What is Method Acting
What is Method Acting
Method acting is a famous acting technique that requires one to deeply embody their character.
Learning how to method act requires a commitment to the process and a consistent practice schedule.
However, the more you spend time practising skills and techniques, the quicker you will be able to be in character and the better you will be able to perform.
There are many resources and exercises that can help you achieve your desired level of method acting.
Start with relaxation.
Relaxation is the key principle of method acting, which allows you to fully enter your role and perform to the best of your ability.
Spend time relaxing before trying any exercises or acting scenes.
Try to relax each part of your body individually at slow increments.
The more relaxed you are the more you will be able to employ the techniques of method acting.
Try *meditation or yoga* techniques to further relax your body and mind before warming up and practicing your method acting.
Use sense memory and concentration
Sense memory is the practice of trying to tap into memories of your senses: sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste.
Try thinking of a memory and concentrating on the different sensory experiences of that memory.
One popular exercise that has to do with using sense memory is called the “personal object exercise,” which has the student explore an object that has personal significance to them with each one of their senses.
Sense memory takes a lot of concentration and patience.
Remember to practice slowly and not rush yourself.
Give yourself time to fully explore your memory or object.
Think about your own emotional memories.
This exercise is generally for more experienced method actors as it can often be triggering or overwhelming.
The purpose of thinking about your own personal emotional memories is to use your sense memory to be able to explore a personal memory and use that emotion in another character.
For example, if the character you are trying to play has experienced loss, you would think about a memory in which you experienced loss and explore it using all of your senses.
Only perform this exercise with an experienced teacher if you are new to method acting and have not used your own emotional experiences in exercises.
Try and embody your subject
Embodying your subject, or characterisation, is the practice of imagining yourself as someone or something else.
Spend time observing your subject and how they engage with their surroundings before you begin this exercise.
After observing your subject use your sense memory to begin to explore your environment in the ways your subject would.
Try choosing an animal as your first subject if you haven’t practiced this exercise before. Choosing an animal will help exaggerate the techniques used in this exercise.
Play games that use method acting techniques
There are many games that employ the techniques required to successfully perform method acting.
Games that use method acting techniques will allow you to externalise the skills the techniques are aiming to teach you.
Try playing a game at the end of each practising session to try out new skills and refine old ones.
Many websites for method acting classes also offer examples of games that can be played that use method acting techniques.