‘Acting is living truthfully under imaginary circumstances.’ – Sanford Meisner
ABOUT THE WORKSHOP
Level 1 tools: Script Analysis, Particularizations and The Reality of Doing.
Our starting point when approaching any acting material is the text. The script is our map towards the destination we need to reach, when it comes to building a character. Without a thourough script analysis, we often fall into pitfalls and we misunderstand the given circumstances of the text, therefore, we miss crucial clues that would have othersiwe helped us to build a tridimensional character.
The first part of this workshop has been designed to guide students through the script analysis process. Once all the clues in the text and the given circumstances have been uncovered, we move on to the second step, which is : “How do I get into the situation of the script?” Through the tool of PARTICULARIZATION designed by Sanford Meisner, I help the actor make the situation of the text their own. Without personalizing the script, it is impossible to even start talking about character work.
The final step of the Level 1 workshop tackles the Reality of Doing, “what am I REALLY doing in this scene?” According to Sanford Meisner: “Acting is doing. The text is like a canoe, it rides on top of what you are really doing. True emotion comes out of what you are doing.“ Many actors waste a significant amount of time asking themselves: “how should I say this line?” But in life, human beings never ask those kind of questions! Everything we say is connected to what we do. And the beauty of the Meisner technique is that it allows for the actor to develop a truthful, human, compelling kind of acting.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
Andrea Dantas is an actress, director, writer and Flamenco dancer from Brazil. She has been performing professionally for 20 years in Brazil, Italy, England and the USA; in film, theater and television. After years of working professionally in South America, she moved to Australia to study the Meisner Technique under Playhouse West alumni Billy Milionis, at The Actor’s Pulse in Sydney. Her studies include: The School of Physical Theater in London, Teatro Olmetto in Milan and Playhouse West Los Angeles. Andrea previously taught the Meisner Technique at James Franco’s Studio4 NYC and currently teaches the Meisner Technique at Andrea Dantas New York Conservatory. FInd out more at www.andreadantas.org
Sanford Meisner formed the Group Theatre in 1931, along with Lee Strasberg, Harold Clurman and Cheryl Crawford. At the time Strasberg’s Emotional Memory Technique was the leading acting method, but Meisner felt this limited the actor’s imagination. Influenced by the theories of the Great Russian acting teacher Constantine Stanislavsky, Meisner began focussing on his own technique in 1940. Meisner observed that two actors could create great characters, be emotionally truthful and still fail the scene – and he wondered why. He realised that what brought life and energy to a scene was the space in-between: the interaction between the characters. This led him to develop a more instinctive, natural approach to acting, which became the Meisner technique.
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