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Acting Techniques Reflection Essay

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Although it is hard to fully discuss acting methods that we have only touched on in class through brief workshops and discussions, and although it seemed, at times, that the distinctions between a few of the methods were rather vague, I nonetheless have an idea of certain tools hat will help my acting and in which circumstances specific tools would prove most useful; most of the techniques we explored offered at least some sort of benefit—Adler, Hagen, Chekhov, Meisner, and even Strasburg had illustrative insights—and the workshops we worked with during the Hedda discussions also were helpful.
Speaking in terms of stages of scene work, it seems to me that the work with architecture from Anne Bogart’s viewpoints during the Hedda Gabler scenes could be a good starting point. As we put ourselves into the Victorian rooms, I began to get a sense of how a Victorian woman in general interacts with objects and people. Then when I imagined Hedda in these circumstances my sense of atmosphere was further heightened and I began to feel caged in by the society of my peers; when we changed the circumstances to a modern-day get-together, I was able to find the truth and reality of Hedda—she absolutely is not just a Victorian woman, she is dealing with very real issues of frustration. I am not sure if this particular technique would be helpful for all scenes, but perhaps period pieces in particular. Another early-stage method that was partially helpful for me was the Meisner work, but it is particularly useful for scenes that focus on two partners—Meisner affirmed that “what [gives] crackling energy and tension to a scene…[is] the interaction between characters” (Brestoff). In class, after a bit of working with the method, especially with the ...


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...feels almost tragic to tamper with one’s past in such a fashion. Thus, I certainly have some qualms with the Strasberg method, although I will keep it in mind if I am having an unusually difficult time with an emotional connection.
Thus, though I honestly feel as if I have a gained a very shallow knowledge of different acting methods throughout this course, I have indeed gleaned some bits of inspiration and some new techniques to utilize for future theatre projects—Chekhov seems highly effective, Adler and Hagen are reliable, Meisner has potential, and Strasberg is a last resort. I would certainly love to explore each of these methods further, but in particular, Chekhov and Meisner could be an effective combination—I think further work with Chekhov would improve my process of getting in character, whereas Meisner would help me become absolutely honest on stage.



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