantine Stanislavski. Many of them touch on the same desire to relax and unlock a truthful creative flow of the actor. One of the very unique and specific contributions that they Strasberg made was the exercise Basic Relaxation. This exercise is the heart and foundation of technique. Until you, the actor can at first sit with the flow of your own thought impulses and emotions. Until you can recognise and surrender to the primary dramas which come alive when you are taking a creative risk in an audition, in front of the camera, or on stage. Until you can sit within your own body truthfully, you cannot take an imaginative and creative journey to the material. Relaxation along Sense Memory has a simple framework of movement and sound. So it requires no previous training to start to work with these techniques. Once you have stopped running from your own dramas as an actor, when you sit and accept the central components of your humanity, you have the means to start exploring the dramas of the character. Hence this is one of the few acting courses both in London & online, where you can effectively train to relax.
If relaxation was all that was required to be able to take the creative journey to the character and the material then sense memory would not be necessary. However, the primary craft of the unconscious is our ability to truly work from our thought impulses and emotions to the role. It requires us to find a truthful connection that is more specifically in tune with the narrative alive in the material. To work truthfully within the text and with the character, the actor must find approximate authentic truths of their own to start that journey. It is not about finding similar events in our life. It is more specifically about unlocking the important themes and needs alive in the material, from objects or events which are rooted in our own personal history. Some of the Sense Memory is very literal in its translation to the characters. For instance, close relatives or friends may be an effective sensory tool to make the relationship within the scene more truthful. In these London acting courses, we find sense memory has a much more expansive power to bring alive complicated narratives by connecting with the fundamental truths that motivate any human being in their life. Another important thing to consider is that sense memory is a simple and non-intellectual technique that effectively practised can bring about a much more organic and authentic connection in your work with the character. In simple terms, the more your imagination comes alive truthfully, the more you are acting truthfully, the more the character comes alive!
All acting courses in London can talk to you about acting, but acting is about developed abilities Therefore a central and important component that comes into play in the teaching is improvisation. Most people would respond very fruitfully to the techniques alone. Having feelings however does not make you an actor, it simply confirms you are a human being. The true craft and art of the actor are to translate feelings into action. To use our experiences to explore the material and your interpretation. Therefore you as the actor must develop the intuitive and instinctual skills that are required within improvisation. It is not a natural thing to publicly expose your private feelings. Therefore the improvisation challenges the natural instinct to internalise complex experiences. Great acting is sustained with some important and great abilities. Greatest of all is the ability to be private in public. Not to be overwhelmed by public examination when you work creatively and at times sensitively within the script. It is this understandable fear of public examination that hinders many actors work. It explains the common phenomena of being extremely creative in our own private spaces, but when we walk into the audition or standing in front of the camera everything clams up. The improvisation, therefore, is to acclimatise you and develop an ability that means you can work in the most demanding of environments and still be true to the sensitivities required to bring your characters alive. Regardless of what we learn within the craft of acting, if this ability is not truly developed any you will only be working from a fraction of what you are capable of. That is why most training works with the concept of performance. Which is a presentation of something. Strasberg central focus on all of his techniques is the ability to reveal the character from moment to moment organically rather than perform them. Therefore to explore for yourself and improvisation gives you the means ability to explore the character and the story of the script far more creatively.
Alongside working and developing your technique, scene study in our acting courses in London & online presents the opportunity to look at two important components of your acting. How you approach the text, character, and script. As well as the current state of your methodology. More importantly what is the current construction of your instrument? The instrument is a term that means the totality of you. Or as mentioned before the athlete. Scene study like any good acting class in London will look at the important components of the craft and how you bring alive the character in the script, few, however, will deal with the unique potential that you have, even fewer acting classes will focus on the habits you have developed, which hold you back. The creative state of being is a flow of yourself on a creative level, habits have a catastrophic effect of hindering that flow. The tools and techniques you learn will give you the ability to produce a much more creative and inspired relationship to the character and the material. You could, in fact, see them as the engine of a car. If however, you do not address your habits, it would be like driving a car with the brakes on.
We all have habits, and they are a natural part of living our daily lives. As we are primarily social creatures we develop them to get along within our social groups of family and friends. Therefore working on a scene in scene study gives you the opportunity to observe how your instrument works both consciously and unconsciously. What are the logical creative choices that you are making and what are the habits, which you may be unaware of, that hold you back? This way we can bring the tools that you are learning in the technique, much more specifically into play. How can the relaxation work stop you from holding back, how does the sense memory enable you to fulfil your greater acting ability? Therefore we are tailoring and building a proper methodology based upon your unique qualities as an actor. ie. we are building up your Method. Even if you have no prior experience as an actor, which in some ways is more advantageous as you will not bring bad acting habits, scene work simple and straightforward enough for you to take on the primary acting challenges of the character and the script. Therefore the process in technique and scene study can truly begin or develop your acting ability. This will also unlock a much more profound understanding of the craft of the actor. Alongside teaching and developing your craft with the tools and techniques of Lee Strasberg, scene study will examine the bigger picture of the actor’s work. How does, for instance, the structure of the material inform your interpretation, how does the use of props enable you to explore and discover more of the environment of the character. There are in fact many things that can be specifically brought into your work. Therefore each time you have the opportunity to submit your scene and get up and work, more of the specific detail can be engaged to develop the complete actor you are capable of being.
Acting training has a very important construct. When you can focus more specifically and in greater detail on each component, you can effectively construct a far greater craft, instead of trying to simultaneously do all things at the same time, as is the case with many London acting courses. So the structure of the units both online and in a studio is specifically designed to incrementally focus on each core dynamic of your acting ability so that you can forensically engage your creative potential in greater detail. This way between the technique classes and the scene study classes you can truly work your creative muscles, while you develop and expand your understanding of acting as both a craft and a creative process within the entertainment industry. Given the competition and challenges of establishing a professional acting career, method acting gives you the opportunity to effectively take on the opportunities that the industry may offer you. By giving you the proper acting craft which means you can seize such opportunities successfully. That your creative process, your instrument, your acting craft, all unlock your true potential as an actor so that when such opportunities present themselves you can really establish and grow as a professional actor. On this focus of the actor’s approach to the creative relationship with a character in the text, the classes structure can also be utilised to unlock any real creative aspirations. Therefore whatever your creative endeavours and professional parts method acting is a profoundly empowering studio environment, which unlocks the true vision and potential that you wish to fulfil on any path you are taking, both personally and professionally.