Download Acting (Theatre Concepts Series) by John Harrop PDF

By John Harrop

Whereas all price decisions in regards to the arts are problematic, there does appear to be a unique challenge with appearing. it kind of feels to be the simplest of arts; if an artwork in any respect. furthermore the higher the procedure the better it kind of feels. This publication examines society's conceptions of appearing, the language it makes use of, and the standards hired to differentiate strong performing from undesirable appearing. John Harrop addresses the highbrow difficulties linked to the assumption of performing - distinguishing the actor from the nature. He covers the variety of up to date actor education and perform from Stanislavski to the Postmodern, and examines the religious and ethical function of appearing inside society.

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Extra resources for Acting (Theatre Concepts Series)

Sample text

Immediate recognizability can be seductive and give credence to the idea that if it fools you into thinking it was ‘real’, it must be good. ’ It goes back to the phenomenological problem we discussed earlier. The feeling we have that a character in a play is real, and therefore adaptable to other relationships and could sit down with us at dinner, is ‘an illusion born of his or her resemblance to a human being’ such as ourselves. It is not a prime criterion of acting. The self-defeating end of the criterion of reality as a judgement of acting is, finally, that it is not possible to have an art of the actor, seen as a presence, if his or her virtuosity simply consists of disappearing into the ‘reality’ of the phenomenological environment.

These exercises activated body memory and made its store of memories immediately accessible. Our tissue and nerves have remembered, and will respond again to similar stimuli: do the act and the feeling will follow. Such a physical approach returned to the biomechanical theories of Meyerhold, and incorporated those of William James and Moshe Feldenkrais: the actor’s vocabulary of memories is stored in physical form. Every emotion in one way or another is associated and linked in the cortex with some muscular configuration and attitude that has the power of reinstating the dynamics of a situation.

It may be likened to fencing with the tongue. The actor must have quick verbal reflexes, and be able to speak distinctly at a swift pace. Lip and tongue agility are necessary skills, as is the ability to use a variety of head tones to be able to point the line. Head tones, because wit tends to be intellectual and derive from the head rather than the actor’s emotional base; also head tones, lacking the resonance of lower notes, are sharper and more pointed. An actor must be aware of the shape of a line so that, by use of rhythmical stress, he or she can set up the audience to laugh at the right moment.

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