We have completed the first week of school at Rutgers for the MFA acting program. Things are going well and we seem to be settling in quite well. My twelve other classmates are great! We work and get along great. The family is shaping up.
As for classes, we are taking a Meisner class (acting), two different movement classes, Voice, Speech, Combat, and an academic class Introduction to Gradate Studies. Along with these classes we are required to perform in the Director’s class on in as needed basis.
In the Meisner class we have begin our independent activities. There are in the simplest forms. They are to have three things: 1. difficulty 2. meaning 3. time limit. This activities takes us out of our head and into our activities. On top of this our partner comes in and begins to repeat, adding an obstacles and therefore creating the basis of a scene. A classmate found an article online that explains what we are doing:
“Iâ€™m quite biased toward The Meisner Technique of Acting for one very good reason: it works! It would be impossible to teach you the technique in an article, but if I could share one extremely valuable point that any actor or actress regardless of training or experience to date could take away with them it would be this. Put all your attention on your partner!
Putting all your attention on your working partner results in listening and answering, living moment to moment, and hence living truthfully. This is what makes acting magnetic and riveting. Great acting is about listening and answering. It’s like tennis match. Hitting the ball back and forth. And to be able to do this your must take the attention off your self otherwise your holding the ball in your hand and there is no game. And that is boring! The Meisner Technique of Acting is far more in depth than this one point but if you leave your self alone and don’t do anything unless the other person makes you do it you can improve your acting immediately.
What I mean by this is don’t ACT! Don’t put on a show, don’t behave in a certain way or do something because you think the audience will appreciate it only do something if the other person in the scene with you makes you do it.That way all your attention is on the other person and you react according to what they are giving you. Are they ignoring you? What’s your point of view about that? Then communicate that point of view to them. Are they smothering you? What’s your point of view about that? Then communicate that point of view to them. Are they manipulating you? What’s your point of view about that? Then communicate that point of view to them. Go to their BEHAVIOR.
The Meisner Technique of Acting is all about reading BEHAVIOR not about what words are written on a page. So go to the behavior of your working partner and give them your point of view. If you do your homework, that is understanding your given circumstances, who your are, where you are, what’s just happened, what your fighting for in this scene, what the stakes are, who this person in this scene is to you, then all you have to do is come on stage or onto set or into the audition room and leave your circumstances at the door because they are now in you and simply place all your attention on your partner whilst doing your doing. This is one acting tip from the Meisner Technique of Acting that is guaranteed to improve your skills and abilities as an actor.”