THE ACTOR. Norbert Leo Butz.
Broadway: Dead Accounts, Catch Me If You Can (2011 Tony Award, Drama Desk winner: Best Actor in a Musical; Astaire Award winner, Outer Critics nomination), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Tony Award, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Astaire Awards, Drama League Award winner: Best Actor in a Musical), Enron, Speed-the-Plow, Is He Dead?, Wicked (original cast, Fiyero), Thou Shalt Not (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics nominations), Rent (original cast, Broadway debut). Off-Broadway: How I Learned To Drive, Fifty Words, Buicks (Drama Desk nomination), The Last Five Years (Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel nominations, Drama League Award), Juno and the Paycock (Roundabout), Saved (TFANA). National Tour: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Cabaret. Alabama Shakespeare Festival (four seasons), Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Film: Better Living Through Chemistry (2013), The English Teacher (2013), Greetings from Tim Buckley (2013), Disconnect (2013), Higher Ground, Fair Game, Dan in Real Life. Television: Series: “The Deep End” (ABC); Pilots: “County” (NBC), “The Miraculous Year” (HBO) BFA, Webster University; MFA, Alabama Shakespeare Theatre.
It is the oldest of the theatrical arts. THESPIS, the first actor, was the author of the plays in which he appeared.
From his name comes the word THESPIAN, another word for actor.
The average theatregoer can name many actors...
The actor “presents” to the audience in a form that we call “presentational.” It is also called “external” or “technical” acting.
The second notion comes from somewhere “inside” the actor. It is often referred to as “internal.”
Such classically-trained British actors as Olivier, Guinness, Stewart and Gielgud.
The actor works honestly and effectively to “live the life of the character.” To feel the emotions.
It can be called “representational.”
Actors of this school are often “method actors” named for a “system” devised by Konstantin Stanislavski
UNCLE VANYA at Moscow Art Theatre
"For... Stanislavsky said: "There is no system. There is only nature. My lifelong concern has been how to get ever closer to the so-called system, that is, to get ever closer to the nature of creativity."
According to an article in theNY Times December 2, 2001
In the United States, the “method” was made popular by the actor Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in New York.
In the 18th century, Denis Diderot discussed the differences in his essay “The Paradox of Acting”
At the Moscow Art Theatre, Stanislavski taught that motivation gives meaning to action. And, as such, plays have subtexts the actor needs to understand.
Almost all American teachers of acting pay homage to Stanislavski and his “theories” of acting...
Famous American actors trained in the method includeMarlonBrando andMarilynMonroe.
Greatness in acting, like greatness in almost any endeavor, demands a superb set of skills
In order to play HAMLET, for example, the actor himself needs to embody the genius of the character.
To achieve this virtuosity, the actor must possess two features
James Earl Jones
Beyond conviction and virtuosity, great actors possess “presence” or “magnetism” or “charisma”
Actor training takes place in colleges, universities, conservatories and private & commercial schools
Training is both physical and psychological
All training requires practice, not simple book learning
Imagination, and willingness and ability to use it in the service of art, are major components of the actor’s psychological instrument
Make the unreal real (flats and platforms become streets or mountains)
Play the imagined world of the play (Really fall in love with your acting mate)
Characterize the role with uniqueness and life (liberate the actor’s imagination)
Describe the objective, task, goal, victory or intention. Each character has a primary goal and several minor goals in the play.
Secondly, the actor develops TACTICS necessary to achieve the GOALS
Finally, the actor must understand the style of given circumstances of the play and apply it to the role
The goal of acting is to express your character’s intentions clearly and honestly within the given circumstances of the scene. These include…
A: HiB: HelloA: What did you do last night?B: Huh?A: What did you do last night?B: Oh, nothing.A: Nothing?B: That’s what I said, nothing.A: Well…B: Well what?A: Never mind.B: Fine, see ya later…
Now, the actor is aware of his audience...
The audience affects the actor’s timing, delivery and energy
Patrick Steward, Simon Callow and Ian McKellan
Stage actors must re-create their performance over and over. Each actor develops ways to adapt to the different demands of various media
Dame Judi Dench in film and onstage.
Actors are privileged people, they get to live the lives of saints, sinners, lovers, rulers, the great and the meek
Actors must know more than acting, they must represent the human and therefore must understand humankind
The proper study of acting is life: common sense, observation, perception, tolerance and understanding
Actors need to possess training, business acumen and a realistic vision
Very few are capable of a professional career in acting. Those that do possess great talent, skill, persistence, fortitude and luck!